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  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              NFL: In Cleveland, Tony Grossi reported that Ravens PSL
         sales "are stalled at about 50,000," 10,000 shy of their
         goal for the 68,400-seat stadium, according to Tony Grossi
         of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER.  Grossi also noted that
         Earnest Byner has taken a position in the Ravens' office,
         combining community relations and player personnel duties
         (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 4/5)....Rams Minority Owner Stan
         Kroenke has increased his piece of the club from 30% to 40%,
         "but there is no timetable for a possible buyout of majority
         owner Georgia Frontiere" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/5).
              NOTES: The Lightning's ownership situation was examined
         by Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES.  NHL Commissioner
         Gary Bettman, on Lightning Majority Owner Takashi Okubo:
         "I've never said I had to meet him, but I want to meet him. 
         I want to talk to him about how to improve his team. ... If
         the result of getting the franchise sold is not meeting him,
         I'll live with it" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/6)....CA businessman Bill
         Scripps has agreed in principal to sell his Class A Augusta
         GreenJackets minor league baseball team to Boston
         businessmen Michael and Jeffery Savit.  The deal is expected
         to be completed by May 1, pending approval by the South
         Atlantic League (Rob Mueller, AUGUSTA CHRONICLE, 4/5).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Ravens, Franchises, NFL, NHL, Palace Sports & Entertainment, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Lightning
  • GLUCKSTERN COMMITTED TO KEEPING ISLANDERS ON LONG ISLAND

              Islanders co-Owner Steven Gluckstern was interviewed by
         Doug Rossi of NEWSDAY in a Q&A.  Gluckstern, asked if he
         would move the team if arena financing falls through: "We
         are committed to keeping the Islanders and here are three of
         many reasons: The Islanders have a rich history here, the
         partners of New York Sports Ventures all live in New York
         and we have a longterm relationship with Fox Sports New
         York."  Pressed for a yes or no answer, Gluckstern said,
         "The world is not a place for yes and no answers because the
         world is constantly changing.  We are committed to keeping
         the team on Long Island, and all of the factors that come
         into play weigh heavily in that direction" (NEWSDAY, 4/6).  
              MOST FANS HAPPY SO FAR: Islanders President David
         Seldin said he's been "pleasantly surprised by the reaction"
         to the team's new campaign, a "controversial advertising
         campaign tweaking 'ignorant' Ranger fans."  During a recent
         fan forum with new owners Gluckstern and Howard Milstein,
         one fan "complained the ads give the appearance the Isles
         have 'an inferiority complex.'  Others in the crowd hailed
         the campaign" (N.Y. POST, 4/4).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New York Islanders, News Corp./Fox
  • MLB TEAM NEWS & NOTES: BORN WITH A HALO OVER THEIR HEADS

              The Angels struck a deal with a group that represents
         22 Orange County hospitals, to present newborns with a tiny
         Angels hat, according to Barbara Kingsley of the ORANGE
         COUNTY REGISTER.  Angels Dir of Marketing Ken Wachter: "When
         I came here we saw lots of Dodger caps all over the place. 
         I said, 'we gotta gem 'em in the crib.'"  Kingsley added
         that the Angels are also "doing a better job of attracting
         adults," building its season-ticket base to about 15,000, up
         from less than 12,000 last year (O.C. REGISTER, 4/6).
              ATTENDANCE: The White Sox drew 25,358 for their home
         opener yesterday against the Rangers, the team's smallest
         opening day crowd since '75 (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/7)....The
         Tigers have sold out today's home opener against the Devil
         Rays (Tigers).  Tigers VP/Business Operations David Glazier
         said the team "did not make a profit" in '97, but that
         season ticket sales are up 27% this year and "we're hoping
         to draw 1.6 million-plus fans" (DETROIT NEWS, 4/7)....The
         Reds, who drew and average of 23,032 fans through their
         first six home dates, are down 19,888 over the first six
         dates from last year (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 4/6)....The
         Phillies lost "about" $8.4M in ticket revenue last season,
         after turnout "was about 600,000 below the average for the
         last 20 years" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/7).
              ALL ABOARD! The D'Backs have sold out a train ride that
         will carry fans from Tempe to BOB for games April 18 & 19. 
         D'Backs officials say "they want to give Valley residents a
         taste of what East Coast baseball fans have taken for
         granted: a train ride to the ballpark" (AZ REPUBLIC, 4/7).
              NOTES: Rupert Murdoch is scheduled to make his first
         public appearance as the new Dodgers owner today at the
         team's home opener against the D'Backs (USA TODAY, 4/7)....
         Hank Aaron will throw out the first pitch at the Brewers'
         home opener today against the Expos (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
         SENTINEL, 4/7)....Mario Lemieux will throw out the first
         pitch at the Pirates home opener today against the Braves
         (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 4/7).
    
    

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Anaheim Sports, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Franchises, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, News Corp./Fox, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays, Time Warner, Walt Disney
  • NHL OILERS NEWS: ALBERTA SPORTS LOTTERY PROPOSED TO RAISE $$

              The NHL Oilers and other Alberta pro sports teams
         "could benefit from a new private-sector lottery foundation
         as soon as this fall," according to Jac MacDonald of the
         EDMONTON JOURNAL.  The Alberta Sports Prize Bond Foundation
         (ASPBF) will offer as yet undetermined cash prizes to
         participants who buy a C$100, "fully redeemable interest-
         free bond."  The bonds could go on sale this summer.  The
         money raised will be placed in a trust account and the
         interest earned will help fund and upgrade community-owned
         sports facilities used by pro teams in Alberta.  At least
         20% of the interest will go to prize winners.  The ASPBF was
         founded by NHL Oilers investor Jim Hole and Edmonton lawyer
         Robert Turner.  Hole said that he doesn't "anticipate
         problems" from the government because the private lottery
         foundation will be supporting sports facilities that
         otherwise depend on tax dollars.  The proposal "has the
         support" of all of Alberta's major pro sports teams
         (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/7).  In Edmonton, columnist John Short
         calls the lottery proposal "a remarkable concept, one that
         deserves every consideration" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/7).
              FINANCING: The Oilers local investors group reached the
         C$54M mark with the addition of two new investors.  The new
         investors bring the total number of unit holders to 20, but
         the actual number of investors totals 26 (EDMONTON JOURNAL,
         4/7).  Investor Cal Nichols said almost every area oil and
         gas company has turned down a naming rights proposal that
         would have generated C$2.7M annually and renamed the
         Coliseum Petroleum Place, with logos of the eight companies
         displayed on the outside of the arena.  Each company would
         have paid about C$300,000.  Nichols: "No one asked a price. 
         They just said no" (EDMONTON SUN, 4/7).    
              DRILLERS DOWNSIZE: The NPSL Drillers said it is
         reducing operations for the summer, and "will evaluate the
         future" as soon as it is decided who will control the
         Edmonton Coliseum license agreement next season (EDMONTON
         SUN, 4/7).  Ten Drillers staff members were "laid off"
         yesterday (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/7).  
    
    
    

    Print | Tags: Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, NHL, NPSL
  • THE KANATIAN WAY: SENATORS GROWING FAN BASE IN OTTAWA

              The Senators have posted the second-largest increase in
         average attendance in the NHL behind the Stars, according to
         Bruce Garrioch of the OTTAWA SUN.  The Senators have
         averaged 16,563 through 37 home games this season, a 14%
         increase and more than 1,500 fans ahead of last year. 
         Garrioch reports that season-ticket sales "jumped" from
         7,100 in '96-97 to 9,900 this year, and that the team
         "stands to gain more than" $2.5M in revenue.  Team President
         Roy Mlakar: "We're obviously very pleased. ... We've done a
         lot of research and we've worked hard to give them what they
         wanted.  We're listening to what those people are telling us
         and we are where we want to be in attendance."  Garrioch
         added that the Senators could bring in "more than" $1M per
         game if the team makes the playoffs (OTTAWA SUN, 4/7).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Stars, Franchises, NHL, Ottawa Senators, Southwest Sports Group
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