SBD/11/Franchises

MLB TEAM NEWS & NOTES: BREWERS REACH SEASON-TICKET RECORD

          The Brewers have set a "franchise record" by securing
     9,062 season-ticket packages as of Sunday, according to Tom
     Haudricourt of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL.  The team has
     sold 1.25 million tickets so far this season, about 250,000
     more than at this point last year.  Through 20 home dates,
     the team has drawn 335,890, compared with 247,619 in '97
     (Tom Haudricourt, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 5/10). 
          A'S: In San Jose, Howard Bryant reported that
     attendance at the Oakland Coliseum  is "consistently under
     10,000 so far," and there are large, "macro issues that poor
     attendance continues to push to the forefront -- negotiating
     with the Oakland Coliseum Authority on a new lease, the
     possibility of selling the team, moving to a new location
     within the Bay Area or out of the region."  Bryant reports
     that various groups in the South Bay "are interested in
     attracting baseball" to Silicon Valley, and "[p]rivately,
     the A's believe a new start ... would allow them to be
     competitive with the bigger spenders" in the AL (SAN JOSE
     MERCURY NEWS, 5/10).  In Oakland, the TRIBUNE examined the
     sparse attendance, as the A's are on pace to draw fewer than
     one million for the first time since '80: "Is it the
     attitude of the current owners? ... Is it the coolness and
     distance of [co-Owners Steve] Schott and [Ken] Hofmann? ...
     Is it ownership's failure to express unconditional
     commitment to the area?" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 5/10).
          MARLINS: Marlins President Don Smiley, on his plan to
     reduce payroll to $12-16M in '99: "This is restructuring. 
     There is no doubt about it.  It's just like any other
     company restructuring that's in trouble.  You must make
     difficult decisions and you must accept the rough water that
     goes along with it" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/10).  ESPN's Peter
     Gammons, on the team's payroll reductions: "What's so stupid
     to me is that, you know, you never get that attendance bump
     the year that you're going for it for the first time ... you
     get it the year after. ... I don't see that they've done
     anything for that franchise" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 5/10).
          OTHER MLB NOTES: In N.Y., Murray Chass, on New York
     City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's calls for increased attendance at
     Yankees Stadium: "Does he know the Mets exist?  He has been
     so busy tub-thumping for the Yankees that maybe he has
     forgotten that they do" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/11)....The Devil Rays
     drew 42,486 Saturday versus the Orioles, their second
     biggest crowd of the season (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/10).
     ....The Phillies announced during yesterday's game versus
     the D'Backs, which was played during inclement weather, that
     all used or unused tickets for the game could be exchanged
     for a future game (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 5/11)....The
     Pirates held their second "meet and greet the fan night"
     Friday, but it didn't go "quite as well" as last year's
     event, when the team was "mobbed by enthusiastic fans and
     the idea gained national media attention."  Paid attendance
     Friday was 13,848 (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 5/9).
          
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