SBD/12/Franchises

NHL EXPANSION BLUE JACKETS AND THRASHERS SET TICKET PRICES

          The NHL expansion Blue Jackets will have an average
     ticket price of $47.50 when they begin play in 2000-2001,
     according to Craig Merz of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH.  In all,
     the team will have 17 different seating venues at Nationwide
     Arena, ranging from $15 for '97-98 ECHL Columbus Chill
     season-ticket holders to $125 for center ice lounge
     "premium" seats.  In order to qualify for the $15 seats,
     Chill season-ticket holders must purchase a PSL for $500 and
     pay $645 for a 43-game package (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 5/11). 
     In Columbus, Mike Pramik reported that as many as 15,500
     seats at the 18,500-seat arena will be held by PSLs owners,
     and the PSLs will range from $500 to $4,000, with 64% of
     them costing less than $2,000.  So far, more than 11,000
     ticket requests have been made (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 5/10).
          SUITE DEAL: The Blue Jackets also revealed prices and
     other details of their 36 executive suites and 22 loges. 
     The suites are priced at $118,500, $128,500 and $138,500 and
     average about $130,000.  The loges are priced at $58,500 and
     $68,500 and average $64,000.  Income from the suites and
     loges goes to the team, and if they are fully leased, the
     Blue Jackets will receive $5.5M in the first year.  Income
     from PSLs and 16 Founders suites goes to Nationwide
     Insurance Enterprise to pay for arena costs. Founders suites
     cost a one-time fee of $2.5M.  Founders suites and PSLs "are
     expected" to raise $40-60M (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 5/12).
          THRASHERS: The NHL expansion Thrashers announced ticket
     prices ranging from $10 to $70 for their inaugural '99-2000
     season.  Price levels for season tickets are $10, $24, $35,
     $40, $45, $50, $55, $65 and $70.  The average season-ticket
     price is expected to be $45 (Thrashers).  In Atlanta, Steve
     Hummer: "Just as feared, the numbers were high, reflective
     of the fact that hockey players are as overpaid as any other
     professional athlete" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/12).
   
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