SBD/6/Franchises

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  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              Monday's crowd of 5,206 for the A's game against the
         Blue Jays was the team's smallest since it announced an
         attendance of 5,000 April 20 (S.F. EXAMINER, 5/5)....The
         sale of the NHL Oilers to the Edmonton Investors Group
         Limited Partnership was completed yesterday (NHL)....Mavs'
         Owner Ross Perot Jr. recently announced a restructuring of
         his real estate empire, "shuffling the lineup of top
         officers and consolidating some corporate divisions."  In
         Dallas, Miles Moffeit wonders where Hillwood Development
         Corp. Exec VP Frank Zaccanelli, who has "hammered out some
         of Perot's biggest deals," fits into the mix.  Real estate
         sources close to Hillwood say that Zaccanelli, "who has
         drawn sharp criticism for his hardball negotiating style,
         hot temper and misadventures in running the Mavericks, is
         leaving day-to-day operations of Hillwood" (DALLAS MORNING
         NEWS, 5/6)....The Indians' June IPO is examined by Scott
         Reeves of BARRON'S, who writes, "Indians' IPO investors
         should ask a basic question: What is the purpose of putting
         your money into [team Owner Richard] Jacobs' pocket?  If you
         view the stock certificate as a trophy to be displayed above
         your desk, it almost makes sense.  If you're interested in a
         real investment, look elsewhere" (BARRON'S, 5/4 issue).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Indians, Dallas Mavericks, Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, NHL, Oakland Athletics, Southwest Sports Group, Toronto Blue Jays
  • JACOR COMMUNICATIONS CEO EXPRESSES INTEREST IN BUYING REDS

              Jacor Communications CEO Randy Michaels said Tuesday
         night that his OH-based media conglomerate "is exploring the
         possibility of buying the Reds," according to Geoff Hobson
         of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER.  Michaels: "We don't know what
         [Reds Owner Marge] Schott plans to do, but of course it
         interests us.  This is all in the preliminary stages but
         we're certainly looking at it."  Jacor owns 5% of the
         Rockies and would have to sell that stake before purchasing
         an interest in another club (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 5/6).   
              NOTES: The Cincinnati City Council "is poised today to
         approve" a $20M incentive package "to lure the Reds to the
         Broadway Commons ballpark site, despite hearing that the
         team and Hamilton County aren't even talking about the site"
         (Lucy May, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 5/6)....Columnist Bill Koch
         wrote an open letter to Schott asking her to sell the team:
         "Don't do it for them [other MLB owners].  Do it for
         yourself.  The organization is at a crossroads.  It needs
         new blood. ... It's a good time for you to cash in and let
         someone else deal with the headaches.  Sell your control of
         the partnership.  Keep a share as a limited partner if you
         prefer to keep your hand in it" (CINCINNATI POST, 5/5).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Franchises, MLB
  • OAKLAND AUTHORITY MEMBERS WANT TO SETTLE SUIT WITH RAIDERS

              Although Oakland city and Alameda county officials
         "haven't spoken to the Raiders" since they filed suit
         against them in September, "now -- just a month before
         Election Day -- two mayoral candidates say an olive branch
         has been extended to the team," according to Laura Counts of
         the OAKLAND TRIBUNE.  Ignacio De La Fuente, a city council
         member who serves on the Coliseum Authority, said he has
         crafted "a comprehensive proposal" to resolve the lawsuit if
         a meeting with the Raiders can be arranged.  County
         Supervisor Mary King, who chairs the Authority, said that a
         letter has been sent to the Raiders requesting a settlement
         meeting before a May 15 court date.  Both candidates deny
         that any "settlement proposal" is timed to coincide with the
         election (Laura Counts, OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 5/5).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Oakland Raiders
  • PISTONS OWNER GIVES LIGHTNING "SOME NUMBERS TO CONSIDER"

              Pistons Owner William Davidson has made "a preliminary
         bid" to purchase the Lightning, "just as a local group has
         dropped its pursuit of the debt-ridden" franchise, according
         to Ira Kaufman of the TAMPA TRIBUNE.  Pistons President Tom
         Wilson said Davidson has set a "semi-drop-dead date" of May
         15 to finalize negotiations.  A source involved with the
         talks said that a bid was made Monday, but it "was not
         answered immediately by the Lightning."  Meanwhile, Kaufman
         reports that businessman Mike Cone, who was heading a Tampa
         group, "has lost interest in purchasing the team."  Cone did
         not return phone calls (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 5/6).  In St. Pete,
         Tom Jones reports that Davidson is deciding whether to make
         "a conditional offer on paper in the next day or two," and
         Wilson told him, "I wouldn't say we made them an official
         offer, but we did give them some numbers to consider.  It's
         down to the point where we've done a lot of work, looked at
         a lot of the figures, and we've given them some numbers to
         see if it's in their ballpark" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/6).
              UNSUNG HERO? In a sidebar, the TIMES' Jones writes that
         Davidson is "on the short list of the most successful owners
         in professional sports. ... Virtually every business he has
         taken over -- from his family's wholesale drug company to an
         automotive glass supply company to the Pistons -- has gone
         from near-bankruptcy to thriving leaders in their
         industries.  He has two rules of business: hire competent
         people and do everything first class" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES,
         5/6).  In St. Pete, columnist Gary Shelton, on Davidson:
         "This is our guy.  This is the owner we want.  If this was a
         vote, it would be a landslide" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/6).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Detroit Pistons, Franchises, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Tampa Bay Lightning, Wilson Sporting Goods
  • SMILEY'S PEOPLE HEAR THAT MORE PAYROLL CUTS LOOM

              Marlins President Don Smiley "hopes to entice investors
         in his bid to buy the team for $169 million by drastically
         slashing an already slim player payroll through 2001,"
         according to Alan Snel of the Fort Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL. 
         The move, which would pare the player payroll to $16M each
         year from '99-2001, was outlined in Smiley's business plan
         issued Monday to prospective investors.  Smiley is also
         telling potential investors "that he thinks Broward and
         Miami-Dade counties would each provide" $80M for a $250M
         retractable-roof stadium that could be opened by 2002 at the
         Pro Player Stadium complex.  The Marlins' general
         partnership would provide $30-40M toward the facility.  The
         document says that team expenditures would be sliced by
         $23.3M in '98 and that another $20M would be cut in '99,
         with the "bulk" of the budget cuts coming from reducing
         player payroll.  With the cuts, the Marlins project the
         team's cash flow loss to decrease from $32.4M in '97 to
         $10.5M this year.  Smiley hopes the cuts would yield a
         positive cash flow of $7.8M in '99 (SUN-SENTINEL, 5/6). 
              CABLEVISION BACKING SMILEY UP? In Miami, Barry Jackson
         reports that TX-based First Plus Financial CEO Dan Phillips
         has become "the second person to confirm publicly" that he
         is a part of Smiley's group.  Phillips declined to say how
         much he is investing, "but it is believed to be" in the $10M
         range.  Jackson also notes a reported "backup plan to help
         finance Smiley's sale" would involve Cablevision buying
         Marlins Owner Wayne Huizenga's SportsChannel FL, and then
         providing Smiley with capital by signing a long-term cable
         rights deal for Marlins games.  Smiley has declined to
         discuss any investors (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD, 5/6). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Miami Marlins, Franchises
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