SBD/6/Franchises

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). 

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