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  • BILLS INK WITH ETM TO PROVIDE EASY ACCESS TO TICKET BUYS

              The Bills have signed a deal with CA-based ETM
         Entertainment Network to "provide round-the-clock access to
         Bills tickets," according to Sharon Linstedt of the BUFFALO
         NEWS.  The Bills become the first NFL team to use the ETM
         machines, which function like ATMs, accepting credit cards
         to pay for tickets.  However, the machines are currently
         used by MLB's Mets, Rangers and Dodgers.  The NFL Cardinals
         "are expected" to sign with ETM soon.  Customers will be
         provided with stadium seating diagrams and price options, or
         can obtain the "best-available seat" with one touch of the
         screen.  ETM East Managing Dir Steve Smith said transactions
         are completed "very quickly," averaging about 50 seconds. 
         The machines can also dispense tickets previously ordered
         through the Bills ticket offices.  Although the team has not
         finalized locations for the ETMs, it "is negotiating" with
         Marine Midland Bank to put "as many as" 14 in bank branches
         near  ATMs. The team plans to set up 20 machines.  The
         service fee for ETM purchases is $2.75 per ticket, compared
         to Ticketmaster's $3.50 per ticket fee (BUFFALO NEWS, 6/4).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Franchises, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, New York Mets, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Ticketmaster
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              For the second straight year, the Mavericks will not
         raise ticket prices (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/5)....Sixty-five
         Eagles staff members, along with 31 players, helped students
         from five area schools put together playground equipment and
         set it in place at the Eagles Unity Playground, six blocks
         from Veterans Stadium (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 6/5).
         ...Prospective Lightning Owner Art Williams met with the NHL
         Exec Committee in New York on Thursday, and when the meeting
         ended, "several members of the committee, composed of team
         owners, told him 'Welcome aboard.'"  The official vote on
         his ownership comes June 25, but Williams "expects the vote
         to be 'no more than a formality.'"  Williams: "I think the
         meeting went very, very well" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 6/5).
         ...In Chicago, Michael Sneed reports that Bulls F Scottie
         Pippen "is singing his swan song at a party he is planning
         June 17 ... [which is] being billed as 'The Last Dance' and
         it's supposed to be the current Bulls' last goodbye event." 
         Sneed: "It's done" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 6/5)....The ECHL
         Greenville Grrrowl announced the formation of a health care
         partnership with the Greenville Hospital System (Grrrowl).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, ECHL, Franchises, NHL, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Philadelphia Eagles, Southwest Sports Group, Tampa Bay Lightning
  • ROCKETS' ALEXANDER NAMES AN NEW COO FOR HIS SPORTS EMPIRE

              Rockets Owner Les Alexander has hired Ken Harmon in an
         interim capacity as the COO for Rocketball Ltd, according to
         Eddie Sefko of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE .  Harmon, who recently
         retired after more than 30 years at Dow Chemical, will be
         responsible for "overseeing all aspects" of Alexander's
         teams' business operations.  Besides the Rockets, Alexander
         owns the WNBA Comets and the AFL ThunderBears.  Harmon will
         also be involved in Alexander's pursuit of possible NHL and
         NFL franchises.  A Rockets spokesperson said that Harmon
         "will be considered for the newly created job on a permanent
         basis, but an exhaustive search will be conducted before any
         decisions are made" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/5). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: AFL, Franchises, Houston Rockets, NFL, NHL
  • TRUE MEMBERS OF THE TRIBE: INDIANS IPO FAILS TO CATCH FIRE

              The Indians' "opening pitch on the stock market was a
         little low and outside," but Owner Richard Jacobs raised $60
         million and "declared it a hit," according to Bill Lubinger
         of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER.  The shares closed the day's
         trading "at a lackluster" $14.75, down $.25 a share from the
         offering price with 1.5 million shares trading hands.  On
         the price drop, Jacobs said, "Oh, that happens, for
         goodness' sake.  A lot of people buy the stock to flip it"
         (PLAIN DEALER, 6/5).  In Akron, Mary Vanac reports the IPO
         raised $55.8M and "as expected, the real interest in the
         shares came from area residents" (BEACON JOURNAL, 6/5).     
              SWING AND A MISS? CNN's Jan Hopkins reported that the
         Indians' IPO "came in dead last [Thursday] on Wall Street"
         among yesterday's debut stocks.  Hopkins: "That investor
         shutout should come as little surprise to anyone who follows
         the IPO market.  History shows that stock and sports are not
         usually a winning combination" ("Moneyline," CNN, 6/4). In
         N.Y., Aaron Lucchetti reports that while a "one-day loss
         doesn't ruin the whole season, giving up ground on the first
         day after an IPO is unusual.  The average company going
         public this year has gained 16% on its first day of
         trading."  IPO Reporter's John Fitzgibbons: "They struck
         out."   But Lucchetti writes that whether the Indians'
         investors "really care about the stock market is debatable" 
         (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/5).  Also in N.Y., Peter Grant
         reports that investors "were concerned about warnings that
         the company has very limited growth potential."  But he adds
         that Jacobs' success "will encourage" other team owners to
         explore IPOs.  The Bonham Group Chair Dean Bonham: "It
         unquestionably was a home run for Jacobs" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
         6/5).  In S.F., Mark Veverka writes that while the IPO
         "wasn't exactly a home run for shareholders," Jacobs was the
         "real winner" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/5).  Header of BLOOMBERG
         NEWS story in the N.Y. POST: "Cleveland IPO A Swing And A
         Miss."  Bonham: "From an investment standpoint, on a scale
         from 1 to 10, this is a 2" (N.Y. POST, 6/5).  CNBC's Scott
         Cohn said the reason for the drop in Indians' shares is that
         MLB is "a lousy business.  The sport still hasn't recovered
         from the players strike four years ago, so this would be an
         investment for love" ("The Edge," CNBC, 6/4).     
              SALARIES: USA TODAY's Hal Bodley notes the Indians'
         prospectus with the SEC lists the following salaries: Jacobs
         at $700,000; GM John Hart at $600,000; Exec VP Dennis Lehman
         and Assistant GM Dan O'Dowd at $300,000 and Marketing VP
         Jeff Overton at $225,000 (USA TODAY, 6/5). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Indians, Franchises, MLB, Time Warner
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