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In Toronto, Jim Proudfoot reported that the Maple Leafs have created a "new schedule of bonuses, paid to every participant on the roster and tied to collective team achievements." Payoffs "will be provided across the board for shutouts, victories by a one-goal margin, defeats turned into ties -- and for defensive statistics, objectives obtained and division titles and playoff rounds won." The Maple Leafs' Bill Watters said that the team would continue to provide bonuses for employees who earn individual NHL recognition. Watters: "This program may or may not have a positive effect, though we strongly believe it will" (TORONTO STAR, 6/6)....In L.A., Mark Heisler reported that Lakers Exec VP Jerry West "is reconsidering his retirement and might stay another season." One source said, "I think Jerry is going to end up staying as a consultant, rather than running things day to day as he has been" (L.A. TIMES, 6/7)....T-Wolves Owner Glen Taylor: "Yes, we did show a profit this year" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/7)....Orioles Owner Peter Angelos dismisses talk of his buying the Redskins, but he added, "If the opportunity arose, who knows?" In other news, Angelos confirmed that he will enter into partnership with Cal Ripken in the new restaurant to built alongside Camden Station (Baltimore SUN, 6/7)....In DC, single-game tickets for the Stanley Cup Finals sold out on Thursday, but the Capitals' advanced sales office "is still holding about 1,000 tickets for fans who purchase a partial season-ticket plan for next season" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/6). ...In Boston, Will McDonough wrote, "Smart people say the price of the new NFL franchise in Cleveland will be $800 million" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/6).
The MLB Giants "have stepped up to the plate for Chevron," a longtime corporate partner, asking S.F. Mayor Willie Brown and the Board of Supervisors "to oppose proposed legislation that seeks to break Big Oil's control over local prices," according to Rachel Gordon of the S.F. EXAMINER. Giants President Peter Magowan sent a letter to "numerous" City Hall offices last week expressing his concern, saying the proposal was poised to attack "one of San Francisco's oldest and most significant community assets, Chevron." Supervisor Michael Yaki, the chief sponsor of the legislative proposal, said he told the Giants that "they're meddling in public policy in which they have no expertise." But Chevron Public Affairs Manager William Steele said that he wasn't surprised by the Giants' move: "We've been the largest advertiser with the Giants for years." Steele added that Chevron and the Giants recently struck a 10-year advertising and marketing deal for the team's new Pacific Bell Park, set to open in 2000. The pact is worth about $17M (Rachel Gordon, S.F. EXAMINER, 6/6).
The MN Attorney General's office "moved one step closer ... to forcing baseball officials to answer questions in a preliminary antitrust investigation" after the MN state Court of Appeals last week denied a petition by lawyers for Twins Owner Carl Pohlad, Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and prospective Twins buyer Don Beaver, according to Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The petition asked the Court of Appeals to review a lower-court ruling that ordered them to answer questions and surrender documents to MN Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III. MLB's "next step will be to continue its appeal, taking the case to the state Supreme Court, or to turn over the documents to the attorney general's office." MLB had no comment (STAR TRIBUNE, 6/6).
The Packers reported net income of $6.718M for FY '97, "establishing a corporation record for the third straight year," according to Bob McGinn of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The team now has a "war chest" of $51.9M -- "almost three times" what their cash reserves were in '94, "before the team's on-field and revenue-producing renaissance kicked into high gear." The team's annual meeting is today at Lambeau Field (JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/7). WORTH THE WAIT: McGinn reported that the waiting list for grandstand tickets at Lambeau Field "has exploded" from 15,000 in August '94 to 31,600 in April '97 to 44,000 last month. The Packers also have waiting lists of 2,000 for club seats, 486 for the three-game "Gold" package among former Milwaukee customers, and 313 for private boxes. The Packers, who received $20,000 for 88 of their boxes, $24,000 for 84 boxes and $30,000 for 18 boxes, "haven't had a box change hands in five years." Eight of the 198 boxes are not available for public lease (JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/7).