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FALCONS' SMITH THINKS HIS TEAM IS TAYLOR-MADE FOR SUCCESS
Published August 13, 1998
Falcons President Taylor Smith is "determined" to "not only keep the Falcons in the Smith family but prove they can become a consistent winning team," according to Grimes & Barry of GEORGIA TREND, who profile Smith in a cover story this month, and write that "this is his autumn of destiny -- the one that could determine the ultimate fate of the Falcons." Smith admits that the team had a "shortfall" of $8-10M last year, and said the Falcons "can't afford many years like that. We have to win games, sell tickets and generate revenue, no doubt about it." While teams such as the Cowboys rely on the NFL's TV contract for "only about" 40% of their revenues, 70% of the Falcons' revenues come from the league's TV deal, and Millard & Barry write that "tickets sold -- and actual attendance -- are major Falcon problems." However, "despite attendance problems, the Falcons are in sound financial shape, with scarcely any long-term debt," and a gate increase of 20,000-30,000 per game "should bring in" $8-10M more in revenue. Smith: "When the Falcons start winning consistently, the fans will come ... And it will be very special" (GEORGIA TREND, 8/98). PANTHER PRIDE: NFL Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson is profiled by Dyan Machan of FORBES under the header "A Fast- Food Guy Caters To The Fans." Machan writes that "financially, Charlotte is working" (FORBES, 8/24 issue).