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  • CABLEVISION DENIES IT WILL MAKE GEORGE THE KING OF NEW YORK

              Cablevision "immediately moved" yesterday to "quash the
         buzz" that it is in talks with Yankees Owner George
         Steinbrenner about his team, and a role for him as top exec
         of the Knicks and NHL Rangers, according to Steve Zipay of
         NEWSDAY.  In a statement, Cablevision said: "We have had no
         discussions to relinquish either the control or the
         management responsibilities of Madison Square Garden and its
         teams and do not expect to have any such discussions in the
         future."  MSG President Dave Checketts "declined" to talk
         about his reaction, but an MSG exec "said Checketts feels
         secure in his job."  Zipay adds that MSG's revenue will
         reach $100M this year, up from the $12M a year before
         Checketts was named head in '95, and "those are the stats"
         that Cablevision Chair Charles Dolan "holds most dear." 
         Rangers President Neil Smith called the speculation "too
         bizarre for words."  One Steinbrenner associate said "that
         anything more than a figurehead position" for Steinbrenner
         "was a ridiculous notion" (NEWSDAY, 9/18).
              NOW CHILDREN: In NJ, Bob Klapisch reports that the
         possibility of Steinbrenner selling the Yankees "hinges on
         two key factors, according to people familiar with the Boss'
         thinking."  First, Steinbrenner is "deciding whether he
         wants to leave" the team to his children, including his 29-
         year-old son Harold, and 43-year-old son-in-law, Steve
         Swindal.  Second, Steinbrenner is "deeply committed to
         moving the Yankees to Manhattan's West Side, and, according
         to an official close to the team, Steinbrenner would like to
         continue his association with the team if a move occurs." 
         But if N.Y. City Council Speaker Peter Vallone is successful
         in putting the future of Yankee Stadium to a referendum,
         sources say Steinbrenner "could well throw in the towel and
         sell to Cablevision" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 9/18).
              SCHUNDLER'S LIST: The N.Y. OBSERVER's Greg Sargent
         reports that Jersey City (NJ) Mayor Bret Schundler "is
         exploring ways to build - and aggressively market" a new
         ballpark on the border of Jersey City and Secaucus for "the
         Yankees or any other team" looking for a new home.
         Schundler: "We have the best location in the metropolitan
         area - bar none."  He said a site proposal will be presented
         to Steinbrenner in several weeks (N.Y. OBSERVER, 9/21). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Franchises, Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Yankees, YankeeNets
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              The MLS Fusion has reduced ticket prices, cutting their
         $600 sideline season-ticket package to $288 for adults and
         $180 for children under 12.  The Fusion had the third-
         highest prices in the league and the third-lowest attendance
         at 10,446 (MIAMI HERALD, 9/18)....Cablevision's The Wiz will
         sponsor field trips to Shea Stadium on September 18 and
         September 22, when it will donate 5,000 tickets to area
         charities and not-for-profit groups (The Wiz)....IHL Long
         Beach Ice Dogs Owner Barry Kemp is interviewed in the LONG
         BEACH BUSINESS JOURNAL.  Kemp, on his target demo for hockey
         in CA: "I think we have to secure our core audience first. 
         It would be foolish to spend too much time specializing all
         of our marketing" (LONG BEACH BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/15). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Franchises
  • ISLES WAR GETS UGLY; GULOTTA CALLS TEAM "PIGS AT THE TROUGH"

              Nassau County Exec Thomas Gulotta called the owners of
         the Islanders "pigs at the trough," before NY State Supreme
         Court Justice Joseph Burton issued a "temporary restraining
         order barring the Islanders from playing home games outside
         the [Nassau] Coliseum," according to Thomas Frank of
         NEWSDAY.  Following a 6 1/2 hour meeting with team officials
         yesterday, Gulotta called the Islanders lawsuit "nothing
         more than a ruse" aimed at forcing the county and arena to
         give the franchise more revenue from its lease.  Gulotta:
         "They're pointing a gun at the head of the taxpayers of this
         county for their own financial benefit and gain."  Isles
         attorney John Zuccotti said that the team would "obey any
         court order," adding: "We don't believe any judge would make
         us play in an unsafe arena" (NEWSDAY, 9/18).  
              DISPUTE GROWING UGLY: Gulotta said that "99%" of
         yesterday's discussions with the Isles dealt with ways they
         could "obtain a bigger share of the financial pie," and not
         safety conditions at the arena.  Judge Burton scheduled a
         hearing on the matter for next Wednesday, two days before
         the Isles pre-season opener (N.Y. TIMES, 9/18).  But Isles
         President David Seldin said yesterday's meeting was not
         solely about money: "That just wasn't the case.  Safety was
         a significant issue in the discussion" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/18). 
         Flyers Chair Ed Snider, who divested himself from SMG last
         December, "declined to comment specifically" on the
         Islanders situation, but said that the Islanders playing
         home games in the Spectrum while the Flyers played at the
         First Union Center would be "a little odd."  First Union
         Comlex President & CEO Peter Luukko, who called the
         situation "bizarre," said that "if the league calls on us,
         we'll cooperate" (Rob Parent, ESPN.COM, 9/18).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, ESPN, Franchises, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Walt Disney
  • PENS OWNERS MEET WITH BETTMAN, BUT NO ANSWERS ARE FOUND

              Penguins co-Owners Howard Baldwin and Roger Marino met
         with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman yesterday at NHL
         headquarters regarding several issues, "but came away
         without any answers," according to Dejan Kovacevic of the
         PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE.  The NHL did not announce a date
         for the next meeting (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/18).
         
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • THERE'S A FEELING OVITZ GETS, WHEN HE LOOKS TO JERRY WEST

              Lakers Exec VP Jerry West "has agreed" to join Michael
         Ovitz's ownership group that is trying to bring an NFL team
         to L.A., according to T.J. Simers of the L.A. TIMES.  West,
         who has been "given permission" by Lakers Owner Jerry Buss
         to "moonlight as an advisor for the football project," will
         travel to K.C. with Ovitz for an October 27 presentation to
         all 31 NFL owners.  Ovitz gave plans to NFL Commissioner
         Paul Tagliabue this week for a privately financed 78,000-
         seat stadium on a 158-acre site in Carson, CA, calling it
         "'the Hacienda,' which will be surrounded by an
         entertainment-geared mall."  Ovitz: "I think this Hacienda
         concept, where it's located ... linked as it is to this mall
         concept with fan [amenities] -- I think a lot of that has
         people very excited."  Tagliabue, asked whether the plan put
         the Ovitz group ahead of the New Coliseum Partners: "I think
         it does in terms of the attractiveness of the facility. 
         Whether it does in terms of the viability of making it
         happen, I'd say it's a tossup and one of the reasons we're
         having a meeting in October."  Tagliabue also said that
         after the October meeting, he expects Houston to be "100%
         there with signed documents" for a publicly-funded stadium
         as well as ownership in business exec Bob McNair, which is
         more than either L.A. group would offer (L.A. TIMES, 9/18). 
              WHO IS ANSCHUTZ? NHL Kings co-Owner & MLS Rapids/Fire
         investor Philip Anschutz, who is behind the New Coliseum
         Partners, is profiled by Lewis MacAdams of LOS ANGELES. 
         When people were asked, "Who is Philip Anschutz?" in L.A.,
         "nobody had an answer."  Requests for interviews for the
         piece "were ignored," and nearly everyone who knows Anschutz
         "personally refused to talk," including his L.A. partner, Ed
         Roski. But MacAdams adds that anyone who did talk about
         Anschutz "had only praise" for him, and about the worst
         thing they said was "that he's cheap."  But MacAdams writes
         that Anschutz may have to have a higher profile to win the
         city's trust to land an NFL team.  When the L.A. Times' T.J.
         Simers urged him to be more open with the public, saying
         that "the last thing the NFL wants or L.A. needs ... is a
         team with a faceless absentee owner," Anschutz said that
         "just wasn't his style" (LOS ANGELES, 10/98 issue).
    
    

    Print | Tags: AEG, Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Franchises, Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, NFL
  • TWO FANS CLAIM SILVER AND BLACK GAVE THEM BLACK AND BLUES

              Two "disgruntled Raiders fans have filed a lawsuit 
         claiming they were 'lulled' by fraudulent statements into
         buying and keeping overpriced" PSLs, according to Laura
         Counts of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE.  Robert de Crooy and Paul
         Krysko have sued the Raiders, the Oakland Football Marketing
         Association and Arthur Andersen -- the firm which kept track
         of seat applications in '95 -- in Alameda County Superior
         Court.  The two "seek to have the suit certified as class-
         action" on behalf of more than 32,000 PSL holders who, they
         claim, "were similarly defrauded" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 9/17).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Oakland Raiders
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