Expos Chair Jacques Menard said yesterday that the reported C$15M that Expos President Claude Brochu "will command" to sell his 7.6% share of the team "is in the ballpark," according to Stephanie Myles of the Montreal GAZETTE. Menard: "We have agreed in principle on a range and a general figure that is about of that magnitude, as regards the economics part. But a deal hasn't been signed yet, and it hasn't been put to our shareholders -- much less to [MLB]." Menard said that the timetable for buying out Brochu and the 52 days remaining in the 150-day limit set by MLB to put a new ownership group in place are "are independent" of each other. He also said that former Canadiens GM Serge Savard is "not waiting in the wings to succeed Brochu." Menard added that "other significant non- monetary issues still need to be resolved" before a deal with Brochu is finalized, such as how the team will be run until new ownership is established (Montreal GAZETTE, 1/13). Expos' ownership group will meet today "to decide" whether to offer Brochu C$15M for his share (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/13). TIME KEEPS ON TICKING: In Montreal, Jack Todd writes that the Expos "are running out of time" to assemble a new ownership group and that the team has accomplished "little" because of the slow pace of negotiations with Brochu. Expos Limited Partner Mark Routtenberg "won't deny" that Savard could possibly run the team, but said: "We have to know from [MLB]. Is Claude Brochu the control person until a stadium deal is lined up?" (Montreal GAZETTE, 1/13).
Bill Cosby "will be introduced this week" as a member of the new ownership group of the Nets, according to Phil Jasner of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. Cosby met for several hours yesterday in N.Y. with Lewis Katz, a member of the team's ownership group. Cosby is expected to be chair and spokesperson of a segment of ownership that will provide scholarships to inner-city students through a non-profit trust fund. Katz and Cosby attended Temple Univ. together in the early '60s (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 1/13).
In S.F., Matier & Ross write that the 49ers "stadium flap" this week over the future of a stadium/mall complex shows "how up in the air the entire deal is." Matier & Ross: "At this point, it's not clear who's really running the 49ers -- and who will broker the final deal." While it "appears" that team co-Owner Eddie DeBartolo is "calling the shots," he is "barred from saying anything" official until he "gets the blessing" of the NFL (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/13). NOTES: NHL Kings co-Owner Philip Anschutz's Anschutz Properties acquired a 30% interest in the Sparta Praha hockey club in Prague. Anschutz Properties President Bob Sanderman said the purchase "is part of other things" that the company is looking at in the Czech Republic that are not hockey related (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/13)....In Miami, Mike Phillips reports that prospective Marlins Owner John Henry invited three FL newspaper reporters to fly with him on his private jet to Carlsbad, CA, where MLB owners will vote to approve the sale of the team from Wayne Huizenga. Phillips calls the move "unprecedented" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/13)....In K.C., Jeffrey Flanagan writes that Royals prospective Owner Miles Prentice may offer S.A. Missions President Burl Yarbrough the position of Dir of Business Operations with the Royals (K.C. STAR, 1/13).
CT Gov. John Rowland "signed into law Tuesday a bill authorizing" $374M in state spending for a stadium and training facility for the Patriots in Hartford, according to Mike Swift of the HARTFORD COURANT. Rowland then "resumed" his attempt to help CT and the Patriots finalize a development agreement "that will obligate the state to pay for a riverfront stadium in Hartford -- and the Patriots to build it, manage it and play there for 30 years." Friday is the deadline for completion of the development agreement, although the deadline "could be extended by mutual consent." Rowland said the "biggest remaining hurdle" is "clearing the stadium site," which includes reaching a deal to relocate the headquarters of the CT Natural Gas Corp. and a steam plant (HARTFORD COURANT, 1/13). In Boston, Tina Cassidy writes that CT execs "are nearing an agreement" on relocating the steam plant (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/13).