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              The CP's Neil Stevens reports that the return of RW
         Pavel Bure to the NHL increases the league's average yearly
         player salary to $1.3M when factoring in his previous $8M
         salary with the Canucks.  The Panthers, who acquired Bure in
         a trade with the Canucks, gave him a new contract for the
         rest of the season "believed to be worth about" $3M.  Agent
         Mike Gillis "will try" to negotiate a five or six-year deal
         worth around $10M per year for Bure after this season (CP,
         1/19).  In Toronto, Geoffrey York writes that Bure's "lavish
         lifestyle of endless partying and nightclubbing" during his
         holdout "made him a controversial figure" in his native city
         of Moscow (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/19)....The Atlanta Arena Co. took
         out an ad in the WALL STREET JOURNAL's Southeast edition
         promoting Thrashers club seats at the new Atlanta Arena:
         "Impress Customers.  Terrify Competitors" (THE DAILY)....In
         San Jose, Clark Judge writes that NFL Dir of Football
         Development Gene Washington's hiring by the 49ers "likely
         will be put on hold until the NFL resolves the future of co-
         owner Eddie DeBartolo."  It is "believed" that Washington
         would be named as an Exec VP (MERCURY NEWS, 1/19).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, NHL, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, San Francisco 49ers, Vancouver Canucks

              The NBA Kings announced Friday that the Maloof family
         of NM "will assume controlling interest" of Capital Sports &
         Entertainment, the company that includes the Kings and Arco
         Arena, effective July 1, according to Martin McNeal of the
         SACRAMENTO BEE.  After the deal was announced, Gavin and Joe
         Maloof said that they had "no plans" to move the team from
         Sacramento.  Current majority Owner Jim Thomas said he will
         remain as the company's CEO until July 1 and will work with
         the Maloofs "to help ensure a smooth transition."  Though no
         financial terms of the deal were disclosed, Thomas is
         "expected" to retain a small part of the team.  The Maloofs
         purchased a 25% share of the team in January '98 for
         approximately $40M.  Thomas said his decision to sell his
         stake in the Kings was "influenced" by new business
         interests he wants to focus on, as well as the team's
         "cloudy position" in the free agent market.  Thomas: "[The
         free agent situation] had some bearing on it.  We have been
         talking with some people who wanted to know about what the
         future would be like for the team.  So once I made the
         decision, it made sense to get the Maloofs involved so we
         could have a united front" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/16).
              DOUBTING THOMAS? Thomas, who took control of the Kings
         in '92: "I'm glad I had the experience.  I'm disappointed
         with the level of success.  I truly believed and expected
         that we would be in the NBA Finals in three to four years. 
         I had no idea about the salary cap and a lot of other
         impeding things" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/16).  
              MALOOFS NOT ALOOF: Gavin Maloof said that his family
         "plans to be aggressive in the pursuit of talent."  Maloof:
         "We're pro-active.  We've got money, and we're committed to
         putting a better product on the floor" (Martin McNeal,
         SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/16).  Also in Sacramento, Mark Kreidler
         suggested that the Maloofs establish residency in
         Sacramento, as Thomas was perceived by the local fans as a
         "complete outsider" because he never left L.A. to establish
         residence in the city (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/16).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NBA, Sacramento Kings

              The Heat are offering several incentive packages during
         the shortened season, including two free tickets to two
         games to every season-ticket account and $10 upper bowl
         tickets that include a voucher for free concessions on
         opening night.  The Heat also announced there will be no
         price increase for playoff tickets or for the '99-2000
         season (Heat).  For next season, the Heat will sell about
         3,100 upper bowl seats at its new arena for $5 per game,
         cheapest in the NBA.  Heat President of Business Operations
         Jay Cross said the $5 price "likely" would be available for
         half of the team's home games and "possibly more."  The $5
         seats would be for games against "marquee opponents," and
         for other games, the 3,100 seats might be closed off.  The
         Heat have sold around 9,300 season-tickets this year,
         compared with just under 10,000 last season.  About 120 new
         orders have been received by the team since the lockout
         ended on January 6 (MIAMI HERALD, 1/16).
              CHARLOTTE: The Hornets plan to pay a 6% rebate for all
         tickets used by season-ticket holders this season and will
         use bar-coding to track whether or not the game ducats are
         used.  The team will send out the rebate checks after the
         season based on usage of the tickets (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER,
         1/18).  In Charlotte, Eric Spanberg reported that the
         Hornets lost "at least" $10M due to the lockout.  The team
         was hurt most by $8.1M in lost ticket sales from the
         cancellation of 16 home games (BUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/15).
              DENVER: Ascent Entertainment "expects to have" the
         Pepsi Center's 1,854 club seats, with season-ticket prices
         of $5,590 to $8,600, sold out by the time the arena opens.
         With companies and individuals buying an average of four
         tickets per order, Ascent "has already sold half the seats."
         Ascent VP Paul Andrews: "Now that the lockout has ended, we
         see renewed enthusiasm" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 1/15).  Club-
         seat prices include both Nuggets and Avalanche games.

    Print | Tags: Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Franchises, Miami Heat, NBA, New Orleans Pelicans, PepsiCo

              The NFL wants John Kent Cooke to own the Redskins, a
         league official said Sunday, but a rep for the trustees of
         the Jack Kent Cooke estate said that they will "stand" by
         their agreement to sell the team to the group headed by
         Isles co-Owner Howard Milstein and MD business exec Daniel
         Snyder, according to George Solomon of the WASHINGTON POST. 
         Cooke's final bid of about $680M was not only less than the
         Milstein/Snyder group bid of $800M, but also less than that
         of AZ business exec Sam Grossman, who offered $720M.  The
         NFL believes the trustees "should be flexible" in allowing
         Cooke to increase his bid if he wants to.  NFL Senior
         VP/Communications & Government Affairs Joe Browne: "The
         current (Cooke) ownership has a proven track record.  The
         continuity of this ownership would be a plus for the league,
         if it can be accomplished to the satisfaction of the
         trustees."  However, a rep of the trustees said they had a
         "binding contract" with the Milstein group "that precludes
         our submitting any other proposals to the [NFL]."  The NFL's
         Finance Committee wants the trustees "to consider submitting
         a proposal from Cooke" and has asked them "to explain at a
         meeting in Miami later this month under what circumstances
         they could submit a bid" from Cooke and "why they chose the
         Milstein group over [him]" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/18).
              SHOW ME THE MONEY: In DC, Tony Kornheiser questions
         where Cooke can "come up with" an additional $120M. 
         Kornheiser: "This thing could end up strung out in court for
         years.  It seemed like the Milsteins bought the Redskins
         fair and square" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/19).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, Washington Redskins
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