SBD/10/Franchises

FRANCHISE NOTES

          NBA: Three of the eight NBA first-round playoff games
     this weekend played to less-than-capacity crowds.  The Magic
     did not sell out Game One of its series against the 76ers,
     as the announced crowd of 15,267 was the team's third-
     smallest crowd of the season.  Reports had "as many as"
     3,000 tickets available at the 17,248-seat arena "as late as
     90 minutes" before tip-off (ST. PETE TIMES, 5/10)....For the
     first time in 16 home postseason dates, the Heat failed to
     sell out a playoff game at Miami Arena, drawing 15,036 to
     the 15,200-seat facility.  One thousand seats remain for
     tonight's game (SUN-SENTINEL, 5/9)....The Hawks drew 20,884
     to Saturday's opener against the Pistons at the 21,570-seat
     GA Dome (THE DAILY)...The NBA Board of Governors approved
     the Maloofs as the new owners of the Kings.  Gavin Maloof,
     on the league's owners: "They think we have the most
     exciting team in the league" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 5/9). 
          NHL: In Pittsburgh, Bob Smizik questioned the role of
     local leadership -- especially Mayor Tom Murphy and County
     Commissioner Mike Dawida -- in efforts to keep the Penguins
     in town.  Smizik: "People close to the negotiations maintain
     they have been invisible, perhaps out of fear of further
     offending the area's large senior citizen population, which
     stands firm against helping professional sports teams and
     athletes" (POST-GAZETTE, 5/9).  Also in Pittsburgh, Mark
     Madden wrote the NHL "would benefit, to a degree, if it
     pulled the ice out from under the Penguins."  It would
     "throw a scare into the rest of the league, encouraging
     teams to be more fiscally responsible," and it would "give
     the league strong leverage in its next labor negotiations"
     with the NHLPA (POST-GAZETTE, 5/8).
          NFL: N.Y. POST gossip columnist Neal Travis reported
     that "some have wondered" what Mort Zuckerman and Fred
     Drasner "are doing" by investing in Daniel Snyder's bid for
     the Redskins.  While the investment might "help" Zuckerman's
     "social standing" in DC and "it might even get some ads" for
     his U.S. News & World Report, others say Zuckerman is
     "treating his entry into the NFL as "just another business
     decision, one that makes sense because -- as a first-time
     franchise owner -- he gets to write off the entire
     investment for tax purposes" (N.Y. POST, 5/9).
          
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