SBD/Issue 82/Franchises

Franchise Notes

NBA: USA TODAY's Mike Dodd writes on declining attendance at Hornets games in a Sports Cover Story. Dodd: "The Hornets transformation from one of the [NBA's] jewels to a troubled franchise is as curious as it was precipitous." There are "many theories" on the empty seats. Some "point to the clash between the region's conservative values and the legal problems of Hornets personnel." Hornets co-Owner Ray Wooldridge, on the dwindling attendance figures: "What's hanging over the entire environment is the uncertainty of whether we are staying or not [in Charlotte] because the arena deal just cannot be conclude" (USA TODAY, 1/18)....In Seattle, Les Carpenter reports that The Ackerley Group stock "has continued to climb" since the sale of the Sonics last Thursday, closing yesterday at 13.87, 4.43 points above the pre-sale close (SEA. TIMES, 1/18)....Mavs Owner Mark Cuban, who has been critical of NBA officiating, on his new approach with referees: "All along, I should have been saying, 'How can we get these guys raises?' From now on, that's what I'm saying. 'How do we best reward the guys who call a perfect game?'" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/18).

NFL: In N.Y., Paul Schwartz reports that Ravens Owner Art Modell owns the most Giants season tickets than any other individual, with 90 (N.Y. POST, 1/18)....USA TODAY's Larry Weisman reports that Vikings Owner Red McCombs "has been denying reports he plans to make" WR Cris Carter a part-owner of the team (USA TODAY, 1/18).

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