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In AZ, Barrett Marson reports the city of Mesa and the AZ Tourism & Sports Authority "reached a tentative agreement [yesterday] on how to cover costs associated with" the Cardinals' proposed stadium, "paving the way for a final deal to be wrapped up by the end of the week" (EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE, 4/16)Scoreboard Lettering Is Tough
The Stars and Mavericks will finish their first seasons at American Airlines Center (AAC) "with different bottom-line results," according to Richard Alm of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Stars Owner Tom Hicks, whose team missed the playoffs for the first time since '96, said that the club made a small profit this season. Hicks added that the Stars "rank first in the NHL in arena revenues per game and second in overall revenue, so the regular season was enough to pay the bills." Hicks: "We had hoped to go two rounds in the playoffs. We incorporated that in our budget this year." Meanwhile, Alm writes "even a long string of post-season home games" for the Mavericks "won't push the team into the black," as Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban said "we will lose money" in '01-02. Cuban would not say how much the Mavericks will receive for each playoff game, and added that he is "not yet getting much of a financial boost from the new arena because revenue streams are committed to" the Center Operating Co., the partnership that runs the arena for the two teams. The money goes for expenses, including repayment of the bonds that financed the building's construction. While the Mavericks had control of Reunion Arena's signage, income from naming rights and advertising at AAC goes to the operating company. Cuban said, "We have had to overcome the reduction from arena ads. Right now it is costing me money, not making me money." Hicks said that the transfer "will be modest this season" and added, "As we pay off the bonds, the money will grow significantly" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/16).
EXTRA, EXTRA: In Dallas, Jeff Bounds reports Cuban is partnering with Sports Group Publications to produce a 32-page weekly newspaper called Dallas Mavericks Weekly that will debut for the team's first home playoff game. Dallas sports-radio personality Mike Fisher will serve as editor. Sports Group Publications' Lorne Webster said that the tabloid "will make money by selling both subscriptions and advertising" (DALLAS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/12 issue).