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Jordan 100% On Retirement; Celtics' Sale Closing Extended
Published December 2, 2002
Wizards F Michael Jordan announced last Thursday he will retire after the '02-03 season, and in DC, Steve Wyche noted Jordan "plans to resume his role" as Wizards President of Basketball Operations after the season. However, Jordan "did not say whether he would rejoin" the Lincoln Holdings minority ownership group, led by AOL Vice Chair and Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis. But sources said that Jordan "plans to repurchase a stake in the team" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/29). In Philadelphia, Stephen Smith wrote on Jordan's announcement: "Don't shed any tears. If the ... Wizards were worth $150 million before he decided to come back, they're worth $300 million now. Since Jordan will regain partial ownership, he'll profit in at least some measure from all of this" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 12/1).
IT'S NOT EASY BUYING THE GREEN: In Boston, Steve Bulpett noted Boston Championship Basketball LLC (BCB), which is headed by prospective Celtics Owners Wycliffe Grousbeck, his father, H. Irving Grousbeck, and Stephen Pagliuca, "came through with another $2.5 million [Friday] to extend the closing date for purchase of the team." The deadline is now December 31, and "this time BCB would need permission from ... [outgoing Chair] Paul Gaston to extend the closing" (BOSTON HERALD, 11/30). Boston-based Game Plan LLC Chair Robert Caporale, who is an advisor to the new ownership group, said that the deal "is on track to close by the end" of December (BOSTON HERALD, 11/28). BCB is "predicting that the team's value will soar," rising 8% a year, to as much as $777M by 2013. Sports economist Andrew Zimbalist: "Those are very aggressive numbers, particularly since they are paying a premium price for the franchise." But Caporale said, "What we have here is a league that is progressively improving in terms of television, attendance and entertainment value" (BOSTON HERALD, 12/2).