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Brewers Opening The Books
For Milwaukee-Area Execs
The Brewers "have agreed to open their financial records to review by a panel of three prominent Milwaukee business executives," according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, who notes the deal was brokered by team execs, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce President Tim Sheehy and other business leaders. Sheehy: "The ballclub has given us full access to any and all financial information that we determine is necessary. We will have access to their board, their auditors and their financial people." The review panel consists of MGIC Investment Corp. President & CEO Curt Culver, Johnson Controls Chair Jim Keyes and A.O. Smith Corp. Chair & CEO Bob O'Toole. Brewers BOD Chair Wendy Selig-Prieb said, "The intent is to be responsible for a broader audience. There's a lot of misinformation out there. We want this to be a constructive and productive process." But Walker reports that "at least 50" state legislators yesterday signed a letter "asking the Brewers to open their books to state review" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 12/4).
SUNSET: Also in Milwaukee, Dan Benson reports the Ozaukee County Board yesterday voted "in support of ending the Miller Park stadium sales tax in 2014." Ozaukee is one of five counties being taxed to fund the construction and maintenance of Miller Park. The resolution aims to "force tighter accounting of how Miller Park sales tax money is spent." Board supervisor Kimberly McCulloch: "I prefer it sunset in 2004 rather than waiting 10 more years. This is a really useless program" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 12/4).
Investigators Claim Evidence Against Yankees
WAITING IN THE LOBBY: In N.Y., Kenneth Lovett reports state lobbying investigators yesterday concluded their probe of the Yankees, saying that they "have enough evidence to prove the team violated the law by not reporting free tickets given to public officials." The matter was referred for a civil penalty hearing before the full Lobbying Commission next year. The Yankees face a fine of up to $100,000 (N.Y. POST, 12/4).
BE PREPARED: In Phoenix, Jeff Metcalfe reports that "less than an hour" after WNBA President Val Ackerman announced that the Mercury had won the WNBA Draft lottery, a 6' by 30' banner proclaiming the team's No. 1 pick "was unveiled outside America West Arena, and a new Mercury ticket push began" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 12/4).
PALE HOSE: The White Sox will implement variable pricing next season "at least for season ticket-holders with Friday-Sunday games costing $4 more than Monday-Thursday games." Tickets for the June 25-27 Cubs-White Sox series "will jump an additional $5, or $9 more than a weekday game." Customers ordering split ticket packages will pay $1 "more per ticket than those with season packages. The team also created `premium areas' in the club level, the lower level and the upper box area" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/4).
SOCCER: In London, Treanor & Taylor report Leeds United, which has debts of $138M, has reached an "agreement with their major creditors which will allow them to avoid calling in the administrators." Also, the club is expected to announce today that Deputy Chair Allan Leighton "will resign from the board, allowing him to avoid any accusations of having a conflict of interests should he consider leading a takeover bid" (London GUARDIAN, 12/4)....The MISL Monterrey Fury last Sunday played the league's first int'l game, hosting the Dallas Sidekicks in front 14,776 fans at the new, 16,000-seat Monterrey Arena. It was the league's largest crowd of the season (MISL).
Nets Not Alone In Continental
Airlines Arena Attendance Woes
Tuesday night's announced crowd of 13,204 for Coyotes-Devils was the seventh time in 13 home games this year that the Devils played before fewer than 14,000, according to Dave Caldwell of the N.Y. TIMES, who notes at 12-5-6-0, the Stanley Cup champions "cannot put a much better product on the ice." Devils G Martin Brodeur: "We've given as good of a decade as you can give anyone." Devils CEO, President & GM Lou Lamoriello: "It's certainly disappointing, but by no means discouraging." The team has done marketing surveys to attempt to reverse the trend, but Lamoriello said, "There's no one concrete reason that keeps coming back." Caldwell further notes that ticket prices are considered "average by league standards" and were not raised this year. Also, billboards with D Scott Stevens "hoisting the Stanley Cup seem to be on every bus in North Jersey." Lamoriello, who increased the team's advertising budget, said, "It's not that we have done everything. There's more we can do" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/4).
TOO SLOW? In DC, Dave Fay writes that the problem the NHL is facing is that "nothing is happening. ... A study done this season shows scoring is down again, from 5.4 goals a game last season to 5.1. Another study using NHL figures shows attendance is flat, growing 0.1[%] a year. Those two figures go hand in hand, which should raise a huge red flag for league officials" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 12/4).