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Stadium Groundskeeper Faces
Gambling Ring Accusations
BAD COMPANY: In a sidebar, Goldiner notes former Mets P John Franco’s name “came up last year in an FBI report that claimed he palled around with several high-ranking members of the Bonanno crime family and even invited some into the Mets clubhouse before games” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/19).
The T’Wolves said that VP/Basketball Operations Kevin McHale’s decision to return to his post next year “prompted some season-ticket holders to renew for next season.” The team, which sold about 10,000 full-season equivalents last season, added that “some season-ticket holders are waiting for two other developments”: the hiring of a new coach and the June 28 NBA Draft (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 5/19).
HEAT: In Miami, Barry Jackson reported that “fewer than 500 tickets for each [home Heat] playoff game have gone on sale to non-season-ticket holders.” Heat Exec VP & CMO Michael McCullough, who joined the team in ’97, said, “The tickets are selling faster than anytime since I have been here” (MIAMI HERALD, 5/18).
BLAZERS: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s John Lombardo reports Trail Blazers officials “cite a plan launched this spring to offer discounts to longtime season-ticket holders as the main reason for a substantial jump in their offseason ticket renewal rate.” The officials said the plan has led to a renewal rate of about 85%, up from just 47% two years ago. NBA officials said that the Trail Blazers are the “only NBA franchise that offers this type of discount.” Trail Blazers VP/Ticket Sales & Services Todd Taylor: “In the past few years, the number of our season-ticket accounts fell from 4,500 to 3,000 by the start of the [’04-05] season” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/16 issue).