SBD/Issue 202/Franchises

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  • Potential Penguins Sale Stopped Due To Relocation Stance

    Canadian Group Pulls
    Out Of Penguins Bidding



    The Penguins were “ready to sell” to a Canadian group that offered at least $175M, but the bidder “backed out over the weekend based on what it learned about the NHL’s stance [towards relocation] and the state’s ‘Plan B’ for arena funding,” according to sources cited by Shelly Anderson of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. The decision leaves four bidders remaining for the franchise. Any buyer of the team “will be obligated to join the Penguins’ agreement” with Isle of Capri casino, which will donate $290M to a new arena if it is granted the slots license for the city of Pittsburgh. The Canadian group “wanted options if the Isle of Capri deal falls through or Plan B didn’t seem suitable,” but it discovered the NHL “probably would have blocked a move.” NHL Group VP/Media Relations Frank Brown said that the league bylaws contain wording “that defines many conditions that need to be exhausted before a team would be allowed to move.” Anderson notes the league “probably would not approve relocation as long as there is an active plan for a new arena.” The four remaining bidders are “more willing to work with Plan B if the Isle of Capri does not get the slots license,” though at least one group “might be holding out hope that if Plan B falls apart the team could still be moved” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 7/18).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • NHL Panthers Forgo Parking Fees, Incorporate Into Tix Prices

    The NHL Panthers have given up their “controversial plan to charge pedestrians to walk onto [BankAtlantic Center] property,” though it will now “cost more to attend a game because the price of parking will be factored into the price of a single-game ticket,” according to George Richards of the MIAMI HERALD. There will continue to be a charge for parking for non-hockey events at the arena. During the ’05-06 season, the team charged $15 per car to park at BankAtlantic Center for Panthers games, and in March it told season-ticket holders it was planning “to charge pedestrians $5 to walk onto arena property from nearby Sawgrass Mills.” The Panthers instead released a new pricing plan for single-game tickets, which will be offered “in two tiers, with premium games costing more than second-tier games.” Single-game tickets for “A” games will increase by $12 this season, and “B” games will go up by $7. A $17 ticket in the 400 level will be offered for all games, which is “$3 less than the cheapest advance ticket offered last year.” The $8 tickets released on game days are expected to “be offered as well,” with a yet-to-be-determined price (MIAMI HERALD, 7/18).

    Print | Tags: Carolina Panthers, Florida Panthers, Franchises, NHL
  • MLB Franchise Notes: Part Of Rangers Loan Could Pay A-Rod

    Rangers Still Owe Rodriguez $22.5M

    SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Dan Kaplan cites financial sources as saying that the Rangers still owe Alex Rodriguez $22.5M over the next three years, “in addition to about $10M the team owes two other players who have left.” The figures emerged “as part of a recent” $75M loan Southwest Sports Group, which owns the Rangers, borrowed on June 30. The loan “was not explicitly to pay off Rodriguez,” though one financial source said that there “was a good chance some of the money would be used for this purpose” (SBJ, 7/17 issue).

    PACK THE PARK: In St. Louis, Derrick Goold reported the Cardinals are MLB’s “third team to surpass two million in attendance this season, joining the Yankees and the Dodgers.” Through Sunday, the Cardinals’ average attendance of 42,534 ranked third in MLB, behind the Yankees and Dodgers. The Cardinals, who sold out their first 48 games, played the first month of the season “without a section of seats opened” at the new Busch Stadium (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 7/17)....The Red Sox reached the 1.5 million attendance mark in their 42nd game, “their fastest yet.” It took 43 games last year (BOSTON HERALD, 7/18).

    JAM SESSION: SI.com’s Jon Heyman cited a friend of A’s P Barry Zito, who becomes a free agent after this season, as saying that he “wants to go to a big market ‘so he could sell his music,’ and believes he would prefer one of three teams: 1) Dodgers (his parents live in the Los Angeles area), 2) Mets, 3) Yankees” (SI.com, 7/17).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Arizona Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Cablevision, Franchises, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, New York Mets, New York Rangers, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Southwest Sports Group, Sports Illustrated, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, YankeeNets
  • Franchise Notes

    The Bills have sold 47,246 season tickets, the most since the team’s last Super Bowl season in ’93, and the first four games of the regular season are almost sold out, despite a 5-11 record last season and the “off-season overhaul of the front office and coaching staffs” (ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 7/18).

    SABRE TEETH: Within two days of its launch, more than 5,000 people signed a petition on Buffalo-based Web designer Drew Celestino’s www.fixthelogo.com protesting the Sabres’ potential new logo, which was recently leaked and has been compared to a “slug, a creamsicle or even Donald Trump’s hairpiece.” No team rep has confirmed that the new logo will be placed on the Sabres’ uniform this season (NIAGARA GAZETTE, 7/15).

    SOUL MAN: AFL Soul co-Owner Jon Bon Jovi, in a Q&A with the N.Y. POST’s Dan Aquilante, said, “When I bought the team I thought I was going to be like [Yankees Owner George] Steinbrenner. I was going [to] be the guy sitting in the box smoking footlong cigars. I didn’t understand the work until I had to do it.” Bon Jovi noted ten of the 19 AFL teams “are owned by NFL organizations, and whatever they need is there for them. When I bought the team, we didn’t even own helmets or shoulder pads. We had nothing –- I actually went to Modell’s to buy that kind of stuff” (N.Y. POST, 7/18).

    Print | Tags: AFL, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Franchises, New York Yankees, NFL, YankeeNets
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