SBD/Issue 222/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said that sales of season-ticket packages for the ’06-07 season “have increased about 60[%] from last year.” Rutherford: “With the season-ticket base we have now, we have a chance to average 15,000 [fans per game] or more.” The Hurricanes last season averaged 15,596 fans per game at the RBC Center, which has a hockey capacity of 18,730 (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 8/14).

CORDIAL RECIPE: In New Orleans, John DeShazier writes Hornets Owner George Shinn is “working fast, furious and overtime to repair an image that has taken a beating in New Orleans for the past seven or eight months.” He “received approval from the NBA office to have the Hornets play their regular-season home opener in New Orleans,” and the team is “doing what it can to hold at least a week of training camp” in the city. Shinn “has taken a pounding in these parts, much of it earned. But for looking for ways to bring back the Hornets to New Orleans this season, if only for snippets of time and with obvious motives, he can take a pat on the back” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 8/15).

VIKING QUEST: In St. Paul, Laura Billings notes the policies put in place by new Vikings coach Brad Childress include a training camp autograph policy with “an orderly schedule for fans to get autographs from different position groups, a strategy Childress hoped would ... ensure that people will be ‘able to get autographs in a safe environment.’” Another policy “demands that photographers ‘halt immediately’ their documentation of an injured player and his subsequent treatment” by medical staff. A Vikings spokesperson said that that was “put in place ‘out of sensitivity’ to the injured player.” Childress also banned hazing of first-year players (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 8/15).

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