SBD/Issue 111/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In Philadelphia, Todd Zolecki reports the Phillies for the '08 season will have their "highest payroll in franchise history'' at more than $106.4M. The number is based on salaries of the Phillies' projected Opening Day, 25-man roster. It also includes projected salaries for P Cole Hamels and CF Shane Victorino, both of whom remain unsigned, as well as other salaries the team is responsible for, including White Sox DH Jim Thome. The $106.4M in '07 would have tied the Phillies with the Mariners for seventh highest in  MLB, but it is unclear where that number would rank this season (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 2/28).

WHERE'S THE LOVE? Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis Tuesday wrote on his blog: "I am at the Tampa airport on my way home to DC. I was here on business and am shocked at how much coverage the Lightning gets down here. There are kiosks in the airport to buy Tampa gear, hats and t-shirts; co-promotions with Subway; and signs everywhere. When I left National airport I didn't see any Caps merchandise, but I did see the kiosk selling 'Rudy Giuliani for President' t-shirts. The front page of the Tampa paper today had a blurb on the re-signing of Dan Boyle and there were two stories on the Lightning and their trades and plans. The sportscast last night led with the Lightning as well" (TED.AOL.com, 2/26).

Forsberg Return Helping Avalanche
Sell Tickets To Remaining Games
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH: In Denver, Chris Walsh reports the return of C Peter Forsberg and D Adam Foote to the Avalanche has "created a much-needed boost in ticket sales for the team's remaining 10 home games." The Avalanche in the past few days have sold 5,000 tickets, including 700 Tuesday night for Saturday's Kings-Avalanche game. Avalanche officials said that Saturday's game is "about seven times the expected volume had the team not brought back the players." Fans also have purchased 225 "stretch run" ticket packages, including 100 Tuesday night (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 2/28).

LIONS SHARE: The Lions notified season-ticket holders by mail that the price of a majority of tickets at Ford Field for the '08 season will increase 18.5%. The increase, the first one since the '05 season, affects 83% of the 64,500 seats at the stadium, and the new average ticket price of $71.85 would have ranked No. 14 in the NFL in '07. Tickets previously costing $40-70 will sell for $40-90, though season-ticket buyers will get a $100 discount at the Ford Field merchandise store and receive admittance to the team's training camp (DETROIT NEWS, 2/28).

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