SBD/Issue 163/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Arsenal Considering Offering 
Kroenke Seat On BOD
In London, Jason Burt reports English Premier League club Arsenal is "considering inviting" investor Stan Kroenke, who owns a 12% stake in the team, to "take a place on the board." Arsenal is "increasingly impressed by Kroenke and want[s] to foster closer relationships with the American who has signed up to the lock-down agreement over share sales which effectively prevents the club being taken over before 2012 -- although there is a termination clause in October 2010." It is "unlikely he will be offered a place on the board in the near future but such is the degree of trust that has developed between the parties" (London TELEGRAPH, 5/14).

BULLS: In Chicago, Jay Mariotti writes with Mike D'Antoni choosing to coach the Knicks instead of the Bulls, Bulls Owner Jerry Reinsdorf "once again was a slow, sluggish, dilly-dallying leader lacking the ability to cut a deal." Reinsdorf "should sell the Bulls to someone who cares about basketball. If there was any justice, he'd sell the franchise" to Bobcats Managing Member of Basketball Operations Michael Jordan. Reinsdorf "refuses to talk to the agents of coaches," and the Bulls by winning just one playoff series in 10 seasons have "become the [Celtics] after their '80s glory years" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/14). D’Antoni jokingly said of choosing the Knicks over the Bulls, “I was listening to all you guys (in the media) and everybody said I should go to Chicago, so I knew New York was the place to go” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 5/13).

BLACKHAWKS: Blackhawks Senior Exec Dir of Ticketing & Business Development Chris Werner said the team is "seeing a tremendous upswing in demand in interest for Blackhawks tickets." Werner said the club is trying to "create more price points for people to choose from, and tickets are as affordable as $15 per ticket.” Werner added the team will put the “press on group sales for corporate partners that want to get involved and bring out a large number of their employees ... and that will be relatively new for the Blackhawks. Although they did sell group tickets in the past, we never focused on that” (“Chicago Tribune Live,” CSN, 5/13).

PACERS: Pacers Sports & Entertainment Chair & CEO Herb Simon and President Jim Morris last week met with the Indianapolis Star's editorial board and "acknowledged how far out of favor the team has fallen with the community." Morris "promises to increase the team's involvement in the community and to improve the franchise's support services for young players who must learn to cope with wealth, fame and a multitude of readily available temptations." Simon also "wants fans to understand" that the WNBA Fever is "entering a period critical to its future." Attendance "must grow if the franchise is to finally break even," and Simon's "ability to continue writing off the Fever's financial losses is no doubt constrained by the Pacers' problems" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/10).

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