SBD/Issue 204/Franchises

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  • Bruins Owner Jacobs Denies Rumors That Team Is Up For Sale

    Jeremy Jacobs Denies Rumors 
    That Bruins Are For Sale
    Bruins Owner Jeremy Jacobs said there is "absolutely zero" truth to the rumors that the franchise is for sale, according to Kevin Paul Dupont of the BOSTON GLOBE. Jacobs said of a potential sale, "That's not happening. Nothing there. ... Zip. I don't think that's happening in my lifetime." Bruins VP Charlie Jacobs, who is the son of the Bruins Owner, said of the team, "I can say with great confidence that it's not on the market. My dad enjoys operating the team and having a say in what happens here, so do I." Dupont noted a Bruins sale would be "both a complex and pricey purchase," as the package includes the Bruins, TD Banknorth Garden, the "still-undeveloped building parcels, the Celtics' lease, the concessions, and a succulent chunk of NESN." The "starting price could be $1[B]." Meanwhile, a report Friday indicated that Celtics CEO & Managing Partner Wyc Grousbeck and investors "have been in dialogue" with the NHL Kings about buying a piece of the club from AEG. Dupont wrote, "If Grousbeck and friends were interested in buying into the NHL, why not buy the Bruins?" Jeremy Jacobs said of Grousbeck, "Would he buy mine? There's been no discussion on that. No." Jeremy Jacobs said of the Celtics' ownership group potentially investing in the Kings, "As far as the Bruins are concerned, and in my judgment, I would be more than happy to recommend them to the [NHL]. They've done such a great job with the Celtics. They've done a first-rate job, and we'd like them in the [NHL] as partners. They've shown that they're real team players" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/13).

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  • Del Biaggio Was Talking Up Predators Move Earlier This Year

    Document Shows Predators Minority
    Owner Wanted To Relocate Team
    Predators Minority Owner William "Boots" Del Biaggio III earlier this year was "signaling to potential investors that the team had 'portability value'" and "selling the idea that the team would fail [in Nashville] and could be moved to another city," according to a confidential document cited by Brad Schrade of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. The document, a computerized presentation, was put together by Del Biaggio's Forecheck Holdings as "part of a marketing effort ... to gain more investors." Forecheck "projected the Preds would not become financially viable ... in which case, the Del Biaggio-led investors could gain majority control, serving their agenda to buy a hockey team and locate it elsewhere, while providing cover" for Predators Owner David Freeman's local ownership group. Freeman last week said that he "was aware Del Biaggio had been trying to get additional investors into the hockey enterprise, but was not aware that Del Biaggio had told potential investors that they could gain control of the team and move it." Freeman told Nashville Mayor Karl Dean the assertions in the document are "false and misleading." Freeman upon reviewing the document added that he "had never seen it and that he was 'surprised but not shocked' at its contents." Freeman: "If you remember, Boots talked quite openly last summer about moving the franchise to [K.C.] if he was the winning bidder. He lost. As we negotiated our partnership agreement with Forecheck, we did so with respectful distrust of his motives. It's why we put so many protections into (the team's) partnership agreement" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 7/13).

    TRUTH REVEALED: In Nashville, David Climer writes of Del Biaggio, "The man who once appeared to be a white knight intent on helping rescue a struggling NHL franchise instead was a fraud whose sole purpose was to haul the team elsewhere." Among those who "got duped" were Freeman, former Predators Owner Craig Leipold, "who fronted Del Biaggio $10[M]," and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, "who signed off on the deal" to establish Del Biaggio as a minority owner (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 7/14).

    PICKING UP THE TAB: Freeman Friday said that the team's local owners will replace Del Biaggio's $9.8M "personal guarantee to Metro Nashville under the team's" Sommet Center lease. Del Biaggio is "under federal investigation and has declared bankruptcy -- a situation that puts at risk" money he would owe the Metro Sports Authority if the team breaks its lease. Freeman: "We will do it in full. Hopefully that will take care of the issue" (TENNESSEAN.com, 7/11).

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  • Judge Rejects Challenge That Redskins Trademark Is Disparaging

    The Redskins Friday "scored another victory" in a long-standing fight over their trademark, with U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly "rejecting the latest challenge by Native Americans who say the name is disparaging," according to Del Quentin Wilber of the WASHINGTON POST. The decision marked the second time Kollar-Kotelly has "ruled in favor of the team, which has been fighting to protect millions of dollars in sales of Redskins caps, T-shirts and other merchandise." Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the activists "waited too long to make their challenge, noting that the first trademark -- 'the Redskins,' written in a stylized script -- dated to 1967." The judge revisited the issue after the U.S. Court of Appeals in '05 found that one of the activists, Mateo Romero, "might have legal standing because he was born in 1966." But Kollar-Kotelly found that Romero had "waited too long before joining the legal action," as he had been an adult "for eight years before filing his initial complaint." The judge ruled that by "not filing the challenge in a timely way," Romero "put the Redskins at an unfair economic disadvantage." Kollar-Kotelly noted that between the time Romero turned 18 in '84 and '92, the Redskins' list of merchandise licensees "nearly tripled, and the team invested millions in the name." Wilber noted the team's name has been "in place for about 75 years, and it was not at stake in the litigation," but its "logo and trademark protections were in jeopardy" (WASHINGTON POST, 7/12).

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  • Franchise Notes

    In DC, Thomas Boswell reports two Nationals fans were killed Friday while riding the team's free shuttle bus from RFK Stadium to Nationals Park, when their "heads struck a freeway overpass." DC Police said that the two victims were "standing on the upper deck of the open-top bus, perhaps on the seats" (WASHINGTON POST, 7/14). The accident occurred around 8:45pm ET Friday night. The shuttle bus was part of a shuttle service the Nationals offer fans parking at the lots at RFK, "since parking around the new stadium is sparse" (MLB.com, 7/13).

    76ers Launch Season-Ticket Campaign
    Immediately Following Brand Signing
    A BRAND NAME PRODUCT: In Philadelphia, Kate Fagan wrote with the announcement of F Elton Brand's signing, the 76ers "immediately began a campaign offering an autographed Brand jersey with the purchase of new season tickets." The 76ers also "implemented an automated-calling campaign with the same pitch." 76ers Senior VP/Business Operations Lara Price said that "within a week the 76ers will have billboards with a similar theme." Last Wednesday, "before the 76ers had committed any funding to advertise the Brand addition," Price said that "525 season tickets had been purchased" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/12).

    TICKET NOTES: In Indianapolis, Phillip Wilson reports while ticket prices for a Colts game are "skyrocketing with the arrival of Lucas Oil Stadium," the Pacers are "bucking the national trend by not raising prices for a second consecutive season." Pacers co-Owner Herb Simon said of the team's 36-46 record last season, "As an owner, when they come to you with ticket prices, the way we played last year, I'm not sure we can raise ticket prices." Pacers' tickets come in 16 prices, from $10 in the rafters to $601 courtside (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 7/14)....Titans officials said that the eight regular season home games for the upcoming '08 season "sold out in 32 minutes." LP Field's "sellout streak is now increased to 103 games" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 7/13).

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