SBD/Issue 219/Franchises

Franchise Notes

NFL Commissioner To Arrange Meeting Of
Rooneys To Help Mediate Ownership Issues
In Pittsburgh, Ed Bouchette reported NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "will arrange a meeting among the five Rooney brothers within the next few weeks to help mediate the possible ownership change in the Steelers." Goodell said that he called the meeting after former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue -- "who has been working as a consultant on the matter -- briefed him on the state of ownership talks" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/3). Also in Pittsburgh, Ron Cook wrote, "It's still nice to think the best solution to the Steelers' ownership dilemma is for [Steelers Chair] Dan Rooney to put together enough investors to buy out his four brothers." However, owners of pro sports teams are "becoming a billionaires' club, not a millionaires' club," meaning single-family owners such as the Rooneys "are becoming largely extinct." The Rooneys "figure to have a more difficult time competing in a small, declining market in the years ahead." Thus, Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Capital Management Chair Stanley Druckenmiller's "enormous wealth" is "at least one good reason to think a Druckenmiller ownership could be a positive" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/3).

MOVING ON UP: In Toronto, Morgan Campbell reported MLS Toronto FC for the July 24 MLS All-Star Game at BMO Field "installed two rows of field-level chairs," and some season ticket holders are upset that the team "never gave season ticket holders the chance to upgrade" their seats. Season-ticket holder Frank Garzelli said that the team "told him last week the seats were temporary," but added that a Toronto FC official "told him on Thursday that seats are there to stay and that the team would consider allowing Garzelli to purchase them as season tickets next year at a higher price." While Garzelli "thinks the move is a blatant cash grab," club officials said that the team is "just scrambling to supply a demand that keeps surging" (TORONTO STAR, 8/2).

INVESTIGATION CONTINUES: An MLB source said that Red Sox Dominican Scouting Supervisor Pablo Lantigua "was fired last month for receiving a kickback of an unspecified amount on a player he recommended." Lantigua's "name came up as a result" of MLB's investigation into the skimming of signing bonuses from Dominican players (BOSTON HERALD, 8/3).

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