SBD/Issue 222/Franchises

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  • Bears Fans Must Clear Lots During Game Under New Conduct Policy

    Bears Fans Must Have Ticket To Be Able To
    Tailgate Outside Of Soldier Field This Season
    Bears fans tailgating outside Soldier Field this season without a ticket to the game "will have to leave the parking lots surrounding the stadium at kickoff as part of a new effort to tackle unruly behavior," according to Jason Meisner of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. SMG Senior Manager Luca Serra, whose company manages Soldier Field, said that "those without tickets will still be able to party in the parking lots for up to four hours before game time -- and return once the final whistle blows" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/7). Serra said that "resources and security personnel need to be stationed inside the stadium during the game, not relegated to walking parking lots to watch over unruly fans." Serra: "We just don't want people roaming the parking lots if they do not have tickets." Bears Senior Dir of Corporate Communications Scott Hagel said that under the new "Help Stop UnBEARable Behavior" campaign, ticket holders "can dial a phone number or send a text message to a newly created event services team to report abusive or foul language" (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 8/7).

    STEEL CURTAIN: Steelers Chair Dan Rooney said that the team will take the new NFL Fan Code of Conduct "seriously, and there will be consequences for those who run afoul of its guidelines." Rooney: "We're going to throw them out." Steelers President Art Rooney II said that the policy "has necessitated 'a few changes' in the Steelers' game-day operation at Heinz Field, but 'nothing dramatic.'" In Pittsburgh, Mike Prisuta notes the Steelers "have had a fan hot line in place for several seasons and this year will implement a fan text-messaging system that will enable fans to report disturbances or unruly behavior and, in effect, police themselves" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 8/7). Also in Pittsburgh, Gene Collier writes while he is "generally a fan" of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, these "noble efforts are likely too late, particularly in Pittsburgh" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/7).

    TITANS: Titans Senior Exec VP & General Counsel Steve Underwood said that fans "will notice some changes at LP Field," as there "will be new signage reminding fans of expected conduct." Rules about the "sale and possession of alcoholic beverages will be strictly enforced." Underwood: "We are also going to have stepped-up patrols from our security staff." In Nashville, Joe Biddle writes, "Although some might argue Goodell is trying to turn the NFL into the Goody Two Shoes League, all he is asking of fans is to show a little self-control. Is it too much to ask some wild-eyed drunk not to drown the fan in front of him with a beer?" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 8/7).

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  • Jaguars' Non-Premium Season-Ticket Sales Fail To Match '06 Pace

    Jaguars Lagging Behind '06 Pace
    In Sale Of Non-Premium Tickets
    The Jaguars are "about six weeks behind their non-premium season-ticket selling pace of two years ago, the last time they were coming off a playoff season," according to Vito Stellino of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. The Jaguars Tuesday announced that they "still have 1,100 non-premium season tickets left and will cut off sales Saturday," whereas the team in '06 "sold out all their non-premium season tickets by June 20." The Jaguars will "put single-game tickets on sale for their season-ticket holders on Monday, and single-game tickets will go on sale to the general public the week of Aug. 18" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 8/6).

    STARS: The DALLAS BUSINESS JOURNAL's Katherine Cromer Brock reports the Stars "may be on pace to best the organization's record of new season ticket sales." The Stars are seeing a 92% season-ticket renewal rate, and the team has sold "more than 1,000 new season seats for the upcoming season, and are on pace to best the all-time record of 1,600 new season seats, set in the summer of 2005." Stars President Jeff Cogen when he assumed the position in November "announced a 37[%] reduction in the cost of 4,000 upper-level seat season tickets" for the '08-09 season. Cogen: "We reduced the price to try and create new fans, and obviously it ensured renewals." Cogen said that he "expects season ticket sales to be a thousand higher than last year's 12,500 mark" (DALLAS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/1 issue).

    NOTES: Pacers co-Owner Herb Simon said that season-ticket sales for the team are "worse than they were at this point last year." The Pacers last season averaged 12,221 fans per game, worst in the NBA (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/6)....The AFL Philadelphia Soul next season "will roll out a $59 season ticket plan" in honor of the team's 59-56 win over the San Jose SabreCats in Arena Bowl XXII (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 8/7).

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  • NBA Franchise Notes: 76ers To Play One Final Game At Spectrum

    76ers Will Host One Final Regular-Season Game
    At Spectrum Before Arena Is Demolished
    The 76ers next year will play their final game at the Wachovia Spectrum, a regular-season contest against the Bulls on March 13. The game will be part of the franchise's 60th anniversary celebration. The Spectrum after the '08-09 NBA and NHL seasons will be demolished to make room for Philly Live, a proposed hotel, retail and entertainment complex. Comcast-Spectacor Chair Ed Snider said in a statement, "In this, the last year of the Spectrum, we're thrilled to bring the Sixers back home to play one more time in the Spectrum. This night is designed for our fans to relive the great Sixers memories there and for those fans who were never able to see them play at the Spectrum" (THE DAILY).

    DELAY OF GAME: In Seattle, Greg Johns reports Seattle city attorneys and Oklahoma City NBA franchise Owner Clay Bennett's Professional Basketball Club (PBC) yesterday agreed to "extend the deadline for completing the settlement agreement that allowed the Sonics to end their KeyArena lease and move to Oklahoma City." The PBC and the city "initially set an Aug. 1 date to wrap up their July 3 settlement, but now have asked [U.S. District] Judge Marsha Pechman to extend that to Aug. 18." Pechman's "original Order of Dismissal listed Aug. 6 as the deadline to reopen the case." That date "now would be Aug. 25." The "additional time is needed in part because of the possibility of a voters' referendum on the City Council's approval of the settlement" (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 8/7).

    DISAPPEARING ACT: In Oklahoma City, Mike Baldwin reports when the NBA released its schedule yesterday, the NBA Web site "linked to a page that listed the 'Oklahoma City Thunder schedule' and clicking on any of the Oklahoma City's 82 games took you to the url --" But by yesterday afternoon, "the word Thunder was nowhere to be found on the Oklahoma City schedule page and all of the links pointed to" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 8/7).

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