Manchester United Lands Richest Kit Deal Ever Lions Owner William Clay Ford Passes Away Sights & Sounds From SXSW FiveThirtyEight Website To Launch March 17 ESPN To Air Series On U.S.' Prep For World Cup Cowboys Mount Huge AT&T Letters On Stadium Concussion-In-Sports Doc Makes U.S. Debut Stars Attend UNC-Duke Game Briefs Ganassi Salutes Target For 25-Year Relationship
SBD/Issue 21/FranchisesPrint All
VooDoo Decision To Cease Operations Surprising
As Franchise Considered One Of AFL's Strongest
MORE TO FOLLOW? WGNO-ABC’s Ed Daniels cited a source as saying that "other teams may soon fold.” Daniels noted the VooDoo were "one of the more successful franchises in the AFL, but the league itself is having financial troubles.” Daniels: "Arena Football did very well here over the first couple of years, and I think it did okay last year, but there were a few more empty seats, and that’s been a problem around the league" (ABC26.com, 10/13).
Newcastle Owner Reportedly
In Talks With Seven Interested Buyers
HAM IT UP: In Manchester, Matt Scott reports EPL club West Ham United yesterday was the "subject of a takeover approach by Dubai's sovereign-wealth fund Zabeel Investments," the company controlled by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum that last Friday declared its interest in English Coca-Cola Championship League club Charlton Athletic "in the form of an 'indicative bid.'" But the approach to West Ham was "far more discreetly conducted" than the Charlton bid. West Ham sources confirmed that "contact was made but insist there are 'no talks' after" Owner Björgólfur Guðmundsson "rejected the offer." But Scott notes it is "believed that talks are continuing with Guðmundsson on a personal level" (Manchester GUARDIAN, 10/14).
HANGING AROUND: EPL club Arsenal co-Owner Alisher Usmanov, who owns the largest stake in the club at 24.9%, last night said that he has "no intention of selling his stake in Arsenal despite the global economic crisis." Usmanov said that it "was 'inconceivable' that he would sell" his stake, and he "declared he wanted to increase his stake to 25% -- an 'objective' that he said he announced last year" (Manchester GUARDIAN, 10/14).
Royals Hoping Different Price Options Will Lure
Fans In Spite Of Ticket Price Hike
NFL's Newer Facilities Cutting Out
"Boorish" Fans, Fewer Incidents Reported
TV OR NOT TV? In Dallas, Diego Aparicio reports MLS FC Dallas, for "the first time since the team moved into Pizza Hut Park in 2005," has seen average home attendance decline during the '08 season to 13,023 from 15,145 in '07, which was "the club's all-time best in the 20,500-seat facility." FC Dallas ranks 13th in MLS in average attendance, and President & GM Michael Hitchcock said that "the sagging economy, rising gas prices and competition with other events were general factors." But Hitchcock "cited television coverage as a major reason for declining ticket sales." Hitchcock: "We are very grateful to receive the exposure through the national television partners. But if you look for us right now at our stage and development as a team in this marketplace, Saturday night is the best night for us to sell the market. It's better than Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings." Aparicio notes every FC Dallas game was broadcast on TV "for the first time this year" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/14).
INSIDE JOB: Redskins Exec VP/Football Operations Vinny Cerrato announced on his radio show yesterday morning that the team cut P Durant Brooks. Washington Post reporter Liz Clarke said the announcement put Redskins coach Jim Zorn "in a horrible position for the main personnel guy, Vinny, to make news on his radio show." Clarke: "My understanding of the division of labor in any football team is the GM … gets the players and once the season starts it’s the coach who decides who’s cut or not. It’s kind of simple, and for the GM to go on the radio and basically say, ‘We’ve cut this guy,’ that does a disservice to Jim Zorn" ("Washington Post Live," CSN, 10/13).
A SIMPLE THANK YOU: In Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt reported Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio "sent out an open letter to thank all the fans for their support this year and to reflect" on the season. The letter appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "in what amounted to a two-page ad," and is also posted on the Brewers Web site (JSONLINE.com, 10/13).