SBD/Issue 96/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Fire Sued For Only Playing Two Matches
During Planned Three-Match Mexican Tour
In Chicago, Luis Arroyave reported Mexico-based soccer promoter Administradora de Proyectos Neomed (APN), which promoted the MLS Fire's preseason tour of Mexico in '08, "is suing the MLS club for breach of contract." APN President Gustavo Parente, who filed the lawsuit last week, "claims the Fire broke its agreement when it failed to play the third match of a three-game tour." The company in the lawsuit claims that the Fire "told APN it was canceling the rescheduled match so the Fire could concentrate on the MLS season," and that APN "had already paid for airline tickets and hotel reservations in advance." The lawsuit states APN "has been damaged in an amount in excess of $500,000, to be determined at trial" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/3). Meanwhile, Arroyave today notes EPL club Fulham FC, the former club of Fire F Brian McBride, "attempted to acquire [McBride] before last Monday's transfer deadline." But Fire Technical Dir Frank Klopas said that the offer "was turned down because it didn't make sense for the Fire" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/5).

DEEP FREEZE: The Wild yesterday announced that the team will not raise season-ticket prices for the '09-10 season or the '09 Stanley Cup playoffs. Current Wild season-ticket prices range from $18-86 per game. The team has 16,500 season-ticket holders and more than 7,500 deposit holders on a waiting list. The Wild have the longest current sellout streak in the NHL at 350, including preseason and playoff games (Wild). In Minneapolis, John Shipley notes if the team makes the playoffs, tickets will range from $32-100 "for a first-round series, rising to between $65 and $183 if the Wild make the Stanley Cup Finals" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 2/5).

COUNTRY TWANG:'s Dirk Hoag noted the Predators after the conclusion of the Super Bowl broadcast locally aired a new ad featuring musician Taylor Swift. The promo is "another example of how the new ownership group is bringing fresh energy to their advertising campaign, and doing a fine job getting their message out to the broader audience" (, 2/2).

SUCH A MAVERICK: In Dallas, David Moore reported the NBA office told Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban that it "will not allow him to make a donation to charity in" Nuggets G J.R. Smith's name. Cuban last month was fined $25,000 "for what the league termed 'improper interaction' with" Smith, and "whenever Cuban is fined by the league, he consistently matches that amount and donates to charity." But making a donation in Smith's name "was a dig at the league, one the league chose not to play along with" (, 2/2).

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