U.S. Fans Abound For WWC Final LeBron Praised For Role In Apatow's "Trainwreck" MLS Eyeing St. Paul For Expansion Club Angels Bad PR Continues With Dipoto Exit NBA Free Agency Begins With Money Flying Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC NBC Lands New Advertisers For Race Coverage Going Off The Grid Steelers Exploring '23 Super Bowl Bid GT To Benefit Financially From Ireland Game
SBD/Issue 145/FranchisesPrint All
Jordan Currently Has One Of The Largest
Minority Owner Shares In Bobcats
COMMUNITY REAX: At presstime, the Charlotte Observer article has generated 28 comments on the newspaper's Web site. One commenter writes Johnson "won't move the team but if he sold it to the right people it would be gone in a blink." Another commenter said, "Mr. Johnson may or may not move the Bobcats - of course he is going to say he will never move the team. The moment people think the team is going to move, revenues will sink even lower." Yet another commenter writes, "The writing is on the wall relative to Jordan becoming the eventual owner, and that's a good thing. ... MJ has the potential to be a very good owner, and I could see him becoming more beloved for his dedication to the community than his star status IF he spends the time here and lives here." Another wrote the "best move" for the team is to "sell Jordan the majority ownership rights" (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 4/16).
Canadiens Owner Reportedly Into
Second Round Of Bidding For Team
KEEP IT LOCAL: A Toronto Star-Angus Reid online poll indicated that 74% of Quebec residents said that "it's important" Gillett sells the team to someone from the province. From a given list of possible buyers, 35% of respondents said that they would like to see former Canadiens GM Serge Savard acquire the team, while 12% supported Laliberte and 9% chose Dion and Angelil. Another 16% said that it "made no difference who bought the team." Also, while 43% of respondents said that the provincial government "would be justified in lending money to local investors to buy the Canadiens," 39% opposed the idea (TORONTO STAR, 4/16).
Blue Jackets GM Says Playoffs Add Credibility
To Franchise, Help Win Fans' Trust BackBLUE JACKETS AVERAGE ATTENDANCE TRENDSEASONATTENDANCENHL RANK'08-0915,54325th'07-0814,82328th'06-0716,40119th'05-0616,79617th'04-05Season Canceled'03-0417,36915th'02-0317,74411th'01-0218,1368th'00-0117,45712th
SIGN OF THE TIMES: The GLOBE & MAIL's Matthew Sekeres notes the Canucks "did not announce a sell out as per usual" for last night's Blues-Canucks Western Conference quarterfinal game one. The GM Place atmosphere was "excellent, but some sections of the lower bowl may not have been too flattering on television." The weekday game "clearly ... was a difficult sell" in this economic climate, as ticket prices "soared 40[%] on average, and 60[%] in some of the high-end seats, some priced at $382" (GLOBEANDMAIL.com, 4/16).
BREAKING THE HAB-IT? In Montreal, Anne Sutherland noted the Canadiens-Bruins Eastern Conference quarterfinal series starts tonight, but "unlike last year, souvenir shops and other magnets for fans are doing lackadaisical business" in Montreal. At The Habs Zone at Bell Centre Tuesday, there were "few customers" (Montreal GAZETTE, 4/15).
DON'T GIVE UP: In Pittsburgh, Rob Rossi reports NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who last night attended game one of the Flyers-Penguins quarterfinal series, "downplayed speculation of troubled franchises" in the U.S. and "preached patience regarding" the Coyotes. Bettman: "What everybody can learn from the Pittsburgh situation is don't take a snapshot, don't speculate and don't write off franchises, because when things are looking bleak, it doesn't mean that franchises, when you solve their problems, can't be fixed and saved" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 4/16).
Phillies To Have Moment
Of Silence For Kalas
NEXT STEPS: In Philadelphia, Paul Hagen notes the Phillies "haven't announced how they'll revamp their broadcast rotation to cover for Kalas, who did the first three innings on television, the fourth on radio, took two innings off, and then finished the game back on TV." For now, Phillies announcer Tom McCarthy "will do all nine innings as the play-by-play man, with Chris Wheeler working the first three and last three innings as the color commentator and Gary Matthews the middle three." There is "no indication whether that's the permanent plan, although it wouldn't be surprising to see that setup for the remainder of the season" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 4/16). Also in Philadelphia, Frank Fitzpatrick writes the Phillies are a "franchise looking for a face," and they "haven't faced this kind of problem in at least 60 years." If the team stays in-house, McCarthy, who joined the team last season, "seems a logical choice" to replace Kalas. McCarthy is a "little too chatty for some but long on likability," though he "hasn't yet been exposed enough here for fans to have formed solid opinions or connections" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/16).
ENDLESS PRAISE: The DAILY NEWS' Hagen wrote Kalas was a "genuine, largely uncomplicated man who loved baseball and loved people." Hagen: "Sadly, they don't seem to make them that way very often anymore" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 4/15). SI.com's Peter King wrote Kalas was a "classy, personable guy who never thought the game or the story was about him." King: "I thought it was great that he took his last breath doing what he loved to do -- broadcast a baseball game" (SI.com, 4/14).
Writer Says Grizzlies Have
Become Almost Irrelevant
AHEAD OF THE PACE: In Indianapolis, Mike Wells notes the Pacers "were one of two NBA franchises to increase attendance by at least" 10% this season, and Pacers co-Owner Herb Simon said, "We spent money finding out what upset the fans. We had focus groups and everything. We tried to correct what turned the fans off. The style of play the coach has put in is something the fans like. I'd rather have 16,000 people pay a little less than 13,000 paying a lot. It's something we had to give back to our loyal fans. We want them to come as often as they can. We just felt we had to lower prices." Simon added, "I think we've made a lot of progress this year, despite the fact we didn't make the playoffs" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/16).
JOB OPENING: T'Wolves Owner Glen Taylor said that the team's new top basketball exec "will select the next head coach." Taylor: "If I'm going to have a person in charge of basketball operations, I want that person to be comfortable with who is going to coach here." Taylor said of possible candidates for the position, "Basically, we've had a number of candidates, but we probably have four outside candidates, so we'll have six people that will go through the whole process." Taylor said that T'Wolves GM Jim Stack and Assistant GM Fred Hoiberg are the "inside candidates" for the job (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/16).
DISAPPEARING ACT: In California, Marcus Thompson III wrote Warriors Exec VP/Basketball Operations Chris Mullin, "once the face of the franchise for the second time in a generation, has practically disappeared." Mullin is "expected to be gone completely." Team sources indicated that Mullin's days as the franchise's "head basketball honcho are numbered." The situation has "many fans and NBA insiders scratching their heads" (CONTRA COSTA TIMES, 4/13).