SBD/Issue 197/Franchises

NFL Franchise Notes: Buccaneers League's Smallest Spenders

Buccaneers Rank In Bottom Half Of NFL 
Spenders Since Glazers Acquired ManU In '05
In St. Petersburg, John Romano cites a report by NFL.com's Jason La Canfora as indicating that the Buccaneers "spent less in player salaries and bonuses than any team in the NFL in the past five seasons." Buccaneers Owners the Glazers "for one reason or another, ... are not spending money the way they once did," and, "perhaps not coincidentally, the team is not winning as much either." But there is "something larger than figures in a ledger at play here," as the numbers "could say something about a team's financial condition." However, the "problem is we have bits and pieces of evidence, yet we never get explanations from the notoriously secretive Glazer family." Romano notes the Buccaneers were in the "top half of the NFL in player salaries every season from 2000 to '04," and ever since the Glazers bought EPL club Manchester United in '05, the Buccaneers "have been in the bottom half." Romano: "I can understand being conservative. I can understand shopping for value instead of flash. ... What I cannot understand is owning a cash cow of a franchise and still spending about $11[M] less than the average NFL team" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/1).

FILLING THE LION'S DEN: In Detroit, Nicholas Cotsonika reports the Lions have "unveiled new season-ticket packages -- plus an 'All You Can Eat' seat -- as they try to lure fans to Ford Field in an ailing economy after the NFL's first 0-16 season." Season-ticket plans include a half-season plan, a "Roar Zone" plan in which about 1,200 upper-deck seats are "available for the full season at $30 per game," and a plan where fans can "pick three games -- except for Pittsburgh and Green Bay -- and save $18 or more per package." The 5,500 seats in the "All You Can Eat" sections will be "offered with season tickets, group tickets and individual game tickets," and start at $73 for season tickets and $85 for individual game tickets (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/1).

THE SON RISES: In San Jose, Ann Killion wrote 49ers President Jed York during his press tour following the Santa Clara City Council voting to approve the 49ers' stadium financing plan last month grew "into this new role as the public face of ownership." York was "not only articulate, he was honest." Killion: "He didn't exaggerate the team's victory. He didn't cheerlead or embellish. He wasn't overly defensive or slickly smooth. He was restrained, thoughtful and appeared prepared for a long road ahead." York has a "certain savvy in dealing with the media" that his parents, co-Owners John and Denise DeBartolo York, lack. Some of that "comes from another mentor," as 49ers COO Andy Dolich, a "longtime sports executive, appears to have left his fingerprints on his young protégé" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 6/28). 

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