SBD/Issue 202/Franchises

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  • Warriors Owner Cohan Has Talks With Two Potential Buyers

    Ellison Reportedly Has Talked With Warriors
    Owner Chris Cohan About Buying Team
    Warriors Owner Chris Cohan "recently held separate buy-out talks" with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and business execs Michael Marks, Jim Davidson, John Thompson and Fred Harman, who collectively bought a 20% minority interest in the franchise five years ago, according to sources cited by Tim Kawakami of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. It is "unclear if there were specific numbers offered back and forth in either discussion, and it's unclear if there could and will be other suitors." Cohan's "ultimate price tag is not known." One source suggested that Cohan came "very close to selling out to Ellison, then pulled back at the last moment." Oracle owns the naming rights to the Warriors' arena, but Ellison "has not been spotted in attendance in recent years" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 7/9). In California, Marcus Thompson II notes Cohan reportedly has "money problems, including a tax evasion claim against him by the IRS," and a source said that potential suitors have "tried to take advantage of Cohan's perceived vulnerability and get the Warriors at a bargain." However, a source said that Cohan "won't be lowballed." Thompson notes Forbes in its latest valuation of NBA franchises valued the Warriors at $335M, and Cohan purchased the franchise in '95 for $119M. A source: "If he gets the right offer, I think he would sell the team right now. But he's not giving it away for pennies" (CONTRA COSTA TIMES, 7/9).

    STEP FORWARD? In California, Cam Inman writes under the header, "Hooray, Warriors For Sale." News that the team is "indeed for sale should tickle the loyal but frustrated legion of fans who've endured far too many playoff-less seasons under Chris Cohan's ownership." And while "several obstacles likely are ahead until a buyer agrees to Cohan's asking price," this moment "calls for the most optimistic outlook toward a better future" (CONTRA COSTA TIMES, 7/9). In Oakland, Monte Poole writes taking over the franchise from Cohan is "like being handed a map with directions to the good life," as Oracle Arena "should be good for another 20 years." The team also has a "rabid fan base with a history of tolerating defeat but clearly eager to embrace even modest success." The notion of a new owner taking over the team "sends spasms of delight through a devoted and passionate fan base" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 7/9).

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  • Nationals Seek To Attract Female Fans With Baseball 101 Event

     
    The Nationals before their July 17 game against the Cubs will host Baseball 101 for Women at Nationals Park as part of a “special drive to attract females,” according to Dick Heller of the WASHINGTON TIMES. The event will begin at 9:30am ET with a tour of the Nationals’ clubhouse, followed by a skills clinic on the field. The evening portion of the program includes a Q&A session with club officials and broadcasters, and the "day ends with a ticket in the left-field seats." The Nationals will charge “$85 for the entire day and $45 for just the evening part.” Heller: “This idea ranks right down there with the deals that brought Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes here. ... I’m all in favor of baseball attracting new fans of either gender, but I’m not sure this scheme will work for the worst team in the major leagues.” Many females “already enjoy good baseball,” so “why go after girls and women who previously didn’t give a rodent’s rump, as suggested by the 101 tag?” (WASHINGTON TIMES, 7/9).

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  • Franchise Notes

    Coyotes Reportedly Have Another Potential
    Bidder Who Wants To Keep Team In Arizona
    The GLOBE & MAIL's Paul Waldie reports the NHL disclosed in a court filing that the league “has been approached by another potential bidder” for the Coyotes “who wants to keep the club in Arizona.” The filing stated the league “does not know whether the prospective purchaser will submit a definitive bid by July 24.” Potential offers were due on June 26, with the only bid coming from White Sox and Bulls Chair Jerry Reinsdorf. The NHL did not explain why the new bidder did not meet that deadline (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/9).

    BEAR MARKET: In St. Petersburg, Damian Cristodero reported Lightning co-Owner Len Barrie "may be close to an agreement to sell" his Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria, B.C., for about $350M, which could "have an effect on how the Lightning's ownership situation plays out." NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman last month told Barrie and Lightning co-Owner Oren Koules to "settle their differences," and Cristodero noted Barrie's sale of the resort may give him "some liquidity as the process goes forward" (TAMPABAY.com, 7/8).

    SPANISH FLY: ESPN's Chris Broussard noted T'Wolves draft pick Ricky Rubio will likely "stay over in Europe for a year or two and then join the Timberwolves." Broussard: "I think he would push it more and come to the United States if he was in a situation that he was very excited about, like playing for the Knicks. But he's not that excited about playing for the Timberwolves, it's just as simple as that" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 7/8).

    SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY: The Jaguars for the '09 season are offering local businesses free advertising as long as they offer discounts on their products to Jaguars season-ticket holders (Jaguars). ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky noted the merchants' offers will be "featured on jaguars.com along with company logos and some offers will be displayed on the video boards" at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for Jaguars home games (ESPN.com, 7/7).

    NO CAMPAIGN PROMISES: MLB Network’s Mitch Williams discussed the campaigns teams have created to get their players voted into the final spots on the All-Star Game rosters. Williams: "I don’t think you put a player in a position to lobby for All-Star votes. ... In Philadelphia, Shane (Victorino) was going on air talking about why they should vote for him. I know he doesn’t want to do that." Williams: "This is where it’s getting out of hand" (“MLB Tonight: Roundtripper,” MLB Network, 7/8).

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