SBD/Issue 34/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Glazer Family Reportedly Puts Bucs Up For Sale
After Massive Losses Due To Madoff Investment
WTSP-CBS' Noah Pransky is citing WDAE-AM as reporting that "massive losses due to investments with Bernie Madoff" have forced Buccaneers Owner the Glazer family "to run the team on a minimal budget ... and may lead to the team's sale." The Glazers have owned the Buccaneers since '95 and have been "criticized for cost-cutting measures and the team's winless start" this season. However, WDAE reported that the cost-cutting is "largely a result of the family's more than $400[M] indirect loss to Madoff schemes and all signs point to the Glazers putting the team on the market" (WTSP.com, 10/29).

GREENE TEA: In St. Petersburg, Damian Cristodero reports Miami-based real estate investor Jeff Greene, who was reportedly interested in investing in the Lightning, yesterday in a statement said his due diligence into the team's finances "determined that this investment does not meet our criteria." Greene said the numbers "do not work for us." Sansone Group Principal Tony Sansone Jr. said his group of investors "remain interested" in possibly buying the team, and it is "unclear what effect Greene's decision will have on Sansone, or if the process has been clarified or set back." Greene "was recruited by" Lightning co-Owner Oren Koules, and under Greene's plan, co-Owner Len Barrie reportedly "would have been bought out." Koules "would have been a secondary owner, though with a voice in personnel and organizational decisions." It is "believed under Sansone's plan ... Koules would be bought out" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 10/29).

MEMPHIS BLUES: In Memphis, Geoff Calkins writes the Grizzlies during yesterday's home opener at FedExForum were "supposed to come out, see the nice crowd, and prove to everyone -- and maybe even themselves -- that this could be a different Grizzles team." They were "supposed to try, at the very least," but they "didn't do any of that," losing to the Pistons 96-74. The Grizzlies are a "fragile enterprise," and the home opener was "important." The fans "have been beaten down by years of ineptitude." This "isn't like the Cleveland Cavaliers losing their home opener." Cavaliers fans "will be back," but Grizzlies fans "may or may not be" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/29).

MONEY MATTERS: A Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta report on "how sports teams in the Southeast are doing during the recession" indicated that the Saints are "faring well off the field." The team's $213M in revenue last season "compared favorably with the Southeast's other" five NFL teams -- the Dolphins with $232M, the Buccaneers with $224M, the Titans with $216M, the Jaguars with $204M and the Falcons with $203M. Meanwhile, the report said that NASCAR tracks are being "harder hit" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 10/27).

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