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Published November 23, 2009
In Portland, Mike Rogoway examined how Paul Allen's cancer diagnosis will affect his sports holdings. Trail Blazers officials predict that whenever Vulcan Sports & Entertainment "changes hands, the Blazers will, too." Blazers and Vulcan officials maintain that the team is the company's "jewel and a cornerstone" of Allen's empire, and "will remain that way indefinitely." Allen may "very well live for many, many years, but all wealthy people eventually leave their heirs a large estate tax." So with the "value of pro sports franchises soaring, Vulcan could have to pay huge taxes just to hold on to the Blazers" and the Seahawks (Portland OREGONIAN, 11/22).
GONE WITH THE WIND: In Chicago, Paul Sullivan reports the Cubs last week "fired the opening salvo in a dispute against a local casino, erecting two signboards in the back of the left-field bleachers, which would obscure a prominent casino ad in most television shots during game telecasts." The billboards currently feature no ads, but are "expected to be ready for the 2010 season." A "likely sponsor is Bud Light, which bought naming rights to the bleachers during the reconstruction project" before the '06 season. Sullivan notes there was nothing else the Cubs could do to prevent the Horseshoe Casino ad from "dominating the left-center-field vista of Wrigley Field" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/23).
NEW FISH IN THE LAKE? In Cleveland, Tony Grossi cited NFL sources as saying that Dolphins Exec VP/Football Operations Bill Parcells may be "agreeable to leaving the Dolphins midway through his four-year contract to take on his next rebuilding project" with the Browns. Parcells' contract allows him to "leave the Dolphins at any point and still receive the remaining money" he is owed, and his new team "would not be required to compensate the Dolphins with money or draft picks." The sources noted that Parcells is "always looking for a new challenge," and feels that the "organization he has set up in Miami will carry on fine without him" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 11/22).