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Cubs' Club Box Outfield Seats Will Increase By
Nearly 19% Next Season For "Platinum" Games
KEEPING SCORE: The CHICAGO TRIBUNE's Sullivan reported the Cubs are "making several changes at Wrigley Field in 2010, including a 'refacing' of the back of the historic center-field scoreboard." Kenney: "We're tearing it all apart and rebuilding it." The front of the scoreboard "will remain the same." The back "has a neon sign that says 'Chicago Cubs,' which will remain the same." There will be "no ads put on the back of the scoreboard for now." Kenney: "That's not to say we're not looking at some marketing opportunities." Sullivan noted the Cubs "recently installed two large wooden boards in the left-field bleachers to give potential sponsors a look at what their ad can look like." The boards also "obstructed the view of the Horseshoe Casino ad" near the ballpark. The boards "were taken down last week, but are likely to be installed for good before the 2010 season" (CHICAGOBREAKINGSPORTS.com, 12/4). Meanwhile, Kenney said the Cubs are “looking at the possibility of installing an intranet at Wrigley for fans” with smartphones, giving them “access to stats and instant replays” (CHICAGOBREAKINGSPORTS.com, 12/5).
DeWitt Calls Suggestions Cardinals
Generate $250M "Way Off Base"
Glazers Trying To Secure Refinancing
Package For Part Of ManU's $1.1B Debt
DOWN BY THE BAY: The Glazers also own the Buccaneers, who are 1-11 this season, and PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio noted the team for months has been "dogged by claims" that it "isn't spending enough money on players." But the "proof will come in the coming offseason." With the salary cap "apparently poised to go away (at least for a year) as of March 2010, the extent of the team's spending on players will go a long way toward proving that the Glazers are serious about improving the quality of the team" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 12/5). In St. Petersburg, Gary Shelton wrote under the header, "What Do Glazers Think Of Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Season? Well, It's Anyone's Guess." The Glazers are the "ownership family where everyone is a silent partner." Shelton: "They are Tampa Bay's Secret Society, the owners who live in the cone of silence, and they could turn a thousand mind-readers into illiterates. Whatever they may be thinking, they are not sharing" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 12/5).
Wild Will Wear Green Jerseys In 15 Games
LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: The Senators are averaging 17,970 fans through 16 home games at Scotiabank Place this season, "down 1,174 from the same period last season." Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk said, "I saw what was coming down the pipeline. We've had a 10[%] drop. All that means is that someone who goes to 20 games a year ... goes to 18." He added, "We're going to be working hard to replenish our season-ticket base (and conduct) a full review of what steps we can do to get back to the sellouts we had a year ago" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 12/7).
SOMETHING BRUIN? The GLOBE & MAIL's Eric Duhatschek predicted the NHL "will scrutinize" the Bruins C Marc Savard's new seven-year, $28.5M contract extension. Savard is "getting fair-market value" for the first four years of the deal, during which he will earn $7M, $7M, $6.5M and $5M. But the contract drops to $1.5M in the fifth season and to $525,000 for each of the final two years, "at which point Savard will be 39 and almost certainly retired." The deal is an "obvious and egregious attempt to keep the salary-cap charge down" (GLOBE & MAIL, 12/5). ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun: "The league feels ... it circumvents the spirit of the CBA." But the CBC's Glenn Healy said the deal "is 100% legal." Healy: "Everybody wins. The team wins, the fans win" ("HNIC," CBC, 12/5).
ALREADY LOOKING AT EUROPE AGAIN: An NHL source indicated that the Bruins are "one of six teams that have been approached by the NHL to start the 2010-11 regular season in Europe" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/5).
In N.Y., Jim Rich reported three Jets fans at the team's November 29 home game against the Panthers were escorted from Giants Stadium by security personnel for "refusing to relinquish their banner," which read, "PSL? Go to Hell!" The Jets and Giants "have maintained there will be no retribution against season-ticket holders who speak out against PSLs," which will be required for some seats at the teams' new Meadowlands stadium. But how else can you "categorize the ejection of fans, who by accounts were not disturbing other fans, simply for displaying a sign that rebels against management?" Giants Stadium security "has a clearly stated policy prohibiting banners or signs from being brought into the stadium" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/6).
ALL EYES ON THE SALE: In Dallas, Evan Grant wrote if there is "any drama" around the MLB Rangers at the Winter Meetings, it will "all be about the sale" of the team. Grant: "Will Tom Hicks accept the Chuck Greenberg/Nolan Ryan offer? Will former agent Dennis Gilbert, pushed aside as a partner by Hicks, rebound with an intriguing offer all on his own? Will Hicks, who seemingly lost any chance at retaining control earlier in the week, announce a partnership with Greenberg and Ryan that would allow him to remain in the ownership group, though as a minority owner?" Grant added, "After months of seeking the highest price and then the most power, Hicks may or may not get the best price from Greenberg/Ryan, and he definitely wouldn't retain significant power. But Hicks might find the option that best saves face for him and puts fans at ease about the future of the club" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/6).
Thorn Says Nets Unsure When Proposed
Sale To Prokhorov Will Go Through
NO PLANS TO PLAY DOWN UNDER: In Boston, Peter Abraham reported the Red Sox Saturday "quickly issued a statement refuting" a report by Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph that the Red Sox will "play a regular-season game at the Sydney Cricket Ground in March." The Red Sox said MLB "controls all matters regarding international play of Major League games," and "contrary to reports ... the Boston Red Sox aren't in negotiations to play, nor plan to play a game in Australia in the 2010 season" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/6).