SBD/Issue 88/FranchisesPrint All
Rams Owners Reportedly Have
Three Offers To Buy The Team
Karen Davidson Has Reportedly Talked
To NBA About Pistons Sale Process
TIME TO COME TOGETHER? In Detroit, Bob Wojnowski writes the Pistons and Red Wings "need to finance and share a new arena in downtown Detroit." Having separate arenas "isn't nearly as economically feasible as it once was." Sharing a venue "seems simple, but is fraught with complications." If Bill Davidson "were still alive, this would not even be discussed." But Red Wings Owner Mike Ilitch is 80 years old and "loves big moves, and this could be a chance to seal an already-amazing legacy." But for the move to happen, "clustering all four Detroit pro teams downtown, Ilitch would have to take the aggressive lead" (DETROIT NEWS, 1/20).
Predators' Ownership May Have To
Strengthen $50M Guarantee With City
Panthers Officials Expected To Make A
Decision On Concessions In Next Few Weeks
Lincecum's Contract Could Put
Giants' Payroll Over $100M Mark
SEEING RED? D'Backs officials said that the team's one-year, $4.5M deal with 1B Adam LaRoche moves the club's payroll close to $79M, "a figure that makes a finish in the red a realistic possibility." In Phoenix, Nick Piecoro notes D'Backs Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick "throughout the off-season" said that the team "would be willing to stretch its payroll close to $80[M] in the right situation." Kendrick said that if the team "isn't in contention this season," the franchise "likely will lose money." Kendrick: "If they don't play well, we absolutely will have a loss. But we're willing to take that risk. We're not about making money. We're about winning and trying to avoid significant losses" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/20).
INCREASED SPENDING: In West Palm Beach, Joe Capozzi reports the Marlins yesterday committed to another $8M in salaries, putting them "on track for a payroll of at least" $45M. The team yesterday agreed to one-year deals with 3B Jorge Cantu and P Leo Nunez, which puts the team at $34.7M "in contract commitments in 2010 for just 10 players." If the team does not trade 2B Dan Uggla, who agreed to a one-year, $7.8M deal Monday, the Marlins' payroll "projects to be at least" $45M. However, Capozzi writes the "increased spending isn't a direct result of last week's agreement with the league and union over the Marlins' promise to spend revenue-sharing money on player salaries" (PALM BEACH POST, 1/20).
Mariners Reportedly About To Sign
Hernandez To Five-Year, $78M Deal
IN THE DARK: ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported "part of the unusual nature of the Mets' offseason has been the fact that" Mets GM Omar Minaya "has never been given a budget." As the Mets' front office has been "evaluating possible strategies, the executives haven't been able to cast these choices against the context of how much money is available." They instead are making their recommendations to COO Jeff Wilpon "on a case-by-case basis, without knowing whether" they are "yet bumping up against a financial ceiling." Olney noted Wilpon "has been the lead negotiator for the Mets this offseason, and not Omar Minaya, which has reinforced the belief in some corners of the organization that Minaya is one extended losing streak removed from being fired" (ESPN.com, 1/19).
A source said that "contrary to multiple reports and abundant speculation," the Wizards "have not considered voiding Gilbert Arenas' contract in the wake" of his felony gun plea. The source added that the Wizards have "not had any discussions or communications with Arenas in regards to voiding the deal, and haven't decided what their course of action is in the situation because the legal process must play out" (MIKEJONESSPORTS.com, 1/18).
DIGGING OUT OF DEBT: EPL club West Ham United co-Owner David Sullivan estimated that the team's debt "could be as much as" US$179M as a "result of excessive spending on transfers and wages and borrowing against future income." Sullivan: "We are like a government of national unity in crisis." He "predicts that the next set of accounts will show a loss" of US$65-81M and "has not ruled out selling the naming rights to Upton Park." In London, Gary Jacob noted the new owners have "targeted qualifying for the Champions League within seven years, want to rent the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 London Games and pledged money for transfers this month in an attempt to avoid relegation" (TIMESONLINE.co.uk, 1/19).
DRAWING POWER: The Texans are increasing ticket prices by an average of 6.67% next season, and in Houston, Richard Justice writes they are "raising ticket prices because they can." They have "sold out every game for eight years, and there's no reason to believe a 6.67[%] price increase is going to snap the streak." The Texans have "blown by the Astros in the hearts and minds of fans, and even though they've never been great on the field, people still care deeply" about them (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/20).
SPURRING THEM ON: In San Antonio, William Pack reported the Spurs are "creating a Silver & Black Pack," which will consist of 30 of the team's "zaniest fans as selected by audition Jan. 30 at the AT&T Center." The winners "must be able to attend the Spurs' final regular season games at the arena." Auditions "will include an interview, a Spurs trivia quiz and a showcase to demonstrate how far their support carries them." Participants "must be at least 18 and complete an application form" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 1/19).