SBD/Issue 131/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Thousands Of Tickets Still Available For
Red Sox' Home Opener Against Yankees

In Boston, Thomas Grillo reported "thousands of tickets are still available" on the secondary market for the Red Sox' home opener against the Yankees on April 4, and prices are down 30% from last year's opener against the Rays. FanSnap.com lists 6,360 tickets for the Yankees-Red Sox game "ranging from $114 for an outfield grandstand seat to $1,989 for a front row seat in the State Street Pavilion Club" (BOSTON HERALD, 3/21). Meanwhile, in Boston, Nick Cafardo cited a source as saying that former Red Sox Exec VP/Public Affairs Charles Steinberg "will not be returning" to the team. Steinberg, who was let go by the Dodgers as Exec VP & CMO in September, reportedly is "being considered for a position" in MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's office (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/21).

STRAIGHT JACKET: In Columbus, Tom Reed reported the NHL "will not allow the Blue Jackets to play host to an NHL All-Star Game until the franchise resolves its arena lease issues." An NHL source said that the team, which has bid on the '13 All-Star Game, was told by Commissioner Gary Bettman that it "must first stabilize its financial situation." The Blue Jackets' $5M annual rent for Nationwide Arena and $4M annual losses to run it are the "biggest financial obstacles facing the franchise" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 3/20).

EURO TRIP: In Boston, Steve Conroy reports it "looks like the first of the two stops on the Bruins' European excursion in September will be Belfast, Northern Ireland." The team is "expected to hold several practices and then play an exhibition at the Odyssey Arena." The team then is "expected to go from Belfast to Prague and remain there until the end of the trip" (BOSTON HERALD, 3/22).

HOOPS HYPE: In N.Y., Howard Beck profiled Nets Master of Ceremonies Marco G. Khare, who is "part hype man, part pitch man and the only consistent energy source in a Nets jersey." The Nets hired Khare, 25, "three seasons ago, when the team was in decline but not yet in disarray," and now he "may have the toughest job in the building." Nets VP/Entertainment & Event Marketing Petra Pope: "There are games where he has to push a little harder. We can't give up here. It's our job. We are entertainers." Beck noted a "handful of NBA teams have M.C.'s or D.J.'s, deploying them as carnival barkers and cheerleaders during timeouts" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/20).

NOTES: Trail Blazers President Larry Miller said that the team is "in no rush" to fill the position of VP/Basketball Operations following the firing of Tom Penn. Miller: "That's probably going to be an offseason move." Miller said that his goal is to "have the position filled before the NBA draft in June." Miller added that a "team of leadership personnel will give input and play a role in the hiring decision, including owner Paul Allen and Miller himself, but that [GM Kevin] Pritchard will have the final voice in the room" (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/20)....MLS Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz Saturday said that "approximately 10,100 season tickets have been sold," and that the team is "cutting off season ticket sales at 12,000 for 18,500-seat PPL Park." The Union's first two home games "will be played at Lincoln Financial Field while construction at PPL Park is completed" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/21).

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