SBD/Issue 161/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones asked is "anyone else tired of other markets and national shows wagging their fingers" at the Rays, "while forgetting other teams in big markets haven't always been the hot ticket in those towns?" The Rays are averaging 23,301 fans this season after drawing 23,147 per game in '09 and 22,259 in '08, when the team made the World Series. However, Jones wrote, "Sadly, when you have the smallest crowd in the majors two nights in a row while having the game's best record, maybe you deserve ridicule from other cities" (TAMPABAY.com, 5/3).

Writer Says Panthers' Trade Of Harris
Undoubtedly Motivated By Finances

FINANCIAL PLANNING: NATIONAL FOOTBALL POST's Brad Biggs wrote there is "no denying that the trade" the NFL Panthers made last week to send S Chris Harris to the Bears was "motivated by finances." Panthers coach John Fox said, "We've got a budget and that had something to do with it." The team owed Harris more than $2M in "base pay this year and he was due $7.7[M] over the next three years, more than Carolina wanted to pay with the team shedding big salaries this offseason." Biggs: "The appearance, at least, is the Panthers are going on the cheap before a possible labor showdown" (NATIONALFOOTBALLPOST.com, 5/3).

HOST WITH THE MOST? NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman prior to last night's Canucks-Blackhawks Western Conference Semifinals Game Two said that Blackhawks President John McDonough "has been pushing to play host to the NHL All-Star Game and entry draft and has been in frequent contact." Bettman said, "The Blackhawks are interested in as many league events as they can get. Obviously this is a great city. We had a wonderful Winter Classic here and we're mindful of that. From our standpoint it's more of a question of having a limited number of assets to allocate over 30 clubs and we're trying to be fair and judicious in doing that" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/4).

FOLLOWING THE RULES: Stars C Mike Modano said that the NHL "has told him he cannot be both a player and an owner." Modano is part of a group hoping to buy the Stars and he said that when his group, which includes former Stars President Jim Lites, "made inquiries, the league made it clear that a person with an ownership stake in the team may not also play." Mario Lemieux from '00-06 was both a player and owner of the Penguins, but Modano said that the rules "have been changed" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/4).

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