SBD/Issue 175/Franchises

Franchise Notes

The MLB Rangers today announced a plan to facilitate completion of the sale of the team to the group headed by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan. The sale of the club and its lease of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, together with the separate sale of the land around the ballpark, have a total sale value of around $575M. The Rangers have requested that a hearing be held in 45 days to confirm the proposed sale and plan of reorganization. The sale is expected to be completed by mid-summer, subject to court approval, which will allow the franchise to exit the Chapter 11 process. The sale should not impact the Rangers' baseball operations (Rangers).

FREE AS A BIRD: In Baltimore, Peter Schmuck wrote it was fair "to scratch your head" when Orioles Owner Peter Angelos last week said that the success of the Nationals "is a good thing for his struggling team." Angelos said, "What's good for the Nationals is good for MASN. That makes me happy, and that makes (Nationals principal owner Ted Lerner) happy. They are partners in the MASN network. The better they do, the more interest it generates." Schmuck noted there is "nothing wrong with that statement from a business standpoint," but the problem is "more one of appearances." Orioles fans have "always been led to view MASN as a revenue-generator for the O's, but Angelos' comment appears to be an admission that he thinks it's the other way around" (Baltimore SUN, 5/23).

Some Believe Boston Sports Culture Is Shifting
Toward Celtics, Away From Red Sox
CELTIC PRIDE: In Boston, Eric Moskowitz in a front-page piece notes after a "decade defined by the Red Sox," some believe that the sports culture in Boston is "shifting, if just a bit," in favor of the Celtics. Red Sox hats "still abound around town," but TV ratings are down 30% from '09 and "empty seats dot the stands" at Fenway Park. At the same time, "Celtics gear is front and center again" and TD Garden "positively crackles with electricity." Celtics Managing Partner Stephen Pagliuca: "People are just really excited everywhere I go, and the Garden has never been more loud than it is now" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/23).

TIME TO BE REALISTIC: In New Jersey, Dave D'Alessandro wrote, "We think everyone might be missing something that might be relevant about Mikhail Prokhorov: This guy knows less about the NBA than Bruce Ratner did when he showed up, and you know how that turned out." The incoming Nets owner "is as ignorant as anyone we’ve ever encountered that had some connection -- big or small -- to the NBA." When it comes to the league, Prokhorov has "about as much knowledge as one can fit in an average thimble." D'Alessandro: "And nobody else seems to give a damn about this, which we find a bit strange" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 5/22).

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