SBD/Issue 184/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Geffen Reportedly Interested
In Acquiring Clippers

In N.Y., Peter Vecsey cites a source as indicating that DreamWorks SKG co-Founder David Geffen is "hot to buy 51 percent of the Clippers" and that he had dinner in L.A. with Clippers Owner Donald Sterling on Friday "to discuss just that." Geffen "has been deep in the hunt for quite some time," and the source said that Geffen told Sterling Friday "he can deliver LeBron as long as he's calling the shots." But Vecsey writes he "can't imagine" Sterling "selling controlling interest of anything he owns, much less turn over the decision-making of his showcase property." The "opinion of one and all" is Sterling will "take the Clippers to the grave with him" (N.Y. POST, 6/8).

ANTICIPATING A REVIVAL: MSG Sports President Scott O'Neil last week said that the Knicks "have sold 3,000 new full-season tickets since around the All-Star break, which he called 'a huge milestone.'" O'Neil added that "more than 90 percent of 2009-10 season subscribers renewed, and that the total number" of season-ticket holders "is about 13,000." O'Neil, referring to the beginning of free agency, said, "I think the hope and excitement about what's coming, the anticipation of July 1, is pretty spectacular to be a part of. ... If I were a Knicks fan and had any interest in buying tickets, now would be the time, for sure" (NEWSDAY, 6/8).

CUTTING BACK: Hurricanes Owner Peter Karmanos last week said the team "will not be over" $50M in payroll during the '10-11 season. Hurricanes President & GM Jim Rutherford added the team has "definitely decided not to be active in the free-agent market" this offseason. In Raleigh, Chip Alexander writes Karmanos' "talk of having a significantly reduced payroll next season -- about $44 million -- obviously was made with an eye toward attracting someone to buy into the team" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 6/8).

NOT A RELAXING SUMMER: In Baltimore, Jamison Hensley reports the Ravens were "forced to cancel next week's offseason camp -- their last one before training camp -- after violating the collective bargaining agreement's offseason workout rules." The penalty came after the NFLPA "lodged a complaint against the Ravens." A joint NFL and NFLPA statement yesterday indicated that it was "determined that the Ravens had broken the rules concerning the intensity and tempo of drills conducted at their offseason camps as well as the length of time spent by players at the team's facility" (Baltimore SUN, 6/8).

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