SBD/January 19, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Bowlen apologizes to Broncos fans in letter that is part of ticket-renewal packages
Pat Bowlen in a letter to Broncos season-ticket holders said that "last season was his most difficult in his more than a quarter century as owner of the Denver Broncos and he pledges to restore integrity and a winning culture to a franchise rocked by problems on and off the field." Bowlen, in a letter sent as part of the season-ticket renewal package, said, "You deserve more from this franchise than what we saw in 2010, and you have my word that I will restore the culture of winning, trust and integrity within the Broncos." He added, "I pledge to you that we will exceed your expectations going forward and put the right people in place to lead this team, beginning with the addition of John Elway" (AP, 1/18).

: NBA Kings co-Owner Joe Maloof denied a report last week that Ducks Owner Henry Samueli "offered the Maloofs a $100 million loan to move the Kings to Anaheim's Honda Center." Maloof said, "No, no, no." When pressed for more comment, Maloof said that he "can no longer comment on arena issues as instructed by the NBA" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/19).

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME: In Atlanta, Henry Unger noted WNBA Dream Managing Partner Kathy Betty has "plugged a gaping hole in her business plan" by adding a combined $1M investment from IntercontinentalExchange VP/Investor Relations & Corporate Communications Kelly Loeffler, and Mary Brock, a philanthropist and wife of Coca-Cola Enterprises Chair & CEO John Brock. Betty, Loeffler and Brock yesterday said that they "did not invest their money to lose it over the long haul," and they "want to turn a profit." The Dream need to average "about 8,500 paying fans per game" to break even; the team averaged about 6,500 in '10. Still, the owners "think they could see black ink" in '12 (, 1/18).

A CARDINAL SIN? MLB Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols said he will end contract negotiations with the team at the start of Spring Training, and ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, “If you're a great baseball city like St. Louis and you've got to pony up and give him a contract a little bit better than A-Rod, you give him $200 million for seven years." But ESPN's Michael Wilbon asked, "Can St. Louis afford that? It's not New York, it's not Los Angeles. It doesn't matter how great he is; do they have the money in a small market?" ("PTI," ESPN, 1/18).
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