SBD/February 24, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In N.Y., Sandomir & Kovaleski report Mets owners "face the possibility of an amended lawsuit by March 18 from the trustee for the victims" of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Bankruptcy experts said that if the trustee, Irving Picard, "amends the lawsuit that he filed on Dec. 7, he could add new charges, pare the details to produce a tighter legal action, or simply clean up typos and fix punctuation." It is unclear "exactly what Picard would do if he files an amended complaint" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/24). On Long Island, Anthony Destefano reports with mediation underway between Picard and Mets Owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz, lawyers for both "have put off a scheduled courtroom confrontation for two weeks." The Wilpons said that they "needed Picard's material to defend themselves against charges they illegally took profits from Madoff's Ponzi scheme" (NEWSDAY, 2/24).

PIRATES' BOUNTY: Pirates President Frank Coonelly said that while the organization cannot afford a $70-80M payroll this season, team management "will be able to support that payroll very soon if our fans believe that we now have a group of players in Pittsburgh and on its way here in the near future that is competitive." Coonelly: "We need to take a meaningful step forward in terms of attendance to reach that payroll number while continuing to invest heavily in our future but I am convinced that the attendance will move quickly once we convince our fans that we are on the right track." Coonelly also noted that ownership is approached "a fair amount" from investors wanting to acquire a minority stake in the Pirates, but he added, "Our current partners are committed to seeing this team return to the glory that we once enjoyed" (PIRATESPROSPECTS.com, 2/21).

SIX PACK: The Predators have teamed with Pepsi Beverages Co. to put D Shea Weber on Mountain Dew and Orange Crush cans in Middle Tennessee. Weber wears No. 6 for the Predators, and cans bearing his likeness will be redeemable for $6 off of tickets for any Predators game at Bridgestone Arena through April 8. One grand prize can offers a trip for two to Denver's Pepsi Center to see the March 31 Predators-Avalanche game (Predators).

WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN: Saints players and team officials "dropped in on several New Orleans-area spots" on Tuesday to "perform 'random acts of kindness' -- a tradition the team started last year." The Saints "handed out $15 gas cards at a Chevron station, delivered supplies to the Crescent House shelter for battered women and children, bought meals for everyone at a McDonald's, handed out $25 gift cards that were purchased by Verizon at a Walmart, then finished with a meet and greet at a local Verizon store" (NOLA.com, 2/22).
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