SBD/March 25, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In Chicago, Sean Jensen notes Bears Senior Dir of Ticket Operations George McCaskey "will certainly bring a different personality" to the position of Chair when he replaces his retiring brother Michael in May, but President & CEO Ted Phillips believes that the transition "will be smooth." Phillips: "I don't think the organization is going to miss a beat. He's energized, and it'll be a real positive for the whole club." Michael McCaskey added, "I feel like I'm leaving the Bears in very good hands. George is smart, and he's passionate about the Bears and football." He also said that he is "proud of the team he's turning over to his brother." McCaskey: "We've got a lot of very good people, in the right positions." Jensen notes as his tenure as Chair comes to a close, Michael McCaskey's "popularity is difficult to gauge -- many critical fans aren't shy about voicing their displeasure with some of his decisions -- but the Bears' prosperity under his 27-year watch as president or chairman of the board is clear-cut" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/25).

WAR OF WORDS: The GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts reported the City of Glendale and conservative watchdog organization the Goldwater Institute "continued firing at each other on Thursday" over the proposed sale of the Coyotes. The "rockets came in the form of competing frequently-asked-questions memos from each side plus a list of 12 questions Goldwater's investigative reporter Mark Flatten said Glendale should answer about the proposed sale of the NHL team to Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer." Shoalts noted there "isn't anything new in the material," and there also is "still no sign Glendale is ready to try and sell $116-million in municipal bonds that are to finance Hulsizer's purchase" (GLOBESPORTS.com, 3/24).

FIGHTING FOR THEIR KINGS
: In Sacramento, Ailene Voisin reports two members of the NBA Kings' "original management group -- architect Rann Haight and executive Greg Van Dusen -- are heading the latest efforts for a sports-and-entertainment facility that would keep the franchise in town." Sources said that it was a "'below-the-radar, grass-roots effort' that has gone on for more than a year." It would "involve both the city and county of Sacramento, perhaps extending to several counties within the Kings' season-ticket base" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 3/25).

FANS STAND TOGETHER: In London, Jack Pitt-Brooke reports fan group the Manchester United Supporters Trust is "collecting a 'fighting fund' for the possible legal defence of United supporter Thomas McKenna," who has been sued by the club. McKenna "published details online of United's corporate clients and the club" is seeking damages through the U.K. High Court. MUST CEO Duncan Drasdo Thursday said, "United fans have always stood together when one of their number is attacked, and this situation should be no different -- United we stand" (London INDEPENDENT, 3/25).
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