SBD/March 9, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Levenson says talks about a sale of Thrashers do not involve the Hawks
Atlanta Spirit co-Owner Bruce Levenson yesterday said that discussions with three groups interested in purchasing the Thrashers "are ongoing." Levenson: "There are three that have gotten to the point where we’re comfortable enough to provide them information. We’ve been in the process of providing them the information that they have requested. We are having open dialogue." SPORTING NEWS' Craig Custance noted Atlanta Spirit "continues to work" with The Raine Group Founder & Partner Joseph Ravitch "to find a new owner for the team." Levenson indicated that the "three potential buyers are currently only interested in buying the Thrashers and not the NBA’s Hawks -- and all would keep the NHL team in Atlanta" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 3/8).

ON THE UP AND UP: In DC, Dan Steinberg reported the Capitals have sent out ticket invoices to season-ticket holders, revealing that "prices are going up for the fourth straight year." There are two sets of prices: one for ticketholders who renew by March 16 and another for new season-ticket holders. For those who renew their packages by the deadline, prices are up 4-21%. For those who sign up after March 16, prices are up 6-19%. The team also is introducing different prices for "attacking" seats -- those "on the end of the ice where the Caps shoot in the first and third periods" -- and "defending" seats (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 3/8).

GET HOME SAFELY: In Tacoma, Larry LaRue reported the Mariners are "trying to fight" team officials driving under the influence. Mariners Dir of Team Travel Ron Spellecy said, "Two years ago, we came out with cards in English and Spanish giving the numbers of car services players could call for a ride home. This year, one of the guys at the car service came up with the idea of giving everyone a key fob. I asked our merchandise people, and they said they could come up with one." He added, "We gave them to executives, coaches, players, media -- and we told them in our first meeting, 'Be careful'" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 3/6).

TOP CAT: In Charlotte, Peter St. Onge in a front-page piece notes Bobcats Owner Michael Jordan yesterday "spoke to a gym full of rapt Northridge Middle School students, then visited a children's hospital, a Boys & Girls club, a men's shelter." Along with Jordan's appearances, Bobcats employees "fed 150 school bus drivers, sorted and packed food at Second Harvest Food Bank, and helped refurbish the Marsh Road Boys & Girls Club teen center and playground." It was "part of a Bobcats day of service in which 150 employees fanned out across the community -- an idea that team officials say came from Jordan, who wanted what was important to Charlotte to be important to his franchise" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/9).
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