SBD/April 4, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman reported it has been a "tough year financially" for both the T'Wolves and the Wild, "with each team losing money." The T'Wolves "could lose up to $20 million and are reported to have a big debt at one of the local banks." The Wild "lost some money last year and will lose some more this year, but not as much as the Wolves" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/3).

LEADING THE CHARGE
: In Sacramento, Marcos Breton noted the one man "driving" the NBA Kings' potential relocation to Anaheim is Ducks Owner Henry Samueli, the "telecommunications billionaire who is looking to add a sports empire to his impressive portfolio." Samueli's "interests are plainly obvious: An NBA team would make an ideal tenant to pair with his NHL team in Anaheim's Honda Center." Adding an NBA team "could open the possibility for an Anaheim-based sports TV network," which "certainly has been the trend in sports media." Breton wrote, "While there is no guarantee that the Kings will tap into Southern California's vast masses and corporate wealth, their move is being sold on the possibility that it might" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 4/3).

CALL FROM HEADQUARTERS: In N.Y., Brian Costello reported the Yankees received a call from MLB Saturday after Keith Olbermann "posted a photo on Twitter of one of their employees sitting behind home plate at Thursday's opener giving hand signals to the dugout." In the photo, Yankees Baseball Operations Assistant Brett Weber was shown "wearing a headset and holding up four fingers during the game with the Tigers, signaling pitch speeds." There is an "MLB-issued bulletin prohibiting teams from using hand signals to relay pitch information." But Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that VP & Assistant GM Jean Afterman "explained the scoreboard radar gun was not working and Weber was relaying velocity to hitters who wanted it" (NYPOST.com, 4/2).

FANS EJECTED: In Vancouver, Neal Hall noted two Canucks fans "wearing pink T-shirts emblazoned with the words 'Hockey Luvin Homo' were removed" from Thursday's Kings-Canucks game. The fans sat "in the first row, right behind the Canucks bench." Their shirts at first "appeared to read 'Hockey Luvin,' but when a TV camera panned over, the two young men removed duct tape from their shirts to unveil the word 'homo.'" The back of their shirts read "Henrietta" and "Daniella," in homage to Canucks C Henrik Sedin and LW Daniel Sedin, and the fans "apparently call themselves the Sedin sisters." The Canucks in a statement Friday said that the fans were removed from Rogers Arena "after they were asked -- but refused -- to cover the derogatory term for gays" (VANCOUVER SUN, 4/2).
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