SBD/May 3, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Predators sold out 16 of 41 regular-season home games this season
In Toronto, Damien Cox writes though some may "sneer ... at the up-and-down history" of the Predators, the team is still in Nashville and "sold out 16 of 41 home games this year (up from four a year ago)." The presence of G Pekka Rinne and D Shea Weber means that the Predators "have more bona fide stars than Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary can boast." The Predators have a "stable six-man local ownership group compared to the proprietary nightmares of the Coyotes and Thrashers." Predators Chair Tom Cigarran said that even though the team "would like to attract another $25 million in equity, it is determined to keep at least 70 per cent of the team locally owned." Cigarran: "This can't be the biggest money maker we've ever had or the best investment. But we want to be in Nashville forever. That's the basis for all our thinking" (TORONTO STAR, 5/3).

SOMETHING TO BE SAID FOR TRADITION: The GLOBE & MAIL's James Mirtle wrote it is "nonsense" that the NHL is asking the Canucks' "Green Men" to tone down their act, but it is "par for the course given the league's crack down on octopus tossing earlier in these playoffs." The league, "apparently, would rather have everyone in suits and sitting on their hands." It is "unfortunate" that there "aren't more fan traditions like the Green Men in Vancouver and the octopus toss in Detroit." Mirtle noted the Green Men "aren't shutting it down and will be on the road in Nashville" for tonight's Canucks-Predators Western Conference Semifinal Game Three and Thursday's Game Four (GLOBESPORTS.com, 5/2).

WAITING OUT THE LOCKOUT: In St. Louis, Jim Thomas notes yesterday was "supposed to be the deadline for Rams PSL holders to renew their season tickets," but in this "lockout-marred NFL offseason, the Rams have decided to extend that deadline to June 1." If fans "make a 10 percent deposit on the value of their season tickets between now and June 1, they won't be charged the full value of those tickets until there is some clarity to the lockout situation -- even if that 'clarity' comes after June 1." Rams Exec VP/Football Operations & COO Kevin Demoff said renewals to date "have been stronger than they've been in recent years." But he added the team wants to "be responsive to the other segment that maybe has concerns and hasn't renewed because" of the uncertainty over the '11 season (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/3).

FACES OF THE FRANCHISE: The NFL Giants have launched a contest through which fans will have the opportunity to appear on the team's tickets this season. Fans can submit a story and photo showing their Giants pride, and the team will narrow the pool of entries to 20 finalists. Starting May 18, fans will be able to vote for their favorite story on the Giants' Facebook page, and a photo of the top 10 vote-getters will appear on the front of the team's '11 season tickets. This marks the first time in team history fans will be highlighted on the front of Giants game tickets (Giants).
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