SBD/May 11, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Bird has a handshake agreement with Pacers Owner Herb Simon on his contract
In Indianapolis, Mike Wells notes Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird and GM David Morway "will remain" with the team. Bird's contract “will continue to be a handshake agreement” with team Owner Herb Simon. Bird's salary “will be less than” the $5M a year he made previously, but Simon “declined to say what that salary will be.” Simon said Bird can "stay as long as he wants." Wells notes one of Bird's “concerns was whether Simon would be willing to spend the money now that the Pacers have the opportunity to be players on the free agent/trade market for the first time since he took full control of basketball operations” in ’08 (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/11).

A WORK IN PROGRESS: In Pittsburgh, Bob Smizik notes “empty seats again dominated PNC Park last night” for the Dodgers-Pirates game, “clear evidence that the Pirates flirtation with both .500 and respectable baseball might be exciting the masses in the blogosphere but it’s not doing the same for the ticket-buying public.” There were “13,493 tickets sold for the game.” Smizik: “The general public is pleased to see improvement but based on the team's long history of losing isn't ready to invest in the improvement” (POST-GAZETTE.com, 5/11).

PACK ATTACK: In Green Bay, Kareem Copeland notes the Packers “fraternized with the enemy Tuesday and will continue to do so throughout the week as part” of the sixth annual “Tailgate Tour.” Front office employees and current and former players “began a five-city tour at the Superior Dome in Marquette, Mich., as about 4,000 fans were able to ask questions, take pictures and get autographs.” Copeland notes the current NFL lockout “prohibits players from having contact with coaches and front office members,” but the rule is “set aside for charity events” (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 5/11).

SEA OF RED: In Portland, Geoffrey Arnold noted the MLS Timbers on Saturday for their game against the Sounders “will wear their alternate red uniforms for the first time this season.” The Timbers have “normally worn their green shirt and white shorts uniforms for away games” (OREGONLIVE.com, 5/9).

GIANT ROI? In New Jersey, John Brennan notes a review of the first wave of PSL resales on the NFL Giants’ online marketplace shows fans are “getting an average of 50 percent above the original sale price for upper-deck personal seat licenses at New Meadowlands Stadium.” The average resale price “has been $1,510 for more than 100 PSLs that originally cost $1,000 per seat.” Only 16 Giants seat licenses “out of a modest 177 sold so far in the 82,000-seat stadium have been sold at a loss, not counting fees -- half of them in the Club Mezzanine C section, where PSLs go for $7,500 and tickets are priced at $250 per game” (Bergen RECORD, 5/11).
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