SBD/May 12, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

George Maloof says he has agreed to make financial info available to Sacramento
NBA Kings co-Owner George Maloof yesterday said that he "has agreed to make team financial data available" to a Sacramento-commissioned group "studying ways to finance a new sports and entertainment facility.” In Sacramento, Tony Bizjak notes that group, headed by ICON Venue Group and developer David Taylor, is “due to present an arena feasibility study to the City Council on May 26.” Kings officials “previously refused to provide business data for the study.” Maloof said that it is “too early to discuss how much his family might contribute financially to a new facility.” He added that he “needs to know more about Sacramento's approach to financing and operating a facility” (SACRAMENTO BEE, 5/12).

SITTING TIGHT: In New Jersey, John Brennan notes a year after the NJSEA “was harshly criticized” by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for its “purchase of $840,000 worth of personal seat licenses for Giants and Jets games, the agency so far has sold just 14 of the 122 PSLs.” NJSEA VP/Public Affairs & Communications John Samerjan yesterday said that the agency “will continue to seek to recoup at least the original price of the PSLs throughout the spring and summer.” He said that the agency “had ‘no problem’ selling the tickets at face value -- ranging from $120 to $420 a game -- to its corporate partners during the inaugural season at the New Meadowlands Stadium” (Bergen RECORD, 5/12). 

CUTTING COSTS: In West Palm Beach, Ben Volin noted the Dolphins are “hardly alone in cutting back on employee salaries.” At least eleven other teams “have publicly admitted to instituting some sort of cuts with its employees -- Cardinals, Jets, Bills, Packers, Chargers, 49ers, Raiders, Chiefs, Steelers, Bengals and Rams -- and the league office in New York City, as well, announced 12 percent pay cuts for all employees last month.” Ten teams have “stated that they won’t be instituting cuts, but several made those pronouncements back in March and may have changed their mind.” Only the Colts, Bears and Giants “have said definitively that they won’t be instituting pay cuts” (PALMBEACHPOST.com, 5/11). ESPN.com’s Tim Graham noted cutting employee salary is "another in a long line of unpopular moves" Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross has made in the past year. Graham: “His local Q-rating might be lower than Cam Cameron's or Pat White's" (ESPN.com, 5/11).

THE NEW BUZZ IN TOWN: The AP’s Brett Martel noted support for the Hornets “appears to be building among fans and businesses in Louisiana.” The team has “sold about 8,000 full-season tickets for 2011-12, up from about 6,300 when the 2010-11 season began.” The Hornets “have set their season ticket goal at 10,000 because that is about what they had in 2008-09, the last time the club turned a profit.” Attendance figures are “a crucial factor in Louisiana’s ability to hold on to its NBA franchise.” While the club’s current lease at New Orleans Arena runs through '14, the team “has the right to escape the lease if a two-year rolling attendance average -- calculated at the end of each January -- dips below 14,735” (AP, 5/11).
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