SBD/October 14, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Hurricanes Owner Peter Karmanos Thursday announced AHL Charlotte Checkers Owner Michael Kahn has joined the NHL team's ownership group (Hurricanes). Kahn said, "Honestly, when (Karmanos) decided he wanted to look for investors, when the opportunity presented itself, I was pretty much right there. And I'm sure other people will join in." Karmanos a few weeks ago said that he "had completed the sale of $20 million in equity of the Hurricanes, a franchise he valued at $240 million." He added that there were "seven or eight investors but did not name them" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 10/14).

CLOSING THE DEAL: In Philadelphia, Kate Fagan cites a source as saying that Comcast-Spectacor's sale of the 76ers to a group of investors led by Apollo Global Management Senior Managing Dir Joshua Harris is "expected to close early next week." Terms of the sale were agreed upon in July, but the deal "has been pending approval of the NBA's board of governors for more than two months." The new ownership group is "expected to speak publicly for the first time next week, assuming the sale is officially approved, as expected" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/14).  

ALL OR NOTHING: In L.A., Bill Shaikin notes Frank McCourt's "decision to take the Dodgers into bankruptcy means he could be forced to walk away from the team with absolutely nothing." McCourt's "intention in putting the Dodgers into bankruptcy is to keep the team, not to sell it." However, the debt load and tax liability "have increased to the point where the $150-million loan assumed in bankruptcy funding could wipe out much -- if not all -- of whatever profit he would make if he is ordered to sell the team." Meanwhile, McCourt "has yet to resolve a divorce in which he claims sole ownership of the team and his ex-wife, Jamie, claims half-ownership." In a bankruptcy court filing last month, MLB attorneys argued that "'everyone wins' if the Dodgers are ordered sold, including his ex-wife and McCourt himself" (L.A. TIMES, 10/14).

DRAWING POWER: ARIZONA SPORTS' Adam Green notes more than 2.1 million fans saw a D'Backs game at Chase Field this season, but it was the crowds toward the end of the season against the Giants that "left a lasting impression" on D'Backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. The team "averaged more than 44,000 fans per game over the three game series." Hall said that "it was special and he hopes it carriers into next year, and it would be a bit of an upset if it didn't" (ARIZONASPORTS.com, 10/13). Hall, when asked during a fan Q&A if season-ticket sales have increased dramatically for next year after the team's postseason appearance, said, "Not drastically, but we are definitely seeing a lift. And our season ticket renewal percentage is through the roof" (MLB.com, 10/13).
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