SBD/October 28, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

An objection filed by the IRS with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court is "not expected to derail the sale of the Dallas Stars to Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi." Sources Thursday said that the objection was filed "because the IRS wants to be consistent with its actions in an earlier bankruptcy case involving" the MLB Rangers. Both the Rangers and the Stars "were owned by Tom Hicks through his company Hicks Sports Group and both wound up in bankruptcy court with a total debt" of $500M. The Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review reported that the IRS is asking that the court "reject the sale plan because there is no provision for its rights, which includes full payment on any tax claims." However, the sources said that this "does not present a problem because little money is involved and it will be worked out by lawyers for the NHL and the Stars’ creditors" (GLOBEANDMAIL.com, 10/27).

NEW RIGHT-HAND MAN
: The Raptors Thursday morning introduced Ed Stefanski as their new Exec VP/Basketball Operations at a news conference at Air Canada Centre. In Toronto, Robert MacLeod noted Stefanski will report to the club's President & GM Bryan Colangelo and "will be considered Colangelo's right-hand man." Colangelo said that "unless he is run over by a beer truck, he's not planning on leaving the organization anytime soon." If and when that time comes, Colangelo "believes Stefanski has the capabilities to step in and run the team" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/28).

SPEAKING TO THE FANS
: The GUARDIAN's Amy Lawrence notes EPL club Arsenal Owner Stan Kroenke for the first time "felt willing and able" to speak to shareholders directly at an annual meeting. It has taken "more than four years, during which he was connected to the club first as a business partner, then investor, now majority shareholder, for him to actually introduce himself to the masses." A five-minute speech "did not give much away." Lawrence wrote, "The gist was more or less this: Here I am. I don’t mind saying a few words seeing as you obviously wanted the gesture. I like what this club stands for. I am happy to be here. And I am not going anywhere in a hurry" (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 10/27).

WORKING TO END BLACKOUTS
: In Cincinnati, John Kiesewetter notes Bengals fan Scott Sander and his friends "started Bengalsblackoutlifters.com, a website soliciting support from businesses and fans to fill Paul Brown Stadium so home games can air on TV." In 10 days, 647 people "had visited the site." The goal is to "bring together a group of individuals, sports bar owners and corporate sponsors ... (to) purchase Bengal tickets to help achieve a sold-out home game and lift NFL blackouts in the Cincinnati viewing area." So far, the site is "only collecting contact information" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 10/28).
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