SBD/December 1, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Galaxy are one team believed to have made intent to sign Drogba known
YAHOO SPORTS' Martin Rogers noted the Galaxy "have emerged as the favorite to sign" EPL club Chelsea F Didier Drogba "in a move that would continue to establish Major League Soccer as a popular destination for big-name players seeking a fresh challenge." Drogba has "called off contract talks with his current club, and his agent has been busy fielding interest from a number of suitors with deep pockets." The Galaxy are "one team believed to have made their intent to sign Drogba known, which would suggest that David Beckham is indeed on his way out." Rogers noted signing Drogba "would be a real coup for MLS, as the league continues to ride a recent wave of positive vibes" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/30).

BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL: The White Sox announced the "formation of a 14-game ticket plan Tuesday and that 48 percent of their full and split-season ticket packages will cost an average of less than $30 per game in 2012." In Chicago, Mark Gonzales noted that "revelation could coincide soon with the slashing of a bloated payroll with important decisions awaiting them." The Sox "suffered a substantial loss in 2011 as home attendance dipped for the fifth consecutive season with a record player payroll of $127 million." The Sox' full-season ticket plans "have been cut by up to 31 percent from 2011’s pricing, and the split 27-game plan will be trimmed by up to 23 percent" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/30).

LOCK IT UP: In Cleveland, Joel Hammond notes the Browns are "offering club seat buyers the opportunity to lock in their current prices -- ranging from $1,260 to $2,800 for a season ticket, depending on location within the club seating area -- for three years if they commit to buying their seats for five years and sign up for that plan by" today. Team literature indicates that the five-year option "would be subject to a 3% hike in 2015 and again in 2016." In addition to the price freeze, the Browns "are providing fans who commit to five more years a $250 voucher to be used at concession or merchandise stands at the stadium" (CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS, 11/28 issue).

SAVE THE MUSIC: In Winnipeg, Bartley Kives notes in what is "being described as an unprecedented situation, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Manitoba Opera, Winnipeg Art Gallery and Royal Winnipeg Ballet are experiencing disappointing fall seasons as walk-up attendance falls short of expectations." Arts administrators believe that it is "no coincidence walk-up sales are down during a season when their organizations are suddenly competing with the Winnipeg Jets for a limited entertainment dollar as well as limited leisure time." While the administrators "do not draw a direct correlation between soft sales and the return of the NHL, they said it would be foolish to ignore the attention devoted to the league's heavily anticipated return to a city desperate to watch hockey again" (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 12/1).
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