SBD/December 7, 2011/Franchises

NBA Franchise Notes: Grizzlies Owner Not Actively Looking To Sell Team

Heisley said he does not have anybody seriously interested in buying the Grizzlies
Grizzlies Owner Michael Heisley recently sat for a Q&A with the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL's Ronald Tillery and broached the subject of selling the team. Heisley said, “I don't have a broker out selling the Grizzlies. The situation has never changed. I'm 75 years old and I live in Chicago. The right, and by that I mean a local owner -- and it could be somebody willing to move there -- would be a better owner than Mike Heisley. I have never changed that position. But we don't have anybody interested in seriously buying the Grizzlies. And I'm not shopping the Grizzlies” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 12/6).

GETTING IN THE SPIRIT: The 76ers today announced all tickets in the mezzanine level for the team's 13 home games in January will be $17.76 or less, with no online fees if bought on Sixers.com. All season-ticket holders who have already bought tickets about $17.76 in that level will be upgraded to the lower level for those games. That comes after the team yesterday announced it is reducing online fees for tickets purchased on the team's website. The reductions include eliminating order fees and delivery method fees. There will now only be one comprehensive online ticketing fee of 14.25% of the face value of the ticket, with a $4 minimum charge. Last season, the ticketing fee was never less than $6.50 and additional order and delivery charges added another $6.50-9.50 to every order (THE DAILY).
 
CUTTING FEES: The Hawks have announced there will be no ticketing fees on any tickets this season. The club also is extending complimentary tickets to fans under the age of 16 for its lone preseason game at Philips Arena, a Dec. 22 matchup against the Bobcats (Hawks).

SHIPPING UP TO BOSTON: YAHOO SPORTS’ Eric Freeman notes the Celtics' new ticket ad campaign “trumps up the passion of their faithful,” and in doing so, it also “knocks Heat and Laker fans, specifically noting that their home-court venue isn't Hollywood or South Beach.” Freeman wrote it is “hard to argue with the premise,” but where the ad “becomes problematic is in its suggestion that this brand somehow makes Boston a home for truer sports fans” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/6).

NOW HIRING: Bobcats President & COO Fred Whitfield said that “an unspecified number of employees will be added in the coming weeks.” In Charlotte, Erik Spanberg notes the team “cut 10 staffers after the lockout began, attributing the reductions to the lockout and reconfigured responsibilities.” At the time, about “130 people worked for the team” (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/2 issue).

STATING THEIR CASE: YAHOO SPORTS’ Kelly Dwyer reported a group of Magic fans “have put up a billboard encouraging New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul to consider a trade to Orlando, and pushing Magic GM Otis Smith to explore a deal” for Paul. The group BringChrisPaul.com, whose website redirects to the Stay Dwight fan effort to keep C Dwight Howard with the team past this season, put up the billboard. The sign “has since been taken down, temporarily; as the Stay Dwight backers remove the Magic logo from Paul's uniform” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/6).
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