SBD/May 4, 2012/Franchises

Franchise Notes

ESPN L.A.'s Ramona Shelburne wrote the comments Guggenheim Baseball Management CEO Mark Walter gave during the group's introductory press conference Wednesday "were important." People "needed to know just how involved Frank McCourt will still be and why he wasn't completely excised from the situation." Walter said, "This is the part I didn't think about. I didn't think that this (buying the Dodgers) would be about me or public appearances ... because it's not about me." Shelburne wrote Walter is "still figuring out just what he got himself into buying the team from McCourt." Walter said, "People shouldn't be interested in me. They should be interested in me if I'm not doing what I promise. But I'm going to do what I promise" (ESPNLA.com, 5/3). Meanwhile, Dodgers co-Owner Peter Guber said if the team does not "provide a robust fan experience, they won’t virally advocate for you and you will not have success." He said of the previous ownership regime, "The truth is that’s something that they might have been remiss about dealing with over these last number of years. They forgot that the fans were the most important ingredient” ("Fox Business After the Bell," Fox Business, 5/3). 

PUT IT TO A VOTE: In Phoenix, Mike Sunnucks noted the Glendale City Council "has been briefed privately this week on the Phoenix Coyotes sale, including further assurances that a group led by Greg Jamison has the money in place to buy the team and keep hockey in Arizona." That sets the stage for a "possible Glendale council vote next week on an arena lease deal and payments to the Jamison group that could total $17 million next year." Sources said that four of the council’s seven members "are on board with the latest Coyotes plan" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 5/3).

WINNING IS EVERYTHING: In New Jersey, Andy Vasquez wrote by "moving to Brooklyn and changing their logo, the Nets have something they haven’t had in a long, long time: appeal." Nets and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said, "The interest in our brand identity launch has dramatically exceeded our expectations." Vazquez noted in Brooklyn, "marketability won’t be enough." New York "wants winners and for the Nets to truly lift themselves from the doldrums of irrelevance, they’ll have to do it by building a good basketball team" (Bergen RECORD, 5/3).

ARMED FORCES: Jaguars President Mark Lamping said yesterday that the franchise is "building a team brand and identity around the city's military presence." Lamping added that the military-inspired brand "will build on the principles of commitment and sacrifice." In Jacksonville, Ashley Gurbal Kritzer noted the Jaguars "struggled with season ticket sales in 2011, after the NFL lockout put a dent in prime ticket-selling season." Lamping said that sales were “running way ahead of last year” but that the team had a “ways to go” before meeting its projections (BIZJOURNALS.com, 5/3).
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