SBD/August 24, 2012/Franchises

Franchise Notes

A Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL editorial states prospective Grizzlies Owner Robert Pera is “off to a promising start as it relates to winning over Memphis.” The agreement and terms that will add local investors to his team “essentially guarantee the team will remain in the city for another 15 years.” The team's longterm future in Memphis “was the issue hanging over the pending sale of the team by current owner Michael Heisley.” The deal with the local investors, “which still must be signed, is a tangible sign of Pera's commitment.” Memphis residents “can take further comfort from the makeup of the local group" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 8/24).

CITRUS SOURS? In Orlando, Mike Bianchi writes Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan “is already seemingly dissing his team's biggest league-designated TV market right here in Orlando.” The Jaguars have “turned their back on Orlando, which has been designated by the NFL as a ‘secondary TV market’ for the Jaguars.” The Jaguars beginning in '13 will play four regular-season home games in London, and three of those games "might have easily been played" in Orlando. Bianchi: “I've got a better idea for the Jags: Why don't they try to effectively ‘localize’ their brand before they ‘globalize’ it?” The Citrus Bowl is “scheduled to undergo a nearly $200 million renovation by 2014, which will make it plenty nice enough and give it enough club seats and luxury suites to host NFL games” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/24).

GOOD NEWS BEARS: In Chicago, Danny Ecker noted “more than 100,000 fans this year” attended Bears training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. That attendance mark is the “second-most ever behind the 2007 preseason, which followed a Super Bowl appearance.” Highlights from the 14 practice days "included 10,000 people showing up for the team's first padded training camp practice, as well as 27,000 attendees at the Chicago Bears Family Night scrimmage at Soldier Field on Aug. 3.” Bears VP/Sales & Marketing Chris Hibbs said that a "Movie Night" on Aug. 1, showing "Hugo" on a giant outdoor screen, “was also a big draw” (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 8/22).

GARDEN PARTIES: In N.Y., Ken Belson noted the Knicks and the NHL Rangers “are on pace to sell out nearly all their available season tickets for this season after both teams qualified for the playoffs for the second straight year.” The teams announced that more than 95% of Knicks season-ticket holders “have renewed their plans during the off-season, while more than 90 percent of Rangers season-ticket holders have already done so.” Last season, the Knicks’ renewals “were over 90 percent and the Rangers’ more than 85 percent.” The high renewal rates “suggest that fans are willing to pay more if their teams are winning” (NYTIMES.com, 8/23).
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