SBD/January 24, 2013/Franchises

Franchise Notes

A Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL editorial states these are “somewhat uncertain days, given that the first major move” by the Grizzlies’ new leadership was “to cut salary.” It allowed the Grizzlies “to cut $6 million in payroll, and avoid a $4 million luxury tax bill from the NBA.” This “isn't to say” team Owner Robert Pera and CEO Jason Levien “are cheap, and are putting financial concerns above fielding a competitive team.” They “inherited a high payroll.” But former Owner Michael Heisley was “committed to the core he built around, and as a billionaire could pay the cost.” With Pera and Levien, “we're in unknown territory” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 1/24).

WINTER'S DISCONTENT: YAHOO SPORTS’ Jeff Passan wrote, “Leave it to the Orioles, coming off their most successful season in 15 years, to spend their winter not using the newfound goodwill to recruit free agents or lavish their own players. Not with Peter Angelos, the owner who despises free agency, in charge.” Still, the “lack of anything from Baltimore this offseason … is rather surprising.” Passan: “Certainly part of the inactivity comes down to money. The Orioles are barely spending more this season than they did to end last year.” The lack of moves is “bad business, and any frustration from Baltimore fans is warranted” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/22).

THE LONG VIEW: MLS Sounders FC GM Adrian Hanauer said season-ticket renewals are “maybe slightly above our pace from last year's season-ticket renewal.” But he added, “We won't know for sure where we end up until probably early March.” Hanauer: "It would be naive of us to think that we're just going to keep growing season tickets 3,000 per year until we need to build a 100,000-seat stadium. ... For us, the way to keep potentially increasing our average is we can open up more games for the whole stadium." He noted that route might be better instead of trying to peel away "two rows of seats around the stadium" (SEATTLETIMES.com, 1/23).
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