SBD/July 17, 2014/Franchises

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  • Milwaukee's Best: Bucks Reveal Initial List Of Six Local Minority Investors

    NBA execs wanted Bucks' investors to make a minimum investment of $5M

    The Bucks yesterday revealed an "initial list of local investors in the franchise," according to Charles Gardner of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The investors include Fiduciary Management Inc. Exec Chair & Portfolio Manager Ted Kellner, Kapco Inc. President Jim Kacmarcik, Good Karma Brands Founder & CEO Craig Karmazin, Mid Oak Investments President Mike Kocourek, Hal Leonard Corp. Chair & CEO Keith Mardak and Brewers VP/Business Development Teddy Werner, the son of Red Sox Chair Tom Werner. It is unknown "how much of an investment was made by each of the local businessmen." Bucks co-Owner Marc Lasry indicated last month that the NBA wanted "additional investors to make a minimum investment" of $5M in the franchise. A source said that several other "unnamed silent partners are involved in the ownership group." Bucks co-Owner Wes Edens said, "We wanted people deeply committed to being part of the community. This is a blue-chip list of people and I couldn't be more happy about it." Gardner notes the list "does not include" Packers QB Aaron Rodgers as "had been speculated." Edens said he and Lasry had "lots of conversations" with Rodgers but "we're not in a place to announce he's an investor." Meanwhile, Edens noted that he and Lasry also have "met with some stadium experts and architects and tried to learn some ideas from the arena planning" for the Warriors and NBA Kings. Both franchises are building new downtown arenas, with the Warriors "planning a move from Oakland to San Francisco." Edens also said that he has "looked at different sites in Milwaukee but his preference is a downtown location" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 7/17). Lasry: “We are so excited about creating a new era of Milwaukee Bucks basketball. In just a matter of weeks, we have had an incredible draft, brought on a world-class coach, and have now assembled a visionary group of owners from the community” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/16).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA
  • Orlando City Has Sold Almost 7,500 Season Tickets Thanks To World Cup, Kaká Momentum

    MLS expansion club Orlando City SC President Phil Rawlins said the club has sold "just shy" of 7,500 season tickets for the '15 season, according to Paul Tenorio of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. The club "ended its month-long World Cup sale on Tuesday, taking calls until midnight, and surpassed the halfway point towards its cap of 14,000 season tickets." Rawlins: "It shows the tremendous interest soccer is generating in the community." Tenorio notes Orlando City "sold more than 5,000 season tickets in the first week of availability, and interest in the World Cup and the signing of Brazilian star Kaká drove sales over the next three-plus weeks." Orlando ranked as ESPN's "seventh highest-rated market for World Cup games." Rawlins said that the club "plans to make another push in season ticket sales towards the end of the USL PRO season in September, and then again after the holidays, when the team will likely have its MLS schedule to promote." Meanwhile, club officials have said that they "hope to break ground this fall" on the club's new soccer-specific stadium in downtown Orlando. The club "plans to cap the season ticket sales at 14,000 to ease the transition for ticket holders in the changeover" from the Citrus Bowl, where it will play in '15, to the new stadium when it opens in '16 (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 7/17).

    Print | Tags: MLS, Orlando City SC, Franchises
  • Sharks COO Tortora Diplomatic, Cautious In Discussing Controversial Ice Team

    Some fans were unhappy with the uniforms for female Ice Team members

    The Sharks' Ice Team has "drawn the most attention and social media discourse" this offseason, but COO John Tortora is "diplomatic and cautious in discussing the topic," according to Mark Purdy of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Tortora said, "Our first priority is finding people who can skate and do a good job of cleaning the ice. We also want people who can represent the team in the community. We've had around 130 applicants so far, probably split 50-50 between males and females." Tortora also said pictures of the Ice Team released by the Sharks are "not the final uniforms." He added that the front office "hasn't decided" what the uniforms ultimately will look like. Purdy wrote his stance on the "ice girls" is that they are "pleasant enough to look at, but unnecessary and superfluous and definitely not the reason you go to the supermarket." Nevertheless, if an "issue is an issue with paying customers, then it's an issue." But in "fairness, the Warriors and both Bay Area NFL teams all employ far more scantily clad cheerleaders or dance teams" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 7/16). 

    Print | Tags: Franchises, San Jose Sharks, NHL
  • MLB Rangers Seeing Big Drop In Attendance Just A Couple Years After WS Appearances

    The MLB Rangers are "on pace to draw" 2.84 million fans to Globe Life Park this season, marking a drop of more than 3,500 per game from '13, according to Gerry Fraley of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. That is the "third-largest" decline in per-game attendance in MLB, behind just the Phillies (6,731) and Blue Jays (4,145). The season projection for the Rangers also is a "significant decline" from the club record of 3.46 million fans set in '12. The team comes out of the All-Star break with a 38-57 record, the worst in the league (DALLASNEWS.com, 7/13). In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel writes some of this "Rangers cowflop is on the two who sign the checks," co-Chairs Ray Davis and Bob Simpson. The team during the offseason added 1B Prince Fielder and LF Shin-Soo Choo, among other transactions, and Engel wonders if those moves would "have happened" with Nolan Ryan still overseeing Rangers President of Baseball Operations & GM Jon Daniels. Engel: "It does appear this dynamic duo [of Davis and Simpson] is just another example of an ownership that is easily swayed, impatient and stupidly ambitious like so many other 'young' sports owners." The same thing happened to former Owner Tom Hicks when he bought the team in ’98; he "watched the team immediately make the playoffs, and then he couldn’t help himself and made a bunch of stupid decisions" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 7/17).

    METS SEEING A SLIGHT UPTICK: On Long Island, Steven Marcus notes the Mets' home attendance "appears likely to rise over last season, when the team experienced the franchise's lowest home total" since '97. The average attendance last season was 26,366, and the club has drawn 1,278,686 thus far this season, an average of 26,639. Mets Exec VP & Chief Revenue Officer Lou DePaoli said, "Halfway through the year we have our slight uptick in attendance already. So, now it's a matter of what kind of hay we can make the rest of the season. ... You saw some pretty nice crowds toward the end [of an 8-2 homestand prior to the All-Star break] and I'm sure if the team continues to play at that level we'll see more increased interest." He added, "We can grow attendance regardless, as long as the team is competitive" (NEWSDAY, 7/17).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New York Mets, Texas Rangers
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