SBJ/April 27 - May 3, 1998/Coast To Coast

Coast to Coast

ATLANTA

  • Thrashers settle suit, get ready to sell
  • The NHL expansions Thrashers have settled out of court their copyright conflict with popular skateboarding magazine Thrasher. Now the team is getting down to the business of developing a logo and selling season tickets. The team was to unveil its logo last Thursday on its Web page, the first time a professional sports team has unveiled a new logo on the Internet. The Thrashers have $100 deposits from 8,700 potential season-ticket holders. Single-game ticket prices will range from $10 to $70.

BALTIMORE

  • Orioles: League tax will hit $15 million
  • Legislature cuts Angelos legal fees
  • The Baltimore Orioles say their 1998 "luxury tax" will be about $15 million. The tax is part of Major League Baseball’s revenue sharing plan, designed to help small-market teams become more competitive. The Orioles’ tax is higher than the $9 million 1998 payroll of the Montreal Expos.
  • Orioles’ owner Peter G. Angelos continues to be the subject of off-the-field controversy in Maryland. The state Legislature voted to cut in half the Baltimore lawyer’s 25 percent contingency fee for helping the state in a multibillion-dollar civil suit against the tobacco industry. Citing a previously negotiated contract, Angelos said the vote is meaningless.

BOSTON

  • City looks for big marathon payoff
  • Red Sox lay plans for new Fenway
  • Celitics training center going up
  • Local tourism officials expected a big financial finish this year for the Boston Marathon. The Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated that the 102 year old marathon, the world’s oldest, would luru more than 11,000 runners and visitors to the area for the race last Monday, resulting in a local economic impact of $57.8 million. Those totals are in addition to the 1 million people that were expected to line the 26.2-mile race route. This year’s race capped a weekend-long Sports and Fitness Expo at the Hynes Convention Center that was expected to draw 30,000 runners and visitors.
  • Red Sox management met behind closed doors for another discussion of the team’s future at Fenway. The latest reports indicate plans for building a larger version of Fenway next to the existing park that would clone some of Fenway’s more charming aspects – including the Green Monster – and retain some of the field’s present dimensions. But to make way for the new park and some retail and restaurant space, part of existing Fenway would have to be demolished. The park left standing would be turned into a baseball museum and park, allowing fans to walk down the third-base foul line to get to the new field. Not all red Sox fans are willing to let Fenway as it now stands go quietly. An organization called "Save Fenway Park!" has signed up more than 450 people who are fighting to keep the park standing.
  • The Boston Celtics broke ground on a $30 million training and wellness center in nearby Waltham. The 139,000 square foot facility will include medical offices and a private practice center and is expected to open next March. It will be the only health-care facility in the region that links two hospitals and professional sports franchise. New England Baptist and Deaconess-Waltham hospitals are two of the four developers. St Louis based TBG Development and CareGroup, a health care delivery system that includes the two hospitals, also are developers. The center will be open to the team, member of the center and patients referred from the hospitals.

CHICAGO

  • Grand Slam cereal features Sox slugger
  • cubs rookie draws largest walkup crowd
  • Blackhawks lose playoff run, sellouts
  • Northwestern plans indoor golf center
  • Kemper carts get global positioning
  • Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas’ star power will go to work for the marketers of a new cereal called Grand Slam. New month, Thomas will be featured on boxes when the breakfast product hits shelves.
  • The Chicago Cubs can thank 20 year old rookie phenom Kerry Wood for the team’s largest wallup ticket sale in 15 years. For Wood’s Wrigley Field pitching debut on April 18, the Cubs attacked a walkup crowd of 7,287 fans for a total attendance of 34,652. Cubs officials said the typical walkup at Wrigley is 3,000 fans.
  • For the first time in 28 years, the Chicago Blackhawks failed to make the playoffs, ending the NHL’s longest playoff appearance streak. The futility will cost the organization at least two additional sellouts during the playoffs.
  • Northwestern University will build a state of the art indoor golf center due largely to a donation by Eric Gleacher, who played golf there in the 1960s. The facility will be called the Gleacher Golf Center and will be built on the school’s Evanston campus.
  • Kemper Lakes, which will host the Illinois PGA Championship in May and later the Senior Tour’s Ameritech Open, has added a new marketing feature to the course. Beginning this year, golf carts at the Long Grove, IL course will be equipped with Prolink, a global positioning course information system that computes yardage, pin locations and other pertinent data to help cut strokes.

CINCINNATI

  • Rose gets ‘The Last Word’ on Fox
  • Reds trade for new computer system
  • Internet broadcasts feature Reds games
  • Off-track betting eases Turfway pain
  • Turfway not likely to see IRL races
  • New hockey show to run through playoffs
  • Former Cincinnati Reds superstar Pete Rose, banned from baseball in 1989 for gambling, was hired by Fox Sports Net as a co-host for its nightly commentary show "The Last Word." Rose will join national radio personality Jim Rome for the midnight show, replacing regular co-host Wallace Matthews on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday nights.
  • The Reds signed a deal with Hewlett-Packard Co. that gives the club a new computer system. The system features laptop computers for scouts in exchange for a Hewlett-Packard advertisement on the right-field wall at Cinergy Field. Other terms were not disclosed.
  • The Reds began live Internet broadcasts of their games April 17 on the team’s Web site in cooperation with flagship radio station WLW-AM. The site will introduce a Reds alumni section soon, with statistical and biographical information on the estimated 1,400 players who have played for the Reds since 1900.
  • The financial drag at Turfway Park in Florence< KY caused by the recent opening of riverboat casino facilities in southeastern Indiana has been eased by an increase in off-track betting, say park officials. The intertrack/off-track handle at Turfway’s recently concluded winter/ spring meet hit $110.5 million, up from $89.1 million last year.
  • The chief of the Indy Racing League said he doubts the expansion of the IRL circuit by as many as seven annual events will include a new auto-racing track being planned by Turfway Park owner Jerry Carroll and his partners in Gallatin County, KY 35 miles southwest of Cincinnati, IRL CEO Tony George said his circuit, which races 11 times annually, already draws Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Carroll’s ultimate goal is to attract a NASCAR Winston Cup event at his facility, where groundbreaking is planned in July or August.
  • A new one-hour hockey radio show was launched by WCKY-AM on Wednesdays from 8pm to 9pm. The show, hosted by Tim Pennington, editor of a local hockey newsletter, will run through the NHL playoffs.

CLEVELAND

  • Browns stadium suites are going fast
  • Professional bowling tries makeover
  • Tornado golf purse jumps to $250,000
  • SEC filing reveals Indians’ financials
  • Despite not having an owner, coach players or even a completed stadium, sale of Cleveland Brown’s stadium suites is going well. Ninety-two of the 110 suites have been purchased. Former Fox Sports Ohio executive Michael A. Dolan is heading the team’s four person sales staffs.
  • The Akron, Ohio based Professional Bowlers Association is changing to improve the game’s image and fan base, including using colored pins and encouraging fans to cheer. The PBA hired New York ad agency Partners & Shevack to crea5e a print campaign to run in advertising journals to attract new sponsors. It’s part of a $1 million print and broadcast advertising campaign.
  • Medical Mutual of Ohio will sponsor this year’s Tornado Tour. Five hundred golfers are expected to compete at 25 tour tournaments throughout Ohio between April and October. The sponsorship helped the tour increase its purse to $250,000.
  • Richard E. Jacobs’ filing with Securities and Exchange Commission to sell shares of the Cleveland Indians unveiled details of the team’s economic turn-around in the first four years at Jacobs Field. Net ticket sates in 1997 were nearly $49.3 million, compared to $19.4 million in 1993, the team’s last year in Municipal Stadium. Merchandise sales went from $2.5 million in 1993 to $17.4 million last year, and concession and catering revenue rose to $14 million from $2.3 million. Overall team profit rose form $3.9 million in 1993 to $22.6 million (including $9.3 million in expansion proceeds) in 1997.

DALLAS

  • Byron Nelson sells out again
  • Colonial Golf ahead of last year’s pace
  • Dallas Cup targets Real Madrid
  • Modano puts love ahead of money
  • Mavs say Pack is eligible – for trade
  • TV runs show at Cowboys conference
  • The GTE Byron Nelson Classic is a sellout for the second straight year. According to tournament projections, that means ticket revenue for the May 14-17 event of about $8.5 million. Last year was the first sellout for the Dallas event. The reason: The Classic was Tiger Woods’ first appearance after his 1997 victory at the Masters. Woods has assured tournament officials that he will return to defend his title.
  • Sales for the MasterCard Colonial in Fort Worth, scheduled for May 21-24, are running well ahead of last year’s pace. Organizers said more than $3 million in tickets are sold. The 1997 Colonial was a sellout, due largely to Woods making that his next tour stop after the Byron Nelson Classic.
  • Officials with The Dallas Cup say their priority for the tournament’s 20th anniversary edition in 1999 is to convince Real Madrid to participate. It would mark the Spanish soccer team’s first appearance in Dallas in five years. The 1997 Dallas Cup had some 150 teams.
  • The NHL players union pleaded with Dallas Stars center Mike Modano not to sign a six-year, $43 million contract. The union promised Modano he could make more money by waiting for the summer free for all of free agents. But Modano likes the Stars, likes Dallas and said he is content with the contract’s $7 million per year average.
  • Ebony magazine plans to use Dallas Mavericks guard Robert Pack in a spread on America’s most eligible bachelors. As far as the Mavs are concerned, Pack is eligible – for a trade. Once considered a cornerstone for the drifting franchise, Pack suffered two hand injuries and landed in Coach Don Nelson’s doghouse this season. He has two years remaining on a four-year contract worth $12.8 million.
  • The Dallas Cowboys held a brief, unscheduled intermission during their standing room only news conference to discuss their first round draft pick Former University of North Carolina defensive and Greg Ellis. Why is the delay? ESPN needed quiet to complete a live stand-up sequence inside the Valley Ranch conference room. The man who helped make that peace possible, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, is the same man who helped negotiate the NFL’s new $17.6 billion TV package, which includes ESPN.

DENVER

  • Broncos stadium vote likely in November
  • CBS affiliate names NFL reporter
  • Rockies’ Bichette opening restaurants
  • Coors sponsors Indy driver
  • Colorado lawmakers continue to work toward getting a new home for the Denver Broncos. A panel of legislators reached a compromise that removed plans for retractable dome and expanded the taxing district that will pay for a stadium. Latest estimates call for a $350 million stadium with taxpayers paying at least $266 million. The Broncos would pay the rest of the initial cost and any overrun. If the full House and Senate approve the compromise, voters would have their say on a November ballot.
  • Denver’s CBS-TV affiliate, KCNC, named Gary Miller its full-time Broncos and NFL reporter. CBS’ four-year contract to air NFL games begins the fall.
  • Colorado Rockies outfielder Dante Bichette has gone into the restaurant business. He and a partner opened Dante Bichette’s Restaurant in uptown Denver. Bichette is also part owner of Dante & Stew’s Vino Vino Ristorante Italiano, which is expected to open soon in uptown Denver.
  • Golden, Colo – based Coors Brewing Co will sponsor Indy car driver Buddy Lazier, a resident of Vail, Colo. Lazier won the Indianapolis 500 in 1996.

DETROIT

  • Run pays off Michigan State coach
  • Red Wings raise ticket prices for playoffs
  • Tigers get $145 million loan for stadium
  • Michigan State University head basketball coach Tom Izzo quickly capitalized on his Spartans’ surprising performance in both Big Ten Conference play and the NCAA Tournament. Michigan State increased Izzo’s salary by $45,000 to $175,000 a year. He also added some radio and television bonuses and other perks that will push the contract’s value to more than $600,000 a year. That puts Izzo in league with Indiana University’s Bob knight and Purdue University’s Gene Keady. Izzo, whose team finished 22-8, had been taking home about $440,000 a year.
  • The Detroit Red Wings raised playoff ticket prices by as much as 30 percent and added another tier of prices. In the past, tickets to first-round games were the same price as tickets to second-round games. This year, the defending Stanley Cup champs bumped the cost of second-round tickets by as much as $15 each. The Red Wings also remained in the top tier for NHL merchandise sales for the season, according to projections by the NHL. Specific dollar amounts were not announced.
  • Sumitomo Bank plans to lend the Detroit Tigers $145 million for team’s new ballpark,

HOUSTON

  • Ad firm drops Aeros account
  • Diaper maker signs LPGA’s Green
  • Auto insurer features Drexler
  • Local advertising agency Lopez Negrete Communications, saying that its creative work was going to put on ice, broke free form its account with the Aeries, Houston’s International Hockey League franchise. Negate had held the account since the 1994-95 season and created the team logo, the logo for the aerodrome skating rinks, the team uniforms and other notable marketing and advertising elements. Egret’s "Join the airforce" campaign helped the club break league season ticket sales and attendance records during its first year. The firm was hired before the team’s inaugural season by then president and general manager Steve Patterson. When Patterson moved on to head Aeries owner Chuck Watson’s bid to bring a NFL expansion franchise to Houston, Richard Alder took the helm of the Aeries. Agency chief Alex Lopez says that when Alder and new Aeries marketing director Pam Sager decided to bring most of the Aeries advertising duties in-house, it limited his agency’s opportunity to do much visible work for the team – which was the greatest benefit of holding the account.
  • Houston-based disposable diaper maker Dryers Corp will sponsor LPGA golfer Tammy Green. Green, who earned nearly $600,000 and had eight top-10 finishes last year, will wear the dryers logo. She’ll also participate in several corporate and customer golf outings.
  • Soon to be former Houston Rockets star and future University of Houston head basketball coach Clyde Drexler is starring in a series of television spots for Auto Insurance Discounters. The Spots, produced by local ad agency Love Advertising, tout the company’s "$22 Down" promotion, a tribute to Drexler’s jersey number.

INDIANAPOLIS

  • Pacers, Consseco discuss naming rights
  • Colts will take care in marketing Manning
  • The Indiana Pacers are negotiating with Conseco Inc, an Indianapolis-based financial service holding company, for naming rights for the team’s new arena. A deal reportedly could bring the Pacers as much as $4 million a year in additional revenue. The Fieldhouse, as it is now known, will open in time for the Pacers’ 1999 season and will replace the 24 year old Market Square Arena. Conseco, a $5.5 billion company that has expanded rapidly through acquisition, recently launched a marketing campaign to boost name recognition. That campaign included a television-advertising blitz during the NCAA basketball tournament.
  • The Indianapolis Colts have a new quarterback, but they don’t necessarily have a new poster boy. Peyton Manning, the top pick in the NFL draft, will replace Jim Harbaugh at quarterback. But team officials say Manning won’t step in as quickly for Harbaugh in the team’s marketing plans. Ray Compton, the Colts’ director of marketing, said the team does not want to put any more pressure on Manning than he already has in being the league’s No. 1 draft pick. Harbaugh was traded to the Baltimore Ravens for two draft picks in February.

KANSAS CITY

  • TV deal could increase Royals’ ratings
  • Architects examine KSU stadium
  • Jury hears coaches in case against NCAA
  • Fans throughout the Kansas City area should be able to catch Fox Sports Rocky Mountain’s broadcasts of Royals games by the end of the season, if a proposed merger between American Cablevision and TCI Cable of Overland Park, Kan, goes through. For two years, fans in and around downtown Kansas City have been shut out of some Royals television broadcasts American Cablevision and Fox Sports couldn’t make an operating agreement. That will change when American Cablevision merges with TCI, which has a contract with Fox Sports. A clause in the merger agreement requires American Cablevision to carry FSR, the television rights holder to the Royals.
  • Architects for HOK Sports Facilities Group got their first look at Kansas State’s KSU Stadium during a walk-through with school officials. The Kansas City engineering rim recently signed a contract with Kansas State to add 7,500 seats to the stadium for the 1999-football season. The expansion would also add chair-back seats to the stadium’s East Side and luxury suites next to the press box on the West Side.
  • A jury in US District Court in Kansas City, Kan, heard witness testimony form college coaches in a battle over an NCAA rule that limits pay for lower-end assistant coaches. The plaintiffs contend that almost 1,900 coaches have lost a total of nearly $30 million as a result of the policy.

LOS ANGELES

  • Lakers’ West talking retirement
  • Convention bid features new arena
  • Jerry West, the Los Angeles Lakers’ executive vice president who has overseen the team’s basketball operations since 1982, said he is planning to take some time off and is leaning toward retirement at the end of the season if the Lakers win the NBA title. The Hall of Fame former guard cited job stress and concerns about the toll his workland is taking on his health as reasons for his possible departure.
  • The Staples Center arena, future home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings, could be the site of the Democratic National Convention in 2000. The city of Los Angeles submitted a bid to bring the convention to town. Construction started last month and is scheduled to be completed by October 1999.

MIAMI

  • Johnson sign $2 million extension
  • Ad sales driving SportsLine USA
  • Tandem to sponsor Whitbread race
  • Panthers hit with $1 million verdict
  • Miami Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson signed a one-year contract extension worth a reported $2 million. The deal will keep Johnson in South Florida through the 2000 season.
  • Officials with on-line firm SportsLine USA of Fort Lauderdale, FL – which runs CBS Sports’ Web site – said ad sales significantly boosted the company’s revenue during the first three months of the year. The company increased its total revenue to $6.8 million for the first quarter of 1998 compared to $1.5 million for the same period last year. Of that $6.8 million, $4.4 million came from advertising and a hefty $2.3 million came from sponsors of the site’s Olympic pages. Traffic to the company’s Web sites also increased to 4.22 million page-views a day during the first quarter of 1998, up from 875,000 a day for the year-earlier period. Still, SportsLine USA’s net loss for the quarter increased to $9 million or 56 cents a share, form $6.23 in million, or 67 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Company officials attributed the increased loss in part to increased costs for editorial and operations staff.
  • Tandem, a California-based tech firm, is using sailing to get its name in front of the public. The company is planning to sponsor the Whitbread; the around-the-world regatta conducted every four years. Tandem official Dennis Johnson said during the event’s stop in Fort Lauderdale that the goal of the sponsorship primarily is to increase the company’s name recognition. He wouldn’t say how much Tandem is spending on the sponsorship, but said the event’s Web site averages 9 million hits a day.
  • A contest staged by the NHL’s Florida Panthers, Coca-Cola Co and Blockbuster Entertainment resulted in a jury award of $1 million to a Florida man who disputed claims that his 120-foot shot had not quite made it into the net. There was no word immediately as to whether the three defendants will appeal.

MILWAUKEE

  • Allen goes from hardwood to Hollywood
  • Milwaukee Bucks guard Ray Allen is scheduled to host the premiere of his Spike Lee film, "He Got Game," in Milwaukee on Thursday. In the film, Allen plays a blue-chip high school hoopster who could get his father out of jail by attending the warden’s alma mater. Invitations to the premiere were sent to all Bucks season-ticket holders. Allen’s silver-screen superstardom, however, did not make him the most valuable offering at a Bucks charity auction to renovate inner-city homes. A day with Allen, which included lunch, a game of H-O-R-S-E and an autographed movie poster, sold for $750. It was surpassed by a 30th anniversary basketball signed by Bucks greats Sidney Moncrief, Jack Sikma and Oscar Robertson, which sold for $800.

MINNEAPOLIS

  • NFL eyes Clancy bid; Selleck may join team
  • Investors may buy minor-league St. Paul Saints
  • NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue raised questions about the structure of author Tom Clancy’s bid to buy the Minnesota Vikings, specifically that Clancy’s group was slow in submitting information to the league about the deal. For his part, Clancy, who would be the team’s majority owner with at least 30 percent controlling interest, said he is complying with all league rules. Tom Selleck was reportedly considering whether to buy into Clancy’s group.
  • About 40 prospective investors met at a St. Paul, Minn, country club to learn more about the proposed sale of the St. Paul Saints, the city’s Northern League baseball team. Mike Veeck, co-owner of the Saints, plans to sell the team after this season.

NEW YORK

  • CART buys racing series owner
  • Knicks, discovery hold half-time contest
  • Extreme Hockey folds before first season
  • Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc bought Pro-Motion Agency, the company that owns and operates the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship open-wheel racing series.
  • The New York Knicks sponsored a halftime contest with the Discovery Channel to promote the 1998 EcoFest, a human endurance competition in the Australian Outback. Discovery Channel, which will broadcast the EcoFest, is in its first year as a Knicks sponsor: Contestants at the half-time of the April 16 Knicks-Raptors game participated in endurance races, including relays and ball dribbling, with the victorious team winning a trip to the US EcoFest trials in Maine this summer.
  • The Extreme Hockey League, which was supposed to be an alternative to Roller Hockey International, folded before its first season. The success of a third rival, Major League Roller Hockey, was cited as a cause.

PHOENIX

  • CMX turns to California for projects
  • International swim meet back in won
  • City lands 1999 gymnastics event
  • BOB draws more than baseball crowd
  • Golf school opens new facility
  • CMX Group Inc, a Phoenix- based sports facility and playing field construction management company, is being driven to new levels by some large-scope college projects in northern California. CMX has provided engineering and design on three stadium and field projects in the San Francisco Bay Area – two at the University of California at Berkeley and another at City College of San Francisco. In Arizona, CMX is best known for its work on Tucson Electric Park, a 12,000-seat stadium with 14 practice fields and twin clubhouses for its two Major League Baseball tenants – the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Chicago White Sox.
  • Coming to the Valley for the third consecutive year is the US West/ Nortel Swimfest May 15-17. Formerly the Nissan Invitational, this Grand Prix meet is sponsored by US Swimming and is expected to host some of the top swimmers from 10 countries. Olympic gold medallists Amy Van Dyken, Gary Hall Jr. and Tom Dolan are scheduled to headline the US roster.
  • Phoenix has been tapped to host the 1999 Reese’s Gymnastics Cup, an event expected to draw big names form the Olympic and World Championship teams. The meet is slated for Jan. 30 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The event also is scheduled to be televised nationally by NBC Sports on Feb. 20.
  • Everyone thought it was just a baseball stadium, but the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix is planning to host the first non-baseball event at Bank One Ballpark – a Confirmation Mass – on May 30. Attendance is expected to exceed 30,000 with 3,500 people being confirmed. Charles Johnston, president of Scottsdale, Ariz.- based Select Artists Associates, said his booking agency is negotiating for 10 to 12 additional events, both public and private, at Bank One Ballpark.
  • John Jacobs Golf School, one of the largest providers of golf instruction in the industry, opened a new facility at Sedona Golf Resort. The school will offer two-three- and four-day instruction programs.

 

PITTSBURGH

  • PGT signs as racing team sponsor
  • Penguins eye entertainment complex
  • Pirates use NHL stars for promotion
  • Vitac lands Fox captioning contract
  • Steel shipper PGT Trucking Inc. sign on a sponsor of two American Speed Association racing teams. CEO Patrick Gallagher said PGT is hoping the deal will create additional exposure for the company in the South and Midwest, where many steel plants are adding or beefing up operations. PGT spent $200,000 to $350,000 on the deal.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins are eyeing the parking lot around their home, the publicly owned Civic Arena, for a development project. Among the projects being considered are a high-tech entertainment complex complete with virtual reality game arcades, upscale restaurants, retail shops, a 24-screen movie complex and a 5,500-car parking garage. Bill Craig, director of business development for the Penguins, said plans to link the arena to the city via a pedestrian plaza have been discussed. Craig and Pens co-owner Roger Marino have approached Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy about the projects, but no commitments were made… Poor attendance forced the Penguins to lower the price of tickets for playoff games by as much as $10 per ticket.
  • The Pens teamed with the Pittsburgh Pirates for some cross-promotional activity during the Privates’ opening week at Three Rivers Stadium. Former Penguin Mario Lemieux threw out the first pitch when the Bucs faced the Atlanta Braves on Opening Day, and NHL All-Star Jaromir Jagr handled the toss the following night. Both the Pens and Bucs have struggled to fill seats.
  • VitacCorp a closed-captioning firm in Pittsburgh, landed a 26-week contract to provide captioning for Thursday and Saturday Major League Baseball games on FOX Sports Net and FX.

SAN FRANCISCO

  • Seifert signs with new team – CBS
  • Brown pushing for stadium land
  • Tagliabue: Policy will stay in control
  • Former San Francisco 49ers coach George Seifert signed a television deal with CBS. The network is rebuilding its announcing crew since regaining NFL rights in January. Seifert has no previous TV experience and will take a studio position with the network.
  • San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown is pushing a bill in the California Legislature that would force the state to turn over Candlestick Point land to the city for the 49ers’ new stadium-mail. The bill is an attempt to dictate terms of a deal with the state to hand over 26 acres of undeveloped land to be paved for parking. As part of the stadium-mall bond proposal that passed by a razor-thin margin last year, it was left to Brown to negotiate to acquire the land.
  • NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said embattled 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. facing federal indictment in a Louisiana gambling probe, will not regain control of the team this year. Instead, he said 49ers President Carmen Policy would run the organization. DeBartolo ceded control of the team to sister Denise DeBartolo York several months ago.

SEATTLE

  • Sonics owner plans stock offering
  • Emerald Downs starts new season
  • City opts against event bids
  • The Ackerley group, a Seattle-based Media Company and owner of the NBA’s Sonics, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell about 1.5 million shares of stock. The offering is expected to raise $31.5 million.
  • Emerald Downs, Washington’s major thoroughbred track, opened for its third season of racing on April 18. Purses are up 40 percent from last year.
  • The Seattle Bid Committee, the group campaigning against nine other cities in hopes of bringing the 2012 Summer Olympics to Seattle, decided not to bid for the 2000 US Olympic Marathon trials or the 1999 US championships due to financial considerations. But the committee has started the process to be considered for the 2002 US Figure Skating Championships.

ST. LOUIS

  • Rams form partnership with Boeing
  • T-shirts let fans count with McGwire
  • Cardinals honor greats with statues
  • Tiger Woods clinic coming to town
  • The St. Louis Rams will showcase an eagle at the Trans World Dome during their game on Nov. 22. The raptor is on loan from the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis to help kick off a $1.2 million deal between Boeing Co and the Rams that includes promotions and corporate signage.
  • A new Mark McGwire T-shirt dubbed "The Quest" is a grand slam for the Official Cardinals Team Store. The $24 shirt pictures McGwire swinging a bat on its front side. On the back are thenumbers one through 62, representing the number of home runs McGwire needs to break Roger Maris’ record of 61 home runs in one season. A felt marker is included with the shirt to check off the home runs as they are hit.
  • The St. Louis Cardinals honored former pitcher Bob Gibson with a bronze stature outside Busch Stadium. The work, which cost about $70,000 is part of a series of statues of Hall of Famers the team plans to erect around the ballpark. Miniatures of the statues will be sold for $5,000 with profits going to Cardinals Care, the team’s charitable organization benefiting children. Other Cardinals soon to be cast in bronze include Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst and Stan Musial.
  • St. Louis will host the first Tiger Woods Foundation Junior Golf Clinic and Exhibition on June 29.

TAMPA

  • Bettman wants quick Lightning sale
  • The NHL is working feverishly with the Tampa Bay Lightning to consummate a franchise sale that would eliminate "99.9 percent" of the team’s problems, said league Commissioner Gary Bettman. The sixth year club has been for sale publicly for 16 months, and recent sports portray a cash-strapped franchise. Bettman expressed optimism that the team would be sold to domestic suitors by the fall. There are no plans to relocate the team despite the club finishing at the bottom of the 26-team league this season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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