SBJ/November 17 - 23, 2003/Other News

News in brief from The Sports Business Daily


GUESS WHO'S BACK?: ESPN acknowledged it is developing a reality show around flamboyant former NBA player Dennis Rodman. The show, tentatively titled "Rodman on the Rebound," will not dwell on the negative aspect of Rodman's troubled past, according to an ESPN spokesperson, but rather on his desire to return to the NBA. The series is scheduled to begin Dec. 4.


NO LOVE FOR L.A.: WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott said the Bank of America WTA Tour Championships will leave Los Angeles in 2005. Scott said there is interest from China and Europe, as well as other U.S. cities, in hosting the tournament. Anschutz Entertainment Group and Octagon each own 50 percent of the event. AEG President Tim Leiweke said he was surprised Scott made the news public right before this year's finals. Leiweke noted it would "make the job of his sales team that much more difficult" if next year's event is viewed "as a lame duck."


LEONSIS' CAPS $100M IN HOLE: The Washington Capitals have

lost nearly $100 million since Ted Leonsis and other investors bought the team for $85 million in 1999, according to team sources cited by The Washington Post. The report said the team could lose up to $30 million this season. Leonsis: "We're kind of like the poster boys for what's wrong with the league. We're spending a lot of money and we're losing a lot of money."


JETS LANDING NEW STADIUM?: Business Week Online reported that the New York Jets are expected to announce within two months that they will build a $1 billion, retractable-dome stadium on Manhattan's west side. The Jets would pay for the bulk of the project, which also would serve as a convention center and arena and would likely be a big boost to New York's bid to host the 2012 Olympics.

JUST A SMALLTOWN COWBOY: Rowlett, Texas, a suburb of Dallas with a population of about 50,000, has expressed interest in the planned $1 billion project for a new stadium, hotel and entertainment complex for the Cowboys. Rowlett is by far the smallest of the cities to express interest. Rowlett has offered $80 million in infrastructure improvements to the site and an estimated $400 million from county taxes. Cowboys director of corporate communications Brett Daniels said, "We met with them to get their information, and we're open to their ideas, but [we're] moving forward with the two primary sites [downtown Dallas and Irving's Las Colinas development]."


GUILTY PLEA: Former Charlotte Hornets President Spencer Stolpen has agreed to plead guilty to bank fraud and filing a fraudulent bank loan application as part of a deal that calls for him to serve 15 months in prison. The bill of information alleges that Stolpen, "facing mounting overdue debts in 2002, engaged in a scheme to defraud banks." He is accused of forging a $110,000 check drawn on a checking account that he "knew had been closed and depositing the fraudulent check into his personal checking account," according to The Charlotte Observer.

BOXER SUES OVER "ROCKY": The Associated Press reported that former heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner filed a lawsuit against Sylvester Stallone in state Superior Court in Jersey City, N.J., "claiming the 'Rocky' movie series was based on Wepner's own career." Wepner contends that Stallone "repeatedly credits [Wepner's 15-round loss to Muhammad Ali in 1975] as the inspiration for the film." Wepner's attorney, Anthony Mango, said Wepner is "entitled to part" of the $1 billion that Mango estimates the movie has made. The suit said that Stallone "made several promises to Wepner that he would be financially compensated over the years, but no payments were made." Michelle Vega, Stallone's publicist, declined comment.

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