Tickets to a Dallas Cowboys home game are the best overall
buy in U.S. professional sports and tickets to a Knicks home game
are the worst, according to a MONEY magazine "value ranking" of
all 83 pro-football, baseball, and basketball teams. The
ranking, which surveyed 1,000 fans nationwide and was
commissioned to ICR Survey Research in Media, PA, appears in the
magazine's October issue.
TOO BAD THE SEASON'S OVER: Of MONEY's top 10 values, eight
are MLB teams, two NFL teams: #1 Cowboys, #2 Packers, #3 SF
Giants, #4 Indians, #5 Astros, #6 Twins, #7 Expos, #8 Braves, #9
Dodgers, and #10 Marlins. Of the bottom 10, six are NBA teams
and four are NFL teams: #74 Lakers, #75 Nets, #76 Eagles, #77
Bengals, #78 Bullets, #79 Celtics, #80 Redskins, #81 Patriots,
#82 Pistons, #83 Knicks.
WAIT 'TIL THE FOX TROT STARTS: NHL teams are absent from
the ranking. MONEY's PR Director Patti Strauss told THE SPORTS
BUSINESS DAILY this morning that since "only 10 percent of our
respondents said hockey interested them the most, we decided not
to include it."
Angel owner Jackie Autry denied a report in yesterday's L.A.
TIMES that she and husband Gene Autry are trying to sell the club
for $130M. Jackie Autry: "No one outside myself knows about
this. Gene doesn't even know about it. That's why I've been so
sensitive to keep it out of the papers. I have told interested
parties the club is not for sale at this time, and that remains
the situation." Autry said she is only trying to sell a minority
interest in the club and that the minority owner "would
immediately be in charge of day-to-day operations." However,
sources close to Autry "insist that a prospective buyer would be
a minority owner only until" Gene Autry's death. Autry has
"engaged only preliminary talks" with four prospective buyers,
and she would not identify a front runner, but the Walt Disney
Co. "apparently is falling out of contention." Lakers owner Dr.
Jerry Buss said he would be interested in buying the Angels but
has yet to negotiate with Autry (Bob Nightengale, L.A. TIMES,
9/16). ESPN's Gary Miller, during the 2am edition: "Jackie
Autry said they are only exploring selling a minor interest in
Angel ownership, terming the report in the L.A. Times a total
fabrication" ("SportsCenter," 9/15).
Marion Barry's decisive win in this week's District of
Columbia mayoral Democratic primary "may have put the city back
in the running for the Redskins." Yesterday, Barry kept a
campaign promise to call Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke "to
persuade him" not to move the team to Laurel, MD. Cooke would
not say what was discussed or whether there is anything Barry
could do to keep the Redskins in Washington. Cooke: "That's
business between him and me" (Katherine Richards and Jon Morgan,
BALTIMORE SUN, 9/16).
FIRST WE MOVE, THEN WE SELL: In this morning's WASHINGTON
TIMES, columnist Jeff Nesbit asks why Abe Pollin wants to move
the Bullets and Capitals from USAir Arena. Nesbit: "Why does
Abe Pollin want to move? To correct a huge mistake he made two
decades ago, bring the fans back to Bullets games, and in the
end, remove an albatross that has made it all but impossible to
sell the Bullets or Capitals" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/16).
Professional sports teams have a payoff 65 percent higher
than blue chip stocks according to FINANCIAL WORLD magazine.
According to Paul Tharp in this morning's N.Y. POST, FW "put
together a 'portfolio' composed of the last 13 sports teams sold
over the last decade....[and] compared the values of those 13
teams to the value of stocks in the S&P 500 over the same
period." Paul Brown, FW Managing Editor: "Come rain or come
shine or strikes, the price of professional sports teams rises on
average 15 percent annually. ... As a portfolio, the teams had a
price appreciation 65 percent higher than the price performance
of the S&P over the same period" (Paul Tharp, N.Y. POST, 9/16).
Wayne Huizenga said yesterday that he would consider putting
the Marlins up for sale if MLB remains in disarray going into the
'95 season: "My decision on whether or not to ever sell the
Marlins depends on what happens next year. I will wait and see
if the owners and players make any progress. I don't know what
happens after that." Huizenga, asked if he regretted getting
involved in baseball, said laughing: "I wonder that a lot."
Huizenga will have lost about $10M from the season. A sale is
something he would not consider until next year. He said he will
give contract extensions to both manager Rene Lacheman and GM Dan
Dombrowski (Amy Niedzielka, MIAMI HERALD, 9/16).
In Vancouver, Mike Beamish examines of the trademark battle
over the franchise's name. Grizzlies owner Arthur Griffiths
applied for the trademark on June 30; attorney Keith Spencer, who
specializes in trademark registration, applied for rights on June
13. Griffiths' group was unaware of the rival application until
a few days before the August 11 unveiling of the name and logo.
When Griffiths' people found out, Spencer "delivered his ransom
note": 11 Grizzlies T-shirts, 11 autographed basketballs and four
season tickets as a "goodwill gesture in relinquishing his
group's application." Griffiths' people refused. Spencer has
since signed over his pending trademark application to another
attorney for the sum of C$1 (VANCOUVER SUN, 9/15).
TICKET-PRICES: The Grizzlies "non-premium" seats in its new
GM Place arena, scheduled to be completed in time for the
Grizzlies debut, range in price from C$15 to C$60. The Grizzlies
top club seat is C$93.40. The Grizzlies are about halfway to its
15,000 season-ticket commitments required by the end of this year
under the terms of its expansion agreement (Chris Young, TORONTO
UNIFORMS: Raptors officials will have at least two road and
home uniforms when they open in '95. An NBA source says one
uniform will feature the team's "primary logo, and that others
will include one or more of the team's secondary marks which have
yet to be unveiled" (TORONTO SUN, 9/15).
Steelers VP Arthur Rooney Jr. confirmed yesterday that the
Rooney family is interested in purchasing the Pirates. Rooney:
"It's sort of preliminary right now. We're gathering
information. We haven't got to the point where anything exciting
is happening." Steelers president Dan Rooney "has made it clear"
in the past that the Steelers interests would not be served if
they became the only tenant at the "debt-laden" Three Rivers
Stadium. That would happen if the Steelers were to move out of
Pittsburgh or if another stadium were built. Pittsburgh Mayor
Tom Murphy has scheduled a press conference today to update the
city's efforts to sell the franchise and maintain local ownership
(Steve Halvonik, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/16). CNN's Nick
Charles: "Apparently baseball's queasy status hasn't scared off
many. Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy said he will trim the list of
finalist looking to buy the Pirates to six tommorrow" ("Sports
Tonight," 9/15). ESPN's Gary Miller: "The Rooney interest is
said to be a last ditch effort to keep the in Pittsburgh before a
local buyer steps forward" ("SportsCenter," 9/15).