TARVARES SAYS DISNEY LOOKING AT OTHER SPORTS
In a recent interview with Michelle Himmelberg of THE ORANGE
COUNTY REGISTER, Tony Tavares, President of Disney Sports
Enterprises, stated his commitment to making the Mighty Ducks
"America's team in hockey," confirmed Disney's interest in other
professional sports teams -- especially for Orlando or Anaheim --
and discussed corporate ownership as the next wave in the sports
industry. Excerpts follow:
TAVARES ON DISNEY SPORTS EXPANSION: "The specific vision is
to get involved in more sports, but it has to be the right
circumstances for us to get involved. We're what I would call a
very fussy company about the kind of deals we get involved in.
We have high expectations and high requirements in regards to
return on our investments."
TAVERES ON TEAM LOCATION: "Either Orlando or Anaheim would
be levels of high interest, or any place where we have a park or
might have a park. This company is very big on synergy and
looking at ways to cross-fertilize the company. It makes more
sense to own a team in a city where we have a park than, in say,
TAVARES ON CORPORATE OWNERSHIP: "Frankly, when you start
looking at the levels of economics we're at in sports, the old
entrepreneurial guy that owned the 40 car lots, or the guy who
was the wildcatter in oil, those people just don't exist with the
kind of capital that it takes to get involved in sports."
TAVARES ON THE NHL'S FUTURE: "The key issue in hockey is we
haven't reached our maturity yet. I've been critical of hockey
in the past for not being strategic in anything it did. That
changed when Gary Bettman came on board. I believe he's a
strategic thinker with a mandate from the owners to grow the
business" (Michelle Himmelberg, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 9/25).