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Volume 24 No. 117

Franchises

     Primex Investments, a minority shareholder of Northwest
Sports Enterprises, has filed a petition with the British
Columbia Supreme Court requesting permission to sue Northwest
President Arthur Griffiths and associates for allegedly co-opting
the new hockey arena and NBA franchise for themselves.  If the
petition succeeds, Primex said that it will seek damages against
Griffiths and the other directors of Northwest for "breaches of
their duties of care and loyalty" to Primex by selling the new GM
Place arena to Griffiths and his associates for a nominal $100.
Primex said that it will also seek damages against Griffiths for
buying a direct interest in the Grizzlies rather than acquiring
the franchise through Northwest for the benefit of all
shareholders.  The petition states: "Griffiths wanted the arena
for himself.  He was attempting to acquire a NBA franchise for
himself or for a group of which he was a member -- a franchise
that he had been earlier seeking for Northwest" (David Baines,
VANCOUVER SUN, 10/28).

     Accountant Steve Bannatyne, who will assume control of the
Winnipeg Enterprises Corporation in late November, said yesterday
that he is interested in attracting an IHL franchise to a
downsized Winnipeg Arena.  Bannatyne said he is skeptical that
the NHL's Jets will be able to remain in Winnipeg, even following
the completion of the Manitoba Entertainment Complex: "Keeping
the Jets in Winnipeg will be very difficult even with a new
building.  Everyone is aware that the NHL has to get its labor
costs under control, but I still don't see the league making an
offer to its players that cuts the total payroll to $15 million
Canadian.  Without that, it's going to be tough to keep the Jets
here.  I'm an accountant and I look at the economics and I don't
see how we can afford the NHL in Winnipeg."  With that in mind,
Bannatyne plans to become active in pursuit of an IHL team: "I
think an IHL franchise would be ideal for a city this size"
(WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 10/28).

     Marv Wolfenson, who with Harvey Ratner is selling the
Timberwolves to Glen Taylor, is not concerned that First Bank
System's withdrawal of $4.5M will leave Taylor without sufficient
money to close the deal.  Wolfenson: "He wants to own it, the
league wants him to own it, everybody wants him to own it, so why
shouldn't he own it?" (Charley Walters, ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS,
10/28).

     Rams officials, not including team president John Shaw, were
in St. Louis Thursday "as part of continuing discussions" about
moving the team to St. Louis.  The city's delegation included
FANS Inc. point man Tom Eagleton.  A source close to FANS Inc.
said it was the first time Rams officials had been to the city.
Before the Rams visit, Eagleton said that the two parties had a
"steady" exchange of dialogue and "didn't rule out" possible
face-to-face meetings.  FANS presents its revised proposal to the
Rams in early November and hopes to hear a decision by
Thanksgiving.  MO businessman Stan Kroenke and Rams officials
"continue to progress" in negotiations to have Kroenke purchase a
minority interest if the Rams move to St. Louis (Jim Thomas, ST
LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 10/28).

     Sacramento businessmen Kevin McClatchy and Fred Anderson
yesterday confirmed reports that they are interested in
purchasing the Athletics.  But the two businessmen denied that
they have any intention of bringing the club to Sacramento.
Earlier yesterday, Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna pledged that the
city would build a new baseball stadium if the two men were
successful in purchasing the A's.  Anderson, who is part-owner of
the Kings and owner of the CFL's Sacramento Gold Miners, said
that he has had trouble with Sacramento officials in the past and
would therefore not be interested in bringing the A's to the
city: "I've given up on Sacramento."  Anderson said he would like
to couple a purchase of the A's with moving the Gold Miners to
the Oakland Coliseum.  Sources have confirmed that at least four
and as many as six other groups have received permission from the
American League to look at the A's books (John Hickey, OAKLAND
TRIBUNE, 10/28).

     Seven Dallas fans have filed a lawsuit againt the Stars
seeking a full refund for their season tickets.  The suit seeks
"refunds, interest and court cost for failing to provide the
sports entertainment contracted for."  Two days ago the team
announced its ticket-refund policy which allows full refunds to
be made only on games cancelled by the NHL.  Mark Brinkman,
originator of the suit: "Them announcing the refund policy wasn't
the reason we filed, but it's basically a joke.  They've
basically told us, 'We'll hold on to your money and pay you 5%
interest for the right to do that.'  I'd just as soon have my
money back now."  Each plantiff is seeking the price of a season
ticket ($1,190.75 or more), minus a non-refundable $250 deposit,
and each asks for $264 in parking costs" (Mike Heika, FORT WORTH
STAR TELEGRAM, 10/27).  The plantiffs "also want their case to be
ruled a class action so other ticket holders who want refunds can
get them" (Gayle Reaves, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/27).