Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones announced yesterday that 35% of
all the team's dollars spent on goods and services will be spent
with "certified minority businesses." This is part of an
agreement Jones has made with the NAACP to promote minorities
within the Cowboys organization. Jones also announced that three
upper-level positions within the team will be filled by African-
Americanss. Other parts of the agreement: the Cowboys will
establish a paid summer-jobs program for low-income and minority
youths and a paid internship for ethnic minority college
students; and, Jones will "conduct the Jerry Jones Annual
Minority Business Training Seminar, a two-day conference that
will give minority entrepreneurs an inside look at the business
of sports" (Dwain Price, FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 11/30).
Sacramento businessmen Fred Anderson and Kevin McClatchy are
in the process of preparing a bid for the A's. Friday is the
deadline to find a local buyer for the team, and Anderson said,
"I suspect we're going to put together some sort of formal
offer." Andersen, 70 is the President of Pacific Coast Building
Products and Owner of the CFL's Sacramento Gold-Miners.
McClatchy, 31, is heir to the McClatchy newspaper "empire." If
there are no offers by Friday, the current owners, the Haas
family, have an "option to raise the (purchase) price and pursue
outside buyers not bound to keep the team in Oakland. They
could also switch to a year-to-year lease with the Oakland
Coliseum." Anderson was hopeful his group would make a bid by
Friday (Larry Stone, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER, 11/30).
The NBA has given both the Grizzlies and the Raptors a
"respite worth almost C$70m each." Since the NBA is currently
operating without a collective bargaining agreement, the
Candadian teams will not have to make a 40% installment payment
on their US$125M expansion fees by December 1. The payment, now
due on March 1 or 30 days after a CBA is signed, is valued at
around $50M. NBA spokesperson Jan Hubbard: "The expansion
agreement says that on the December 1st date, if there is no CBA,
the payment date can be waived." Both the Grizzlies and the
Raptors declined comment, but Grizzlies managing partner Arthur
Griffiths is "believed" to be "breathing a sigh of relief from a
cash-flow point of view," since his Canucks are not generating
revenue (Craig Daniels, TORONTO SUN, 11/30).
"On a busy day of sale related meeting at One Buccaneer
Place," Bucs team trustee Steve Story met with three potential
investors interested in the team -- Dixon Ticonderoga Owner Gino
Pala, GA insurance exec Art Williams, Sr., and MO beer
distributor Jerry Clinton. Clinton, co-founder of St. Louis' NFL
expansion bid, would likely move the team to St. Louis.
Clinton's visit to Tampa was viewed as a "surprise" since St.
Louis is the front-runner to get the Rams (Yasinskas & Stebbins,
TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/30).
LINDEMANN'S SERIOUS INTEREST: Florida multimillionaire
George Lindemann reiterated his interest in the Bucs, but only at
a certain price. He says local investors are likely to be outbid
for the team by out-of-state buyers who are willing to pay as
much as $200M. Lindemann: "If the trustees wish to sell it to an
outside ownership group, they will get one price. If they wish
to keep it here, they will get another price." Lindemann, who
lost out on a bid last year for the Dolphins, said "he would
consider Tampa Bay area investors but has the money to go it
alone." His representatives met with the Bucs trusts on November
22 (John Stebbins, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/30).
St. Louis' FANS Inc. dropped its target date of December 1
to conclude negotiations with the Rams. FANS spokesperson Tom
Eagleton said some "vital issues remain which will take
additional time to resolve." The announcement is "a significant
about face for FANS in less than three weeks time," as Eagleton
said on November 11 that a deal should be done by December 1.
Negotiations apparently are bogged down on details "involving the
stadium lease and stadium operations." Some members of FANS are
also worried about the Permanent Seat Licensing plan, which would
begin in January, questioning whether buyers will be willing to
spend after the holidays. FANS is now considering beginning the
PSL sales campaign sooner, even before any announcement from the
Rams, with the money to be refunded if the Rams don't come to St.
Louis (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/30).
BANK OFFERS INCENTIVE TO RAMS: Heartland Mortgage, a
division of Heartland Savings Bank of St. Louis, is offering all
Rams personnel and employees a "special residential mortgage
program" if the team moves to the city. Heartland will waive its
normal application fee of $325 and a discout of one-half point.
Heartland sales manager Bryan Tucker: "In some small way, it
shows some more support from St. Louis" (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS
Timberwolves buyer Glen Taylor has reached an agreement with
the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC) to finalize
his team's lease at Target Center. There had been speculation
among the business community that Taylor was ready to back out of
buying the team, which has "performed poorly on the court and at
the gate." But Taylor said any unraveling of the arena deal
"won't be because of me ... I'm signing a 30-year lease. I am in
it for the long run." Taylor and the MSFC agreed that the
commission can finance the purchase of the Target Center from
Wolves sellers Marv Wolfenshon and Harvey Ratner with "short-term
variable-rate bonds rather than long-term fired-rate bonds." All
that is left to conclude the "public-private" Target Center deal
is an agreement with Ogden Corp., which will manage the facility.
Ogden VP Dana Warg was optimistic a deal could be completed by
the December 31 deadline (Hartmann & Weiner, Minneapolis STAR-