The official transfer of ownership of the Warriors to cable
TV exec Christopher Cohan was finalized on Thursday. NBA owners
had approved the sale by former owners Dan Finnane and Jim
Fitzgerald on Tuesday, but the "official exchange was delayed"
because Cohan had to restructure a bank loan to meet league
requirements. Cohan, a resident of San Francisco, first
purchased 25% of the team in '91 for $21M and "reportedly paid
$105M to take complete control of the franchise." The day-to-day
operations of the club will be handled by newly hired team
President, Andy Dolich, former Exec VP of the A's (David Li,
OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 1/20).
Former Senator Tom Eagleton, who heads FANS, Inc. -- the
civic group negotiating the Rams' move to St. Louis -- was
"caught off guard" by the announcement that NFL Commissioner Paul
Tagliabue "wants to review all aspects of the Rams' relocation."
Tagliabue has called for a special February 16 meeting in Dallas
to review the move, and NFL owners are supposed to vote on the
deal at their spring meetings in March. Eagleton: "Am I
surprised? Yes. Am I downcast? No. I think when it is reviewed
they will see that all the requirements and criteria that are
needed for such a move the Rams have met" (Timothy Smith, N.Y.
MORE SUITES: The Rams have asked FANS, Inc. to build 20 more
luxury boxes in time for the stadium's opening in October,
raising the number of luxury suites to 120. Premium seat sales
in St. Louis seem to be strong: 80 of the 120 suites are already
spoken for. FANS spokesperson Al Kerth said that FANS has
commitments for 5,400 of the 6,388 club seats. The deal with the
Rams guarantees commitments -- including a deposit and a signed
contract -- of 6,000 club seats by mid-March (Robert Steyer, ST.
LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/20).
MORE FALLOUT? Angels Owner Jackie Autry warned that if
attendance at Angels games does not pick up, the team could
follow the Rams out of town: "It is time for Orange County to
wake up. If they don't the only team left in Anaheim may be a
hockey club." The N.Y. POST's Tom Keegan writes of Autry's
remark: "Threatening fans in the midst of a work stoppage ...
always adds such a nice public relations touch" (Tom Keegan, N.Y.
New Bucs Owner Malcolm Glazer's two sons will play a large
role in the team's community relations program in an effort to
"sell the Bucs." Byran, 30, and Joel, 28, will use their own
experiences to help make the Bucs a success. Joel Glazer: "We're
fans. We're coming at this from a different perspective because
we've been sitting around in the stands for the last 25 years
waiting in line for hot dogs and seeing the little things fans
get annoyed with." The two plans to push out into the community
to "drum up a lot of support" for the franchise. Joel: "We want
people to see us. Get to know us. We think marketing is very,
very important" (Nick Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/20).