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Volume 24 No. 113

Franchises

     The Milwaukee business community committed yesterday to
increase Brewers' season ticket sales by 25% starting this year
as part of a six-year promise to financially support the team.
This morning's MILWAUKEE SENTINEL reports the business leaders
also guaranteed 2.2M in attendance at a new Brewers stadium,
which is "a critical step toward cementing the club's future in
Milwaukee."  The ticket promise is worth about $2M in new ticket
sales in '95 with an increase from 8,000 season tickets in '94 to
10,000.  Metropolitan Milwaukee Chamber Chair Robert O'Toole said
the promise "was valid regardless of whether the Brewers field a
team of replacement players this spring."  O'Toole said area
businesses would buy any unsold season tickets to meet the annual
goals, and announced that business leaders will "launch a
statewide season ticket sales campaign."  Brewers VP/Sales Jeff
Eisenberg said the effort will also include advertising and other
marketing efforts "well beyond what the Brewers could afford to
do on their own."  A ticket guarantee was expected to be part of
the efforts by the community to help the Brewers build a new
stadium, and the guarantee of attendance leading up to the
construction and opening of a new stadium provides a "key revenue
source" for the team (James Nelson, MILWAUKEE SENTINEL, 1/24).

     After remarks by former Bullet Tom Gugliotta, and current
player Chris Webber questioning the organization's care of its
players, Bullets President Susan O'Malley  defended Bullets Owner
Abe Pollin and the organization in this morning's WASHINGTON
TIMES.  Webber recently complained  regarding lack of space in
their charter flights, and the food served on the flights. The
Bullets have a deal with USAir for the season.  O'Malley said if
players have a complaint, "we want to be accommodating."  A
survey by the TIMES notes that of 23 teams reached, nine own or
lease their own plane, 13 teams fly charters, and one team, the
Bucks, split time between commercial and charter flights.  The
Jazz was the only team reached that flew "strictly commercial" --
 because the team has an agreement with Delta Airlines, which
owns naming rights to the team's arena.  The Jazz "will not
charter with other airlines."  Two Bullet players recently
complained on the food USAir was serving on flights, and the team
has switched to a catered menu.  It is unlikely Pollin would
purchase a plane for the team, since he would probably have to do
the same for his NHL Capitals (Frank Hughes, WASHINGTON TIMES,
1/24).

     LA Governor Edwin Edwards said an annoucement would be made
this week regarding the purchase of the Class AAA Zephyrs by a
"local group."  Edwards would not reveal the name of the buyers,
but New Orleans attorney Rob Couhig has been attempting to
purchase the team from current owner John Dikeou.  The two
reportedly met last week in Denver.  The Zephyrs are scheduled to
move into a $20M, 10,000 seat stadium to be built in Metairie in
time for the '96 season.  The team sale, for a "minor-league
record" $8.5M, reportedly has been on and off for months (Peter
Barrouquere, New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/21).

     Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner has rejected parts of the
city's $380M plan to "keep the team in the Bronx," according to a
report in this morning's N.Y. POST.  City officials have since
formulated a new plan and submitted it back to Steinbrenner, but
no details of the proposal were released.  Steinbrenner dismissed
a report in this week's NEW YORK OBSERVER that he has decided "to
abandon the Bronx" and had met secretly with officials at the New
Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.  Through a spokesperson,
Steinbrenner said:  "We haven't made up our minds yet as to what
we will do."  Steinbrenner met yesterday with city officials,
including NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, about the city's proposal
(David Seifman, N.Y. POST, 1/24).