ITT Corp., owner of Madison Square Garden, the Knicks and
the Rangers, posted a first quarter profits increase of 13%.
Although the company's $1.09B acquisition of MSG was not
completed in time to be included in first quarter results, the
company's profit gains were led by "double-digit percentage gains
from it's manufacturing, hotel and entertainment operations"
(Paul Tharp, N.Y. POST, 4/20). According to this morning's WALL
STREET JOURNAL, the company is "in the midst of an ambitious
restructuring that analysts say will lead to the company being
split into three separate companies," based on divisions of
insurance, manufacturing and entertainment. Sources say that ITT
is "likely to take such a step by midyear" (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
Nordiques Media Relations Dir Jean Martineau denied
yesterday that the team has "already been sold to Denver
interests." Martineau: "There is a lot of interest in the
Nordiques by business groups in several American cities, but, as
of this day, there is nothing signed." Martineau was responding
to a story in Tuesday's ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS that Comsat Video
Enterprises, owner of the NBA Nuggets, has negotiated a deal to
buy the Nordiques if the team decides to leave Quebec (CP/OTTAWA
Adelphia Communication Chair John Rigas "threw the Pirates a
curveball" yesterday, according to this morning's PITTSBURGH
POST-GAZETTE. Rigas informed the team's investment bank that he
would leave his "old offer" of $85M on the table after saying two
weeks ago that he was going to "adjust his bid for the team."
His move "perplexed" team owners who began to discuss taking the
team off the market or selling it to someone else. That "someone
else" may be FL-based developer Norton Herrick, who led an effort
for the city of Orlando to land an expansion team. Herrick "is
hot" after the Pirates with Orlando "threatening to withdraw"
financing for a new baseball stadium unless a team is found.
Herrick said he would pay up to $125M and would be willing to
keep the team in Pittsburgh if the city promises to build a new
stadium immediately. Herrick: "If we can't make it work in
Pittsburgh, I'll bring it to Orlando. ... I don't care if I make
a lot of money. But losing $40 million takes all the fun out of
ownership." With Rigas refusing to adjust his bid, Pirate
ownership "may take Herrick more seriously if for no other reason
than to force" Rigas or the city to give them the deal they want.
Ownership wants Rigas to cover this year's losses, but Rigas is
only willing to "pick up" the first $13.8M with the team to
sharing losses above that (Steve Halvonik, PITTSBURGH POST-
The Rangers are granting a "reprieve" to "bonded" ticket
holders who missed the deadline to renew. Fans who failed to
renew their season-tickets by February 1 face paying a "seat
option" of between $500 to $2,500 to regain purchasing rights.
But Rangers President Tom Schieffer said they have decided to
extend the renewal deadline to May 12, and although ticket
holders are not guaranteed to get the same seats, the team will
"allow them to purchase similar seats until May 12 without having
to pay seat-option charges" (Christopher Ave, FORT WORTH STAR-
In Montreal, the Expos have sold only 18,000 of the 46,000
available tickets for opening day. Expos VP Marketing/
Communications Richard Morency also said that group ticket sales
are down. Morency: "Usually we sell about 300,000 tickets a year
through group sales. We are at about 110,000 to 115,000 right
now, but it is still early." The good news is that Pharmaprix,
the Quebec chain of Shoppers Drug Mart, Ltd., has agreed to
purchase 2,000 season tickets for 1995 (Robert MacLeod, Toronto
GLOBE & MAIL, 4/20).