NJ Gov. Christine Todd Whitman said the NJSEA is willing to
pay for improvements to Brendan Byrne Arena and would potentially
join with a private-sector partner to build more "revenue-
producing" luxury suites, according to the Bergen RECORD.
Whitman said this would address one of the Devils' key complaints
"without putting taxpayers on the hook" (Fitzgerald/Hirsch,
Bergen RECORD, 6/13).
OTHER DEVILISH DETAILS: ESPN's Keith Olbermann,
reporting last night's Conference Finals win by the Devils,
referred to the team as the "New Nashville Jersey Devils"
and said, Remember this, Flyers fans, at least your team is
certain to exist next year" ("SportsCenter," 6/13). In a
N.Y. POST column, with the header "McMullen's Just a Whiny
Ingrate," Jay Greenberg responds to Devils Owner John
McMullen's claims that nobody has ever thanked him for
bringing the Devils to NJ. Greenberg writes that the only
thing worse than a businessman who "wants to be subsidized
for his own failures" is "one with a martyr complex" (N.Y.
POST, 6/13). Tony Coleman's column in the Nashville
TENNESSEAN notes that it would not be unprecedented for a
league champion to move citing, among others, the Brooklyn
Dodgers and Boston Redskins (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 6/13).
The Tigers are leading MLB in the category entitled "highest
percentage of ticket-sales increase," according to Lynn Henning
in the DETROIT NEWS. The category is a comparison of ticket
sales through the first month of the '94 and '95 seasons. Even
though the Tigers are 22nd among MLB clubs in attendance, they
have sold 27,595 more tickets this year than last. But Tigers
officials expressed cautious optimism. Tigers Marketing Dir
Mike Dietz: "It's not like we are going to beat a drum over it.
We are not going to advertise that our attendance is up when our
turnstile counts are probably lower." Dietz also said that on
most days the figures are pretty close and the Tigers have
offered big discounts and been active with corporate tie-ins.
Dietz: "We have been able to sell quite a few tickets to sponsors
who can use the tickets for whatever purpose they choose"
(DETROIT NEWS, 6/13).
ITT Corp. said yesterday that its board of directors
approved a management plan to "spin-off" its businesses into
three separate companies: ITT Corp. (including ITT Sheraton and
ITT's interests in Caesar's World and Madison Square Garden), ITT
Industries (automotive and defense), and ITT Hartford
(insurance). ITT Chair, President & CEO Rand Araskog will become
Chair & CEO of the new ITT Corp. (ITT). Araskog is expected to
use the new ITT Corp. "as a vehicle to expand in the fast-growing
leisure and entertainment businesses" (Eben Shapiro, WALL STREET
JOURNAL, 6/14). But Ronald Bowman, who will be No. 2 at ITT
Corp., said the new company was already growing at a 30% rate
adding "that any acquisitions in the foreseeable future will
probably be small ones" (Paul Tharp, N.Y. POST, 6/14). Lehman
Brothers analyst Phua Young expects ITT Corp. stock to sell at
between $37-47 a share (USA TODAY, 6/14). ITT has a 50% stake in
MSG, which includes the Knicks, the Rangers, Madison Square
Garden and the MSG Network. ITT is rumored to be interested in
buying a network, as well as investing in Boston's proposed
megaplex (THE DAILY).
The Spirit of Manitoba agreed yesterday to purchase the
majority shares of the Jets for $32M, according to today's
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS. The agreement is not final, however, until
Spirit puts down a $10M deposit -- for which it has until Friday.
The FREE PRESS' John Douglas notes that, "while the sale is a
major step towards keeping the Jets in Winnipeg long-term, it is
not over." Spirit must now complete an agreement with the three
levels of government to build a new 16,000-seat arena and raise
another $20M to cover future losses. Closure is "contingent on
three issues being settled": 1) Private sector investment of
$80M -- $60M of which has already been pledged; 2) Favorable
rulings on re-capitalization and the charitable status of a fund
to cover losses; and 3) Approval by the NHL. In addition to
buying shares for $32M, the new owners would pick up $8M in debts
and be prepared to cover about $15M in expected losses next year
(WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 6/14).