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Volume 24 No. 176

Franchises

     The Celtics announced the completion of the sale of Boston's
WFXT to Fox Television Stations for $95M.  The transaction
includes a $95M cash payment and $10M in debt forgiveness.  A
Celtics spokesperson said the team has yet to determine "the
amount of the gain it will realize from the transaction" (WALL
STREET JOURNAL, 7/11).  Celtics stock gained 1/8 on Monday to
close at 20 7/8.

     On Wednesday, the NFL Panthers will begin offering two-and
three-game "Panther Pack" ticket packages for the team's first
season at Clemson's Death Valley, according to the CHARLOTTE
OBSERVER.  The team will also offer single-game tickets starting
August 1.  "Panther Pack" packages offer another way to sell
tickets for less desirable games by packaging them with the
popular games.  These seats will not be subject to the PSLs which
go in effect when the team moves to Charlotte in '96 (CHARLOTTE
OBSERVER, 7/11).

     City and county lawmakers are poised today to approve an
$85M deal that will return the Raiders to Oakland, according to
the OAKLAND TRIBUNE.  Stacey Wells and David Li report questions
about the deal emerged over the weekend, when city councilmembers
and Alameda County supervisors began to "puzzle" over an "inch-
thick" stack of lease documents released by city officials late
Friday.  But City Councilmember Ignacia De La Fuente predicted
Monday the deal will be passed unanimously.  De La Fuente:  "In
the best of all possible worlds, we would have got the
information earlier" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 7/11).  The two groups are
expected to formally authorize the issuance of bonds to pay for
renovations and a relocation loan today, according to the S.F.
CHRONICLE.  Items in question include 100 tickets controlled by
Coliseum officials who would not have to pay the up-front PSL fee
(Peter Fimrite, S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/11).       THE TAXMAN CALLETH:
Attorneys for the IRS told a U.S. Tax Court that the Raiders have
failed to pay income taxes on at least $17.9M in payments and had
wrongfully taken a $400,000 deduction for a "bad debt" in the
'80's, according to the L.A. TIMES.  The attorneys noted the
Raiders said most of this money was taken as a loan and not
acknowledged as income.  With interest, the Raiders could be
liable for as much as $20M.  Kenneth Reich notes a decision not
expected "for months" (L.A. TIMES, 7/11).  Raiders Owner Al Davis
defended himself against the allegations.  The IRS claims that
the $6.7M Davis reecived from the L.A. Memorial Coliseum from
'82-86, $10M from Irwindale in '87, and $1.2M in damages from
Oakland in '88-89 should "have been treated as income."  Davis'
attorneys argued that the money could be treated as loans
"because the team had every intention of paying the money back
once" it built skyboxes in L.A. or a new stadium (Barry Witt, SAN
JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 7/11).
     A'S GET AN OUT:  The Coliseum Board reached a decision which
would allow the new A's owners, Stephen Schott and Kenneth
Hoffman, to end their lease at the end of the '98 season.  The
lease originally runs through 2004.  The proposal needs approval
from county and city officials (Sandy Kleffman, SAN JOSE MERCURY
NEWS, 7/11).

     Devils Owner John McMullen said yesterday, "I was very
affected by the rally.  The rally definitely had an effect."
McMullen also said the state and the Devils are unlikely to reach
an agreement before a scheduled court hearing today, "But we're
holding out hope," according to the Bergen RECORD.  The RECORD's
Pennington & Fitzgerald note McMullen indicated he is still
"disappointed" that the state refuses to let the Devils take over
management of Byrne Arena (Bergen RECORD, 7/11).  Richard
Sandomir writes that Nashville "is fading fast as the potential
future home" of the Devils.  Sandomir, on those who are
speculating that a deal is done, "They're way ahead of themselves
if they're saying that" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/11).  Larry Brooks writes,
"Again, until it is done, it is not done, until the Devils or NHL
announce a home schedule for the Meadowlands, there is no way to
know for sure" (N.Y. POST, 7/11).
     TOO BUSY FOR BILL?  Only nine members of the Devils made the
trip for a reception at the White House with President Clinton,
according to the RECORD.  Lenn Robbins notes the players who did
not attend cited a combination of "short notice and prior
commitments" (Bergen RECORD, 7/11).