"Now all that's left for the Oakland Raiders to become
official is one final autograph from Raiders managing general
partner Al Davis," writes David Li of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE.
Although Davis has yet to sign the Coliseum lease, East Bay
officials reportedly see the delay "as a matter of diplomacy over
punctuality" as NFL owners prepare to meet Friday and discuss the
Raiders' move. Davis is apparently awaiting league approval
before signing the lease, although he maintains he does not need
permission to relocate the team. Yesterday, Oakland City Manager
Craig Kocian and interim Alameda County Administrator Susan
Muranishi "formally entered" into a joint powers agreement -- the
"administrative move" necessary to sell up to $225M in bonds to
finance Coliseum renovations (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 7/18).
SEASON TICKETS: With the deadline for applications and
partial payment for season-ticket first priority passed at
midnight last night. Oakland Coliseum Dir of Marketing Mike
Savod said the Raiders distributed 283,000 applications and
people began lining up at 4:00pm yesterday in a rush to return
their applications. A computer will randomly select those who
can buy season tickets, with priority given to those who
submitted their PSL applications by the deadline (Peter Fimrite,
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 7/18).
RADIO DEAL: The Raiders are expected to announce today or
tomorrow a $1M deal for KNEW-AM and KSAN-FM to carry their games
this year (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 7/18).
The Nets are offering season-ticket holders full
"satisfaction guaranteed" refunds through October 20, as well as
refunds with interest "if any games are lost to labor strife"
next season, according to John Helyar in today's WALL STREET
JOURNAL. Nets President John Spoelstra: "We had players that
quit on us last year; we've got the possibility of losing games
to the lockout; we felt we had to do something different."
Helyar writes, "The Nets, like all NBA teams, have been unable to
trade old players or sign new ones because of the league-wide
lockout. ... Because of this, their renewal pitch is limited to
boasting of a new, improved attitude in pretty much the same old
team" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/18). The Nets' pledge leads
Michael Hiestand's Sports Biz column (USA TODAY, 7/18).
While the Packers are due to receive an additional $1M
annually from 90 new luxury boxes recently installed at Lambeau
Field, the team is constantly looking for other means of revenue,
according to Vince Butler in this morning's MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
SENTINEL. Butler reports that the team, which claims to have
"nearly exhausted their sources of revenue," is looking into
taking over Lambeau's in-stadium advertising, which could produce
an additional $800,000-$1M a year (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL).
VA Gov. George Allen yesterday named eight persons to the
Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority, which will have power to
"pick a site, arrange construction financing and negotiate lease
terms for a major league ballpark," according to the WASHINGTON
TIMES. Virginia Baseball Exec VP Michael Scanlon: "It makes it
much easier for us to go out and get a team when we know where
the stadium's going to be." A ninth Authority member will be
named once a stadium site is determined (Andrew Cain, WASHINGTON
TIMES, 7/18). Another local report notes that baseball economics
pose a great "financial risk" to those trying to bring a team to
the area. But Virginia Baseball head William Collins remains
upbeat. Collins: "This market is recognized by baseball people
as the next great market. Northern Virginia is the last great
untapped market for baseball" (John Lombardo, WASHINGTON BUSINESS
JOURNAL, 7/14-20 issue).
WHAT TEAM? With Expos Owner Claude Brochu's statement that
he has no intention of selling his team, Mark Maske writes that
the "would-be" MLB ownership group in Northern VA "would have to
turn their attentions" to the Pirates or Mariners (WASHINGTON
POST, 7/16). But in Baltimore, Ken Rosenthal adds the Padres,
presently run by former Orioles exec Larry Lucchino, who has
roots in the DC area. Rosenthal, who notes that league rules
prevent another AL team moving within 75 miles of the Orioles,
also mentions the possibility of Lucchino joining Collins'
ownership group, possibly running the team as president.
Rosenthal: "So it could be the Padres, it could be the Expos, it
could be the Pirates. The question is not if Northern Virginia
will get a team, but when" (Baltimore SUN, 7/16).
The Braves' attendance is down 26.1% after 38 home dates, an
improvement from earlier in the season, when after 10 games,
attendance was down 43.7%. However, "Braves fans aren't exactly
fighting for a spot on the post-strike bandwagon," writes I.J.
Rosenberg in this morning's ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. Rosenberg
reports that the first-place squad's no-show rate is 27.9% --
9,511 per game. The Braves recently began a 25-game season-
ticket package deal that will allow fans to buy playoff ticket.
The team sold 200 in the first week (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 7/18).