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Volume 24 No. 116

Franchises

     Although the Devils and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition
Authority were granted a 30-day extension on their September 15
deadline to come up with a lease agreement to keep the team in
New Jersey through the 2006-2007 season, there is still no
agreement and it "appears" both sides will seek another extension
(N.Y. POST, 10/13)...."Frustrated by low attendance" the Florida
Panthers are adding more seats to their "Panther Pack" tickets.
The "Panther Pack" seats were the last three rows behind the nets
and now will include the last six rows.  The additional seats
were originally priced at $20, and now will cost $9.  The prices
will run through Oct. (Dave Joseph, Ft. Lauderdale SUN SENTINEL,
10/13)....The $113.25M sale of the Kings to Denver billionaire
Philip Anschutz officially closed Thursday (L.A. TIMES,
10/13)....The Stars drew only 13,491 fans Thursday, "well below"
last year's 16,729 average (Tim Cowlishaw, DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
10/13)....San Jose Mayor Susan Hammer said she believes the
city's $43M offer to lure the Warriors from Oakland is enough to
"close the deal -- but she refused to rule out a higher cost to
the taxpayers" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/13).

     Minneapolis City Council President Jackie Cherryhomes said
yesterday she will convene a group of "key players" to "wrestle"
with the notion of moving the Jets to Minneapolis and the Target
Center, according to Jay Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.
Among those she hopes to bring together are prospective Jets
Owner Richard Burke, Target Center Manager/Ogden Corp.'s Dana
Warg, representatives of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities
Commission and the Timberwolves.  Cherryhomes noted NHL
Commissioner Gary Bettman's Nov. 15 deadline for a decision on
whether the team could move into the Target Center was
"unrealistic," adding a Dec. 14 deadline was possible.
Cherryhomes: "We (the Minneapolis Community Development Agency)
happen to own the building.  The city has no money.  And we have
seen no numbers.  But we have the responsibility to talk, if
there's anything to talk about."  Cherryhomes also said of
Burke's request for additional revenue from the Target Center:
"The city has contributed.  It's now time for the state or
region" (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/13).  An
editorial in today's STAR TRIBUNE says that "finding a way for
taxpayers to support the Jets financially may not be the critical
issue.  More important may be whether enough fan and corporate
support can be generated to maintain four major-league franchises
in the Twin Cities area, plus a full slate of University of
Minnesota sports programs" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/13).

     A compromise plan to finance a new stadium for the Mariners
and renovate the Kingdome for the Seahawks "has fallen apart,"
according to this morning's SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER.  House
Speaker Clyde Ballard (R) and Senate Majority Leader Marc Gaspard
(D) decided not to hold a vote on the plan yesterday because "too
few lawmakers were willing to support it."  Michael Paulson notes
lawmakers are scheduled to continue their special session to
debate the issue today, "but a deep divide appears to have opened
between lawmakers who negotiated the deal."  Ballard on the
proposal: "The biggest red flag of all is that there are going to
be state dollars out of the state budget.  You don't have to be
Einstein to figure out that was going to be a problem,"  but he
added, "We're going to work on ways to get the votes" (SEATTLE
POST-INTELLIGENCER, 10/13).
     BREAK IT ON DOWN: Paulson writes 55% of the House Democrats
and "more than" 50% of the Senate Democrats support the measure.
"No more than" 33% of House Republicans and 25% of Senate
Republicans support the financing plan (SEATTLE POST-
INTELLIGENCER, 10/13).