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Volume 24 No. 156

Franchises

     George Scholz testified Thursday that former Magic Coach
Matt Guokas supports his claims that Magic officials made up
reasons to fire him, according to the ORLANDO SENTINEL.  Scholz,
who is suing the team for reverse discrimination and defamation,
quoted Guokas as once saying he approved of Scholz's work, but
thought his job may still be in jeopardy.  Scholz says the team
fired him as assistant coach to hire a black coach, but Magic
officials contend he was only given the title as a courtesy.
Scholz testified that a team document that says he was dismissed
because he "followed his own agenda," was falsified and that
Guokas backs that claim (Gene Yasuda, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/19).

     While the Hornets continue their streak of consecutive
sellouts, actual attendance has "dropped noticeably" this season
prompting team officials to take action, according to the
CHARLOTTE OBSERVER.  Hornets Owner George Shinn is trying to
boost the entertainment and cash value of going to a Hornets game
by offering prizes for fans and bonuses for ushers.  Since
installing a bar code system on tickets, Hornets officials can
track attendance patterns, and Shinn said they will call season
ticket holders who are not using tickets to encourage them to
come or offer the tickets to other fans.  Promotions include a
lottery-style "Shoot for Loot," where fans try to hit a halfcourt
shot for money (Ron Green, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/19).

     A record Canadian basketball audience of 36,118 showed up
last night in Toronto to watch Michael Jordan and the Bulls take
on the Raptors, according to the SPECTATOR.  Using Raptors VP
Brian Cooper's estimation that a Jordan-less Bulls game would
have drawn about 21,000, Jordan brought in an extra 15,118 fans,
and an extra C$500,000 in gate and concessions (Hamilton
SPECTATOR, 1/19).

     MLB announced yesterday that owners approved the Walt Disney
Co.'s acquisition of a 25% interest in the Angels, effective
March 18.  Disney will also assume the role of managing general
partner.  The Angels will be a part of Disney Sports Enterprises
Inc., joining the Mighty Ducks, acquired by Disney in December
'92.  Disney has the option to purchase the remaining 75%
interest in the team at a later date, and the acquisition is
contingent upon reaching a lease agreement with Anaheim in the
next 60 days (Disney).  Jan Hopkins reported Disney stock was up
1/4 to 59 3/4 after the news ("Moneyline," CNN, 1/18).  Disney
CEO Michael Eisner: "I just come from the theory that when
everybody is talking bad about something that's basically good,
it's the time to get into it" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/18).

     Oilers Owner Bud Adams gave a brief update Thursday at the
NFL owners meetings on his plans to move his team to Nashville.
Following the update, most NFL owners said Adams "easily will be
able to get" approval to move, according to the HOUSTON
CHRONICLE.  At the advice of Oilers officials, Adams had no
comment.  But Raiders Owner Al Davis noted, "My sense is that the
consensus is in favor of Bud.  Houston is doing nothing to block
the move, and Bud is part of the old guard that tends to take
care of itself."  Houston Mayor Bob Lanier has said if the Oilers
leave and the NFL doesn't give Houston another team, the city may
challenge the NFL as a monopoly (John Williams, HOUSTON
CHRONICLE, 1/19).