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Volume 24 No. 158

Franchises

          Nashville's Metro Council approved an amendment to the
     Oilers' stadium agreement that reduces the team's rent by
     $19.1M over the 30-year life of the lease, according to Rob
     Moritz of the NASHVILLE BANNER.  Council members said their
     decision to support the change "was swayed heavily" by the
     Oilers' announcement Monday to locate their $17M practice
     facility locally in Bellevue and not a neighboring county. 
     The rent change "was needed" because the team had exercised
     a contract option not to have the practice facility built
     next to the Nashville stadium.  Mayor Phil Bredesen and the
     Oilers negotiated the rent reduction from $1M a year to
     $362,319 (NASHVILLE BANNER, 4/17).

          The NHL Panthers will purchase a minority interest in
     the AHL Carolina Monarchs.  Carolina Ownership rep Bill
     Black said that the Panthers, who have a parent-club
     affiliation with the Monarchs, "probably" would purchase
     between 25-40% of the team (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 4/16).
     ...The Stars, who sold out nine of their 41 regular season
     home games, drew 16,418 last night for their playoff opener
     against the Oilers at 16,924-seat Reunion Arena (DALLAS
     MORNING NEWS, 4/17).....The Knicks' Patrick Ewing denied
     allegations that he sexually harassed a flight attendant on
     the team's jet (N.Y. POST, 4/17)....Warriors Owner Chris
     Cohan is interviewed by the S.F. CHRONICLE's David Steele. 
     Cohan says he has "done everything right as far as getting
     us into a fan-friendly building that they will enjoy going
     to, and paying for it in a non-taxing way to the public,
     with no PSLs."  Cohan, on the team's front office and on-
     court performance: "The production has not worked out" (S.F.
     CHRONICLE, 4/17)....In Toronto, Steve Simmons writes that
     "highly placed sources" from within MLB said that the Murray
     Frum-led bid to buy the Blue Jays is "considered suspect"
     and "may never be approved" by MLB's ownership committee. 
     Simmons notes the "baseball bosses wonder where the money,
     the $180 million, is coming from" (TORONTO SUN, 4/17).
     ...Cablevision and ITT signed a "definitive agreement" for
     ITT to sell its 50% interest in the MSG sports and
     entertainment properties to Cablevision (MSG/Cablevision).

          The Rams' performance on the field during the '97
     season "could have a direct impact on its bottom line" for
     the first time in the organization's history in St. Louis,
     according to Josh Gotthelf of the ST. LOUIS BUSINESS
     JOURNAL.  Following the '97 season, 20%, or 1,220 of the
     Rams 6,100 club seat agreements expire.  Rams VP/Sales Brian
     Ulione said 200 of those have already been renewed, leaving
     1,000 fans "to decide if they're getting their money's
     worth."  The BUSINESS JOURNAL's Gotthelf notes that over the
     three years, the length of the shortest club-seat lease,
     "swaying the undecideds" could be worth $4.5M to the team. 
     This is the last season the St. Louis Convention and
     Visitors Commission and Civic Progress has guaranteed to buy
     unsold club seats, which in two years has contributed over
     $1M to the team.  Also, a $900,000-a-year Southwestern Bell
     sponsorship is in its final year, as are four other "major"
     sponsorships that team sources put at close to $250,000 per
     year each (ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/14).    

          The Sacramento City Council gave "what should be the
     last approval needed" to implement a $70M loan to the Kings,
     although council approval "came only after considerable
     debate" about the actual value of Arco Arena, according to
     Tony Bizjak of the SACRAMENTO BEE.  Under the loan deal, the
     city would end up with the arena if the Kings ever default,
     but the value of the arena remained unresolved despite the
     council's loan approval.  While the arena was appraised for
     $87M in '94 by a private valuation company, the county
     assessor set the value of the arena and the property in it
     at just under $49M two years ago for property tax purposes. 
     City staff members "have said they guess the arena would be
     worth about $50M to them, if they were stuck with it."  Two
     pending court suits over the proposed ticket surcharge at
     the arena must still be resolved before a bond sale to
     finance the loan can happen (SACRAMENTO BEE, 4/16). 
 

          A recent Quinnipiac College Poll surveyed New Jersey     voters' sports interests and focused on interest in     supporting a Yankees move from New York to the Meadowlands.      The poll of 867 NJ residents who say they are registered     voters was conducted April 1-6 with a margin of error of +/-     3.3%.  The poll surveyed fans on the subject of their     favorite pro teams.  In the NBA, 23% named the Knicks as     their favorite team; 10%, Bulls; 7%, 76ers; 5%, Nets.  With     the NFL, 27% named the Giants as their favorite team; 13%,     Eagles; 5%, Jets. In the NHL, 24% list the Devils, 16%,     Flyers; 14%, Rangers.  For MLB, 36% named the Yankees their     favorite team; 13% tabbed the Phillies; 11% named the Mets.      The following lists a statewide breakdown of voters'     preferences on the future of the Yankees, compared to a     similar poll from the end of '96 (Quinnipiac College).     
SHOULD YANKEES STAY IN NEW YORK OR MOVE TO NEW JERSEY?
TOT
SOUTH
CENTRAL
NORTH
DEC '96
Stay in New York
44%
45%
36%
48%
48%
Move to New Jersey
36%
32%
39%
38%
27%
Don't Know/No Answer
20%
23%
25%
15%
24%

WHO SHOULD PAY FOR STADIUM IF YANKEES MOVE TO NEW JERSEY?
TOT
SOUTH
CENTRAL
NORTH
DEC '96
The State
7%
6%
6%
8%
6%
Independent/ Meadowlands
29%
27%
30%
29%
30%
Yankees
55%
58%
55%
54%
55%
Don't Know/ No Answer
9%
9%
9%
9%
9%

IF YANKS MOVED TO N.J., MORE LIKELY OR LESS TO ATTEND A GAME?
TOT
SOUTH
CENTRAL
NORTH
DEC '96
More Likely
37%
20%
40%
47%
35%
Less Likely
6%
8%
6%
5%
5%
No Difference
55%
71%
52%
47%
58%
Don't Know/No Answer
1%
1%
1%
2%
2%

 

 

 

          Today, THE DAILY continues our exclusive MLB team     profiles with a look at the Rangers.  On deck: The Cards
TEAM:
Texas Rangers
'97 SLOGAN:
"Let's Paint the Town Red"
PLAYERS FEATURED:
Juan Gonzalez, John Wetteland, Mark McLemore
PAYROLL (^):
$50, 177,039 (6 of 28)
SEASON-TICKETS:
15,100 (full season plans)
SELECT KEY SPONSORS:
Miller Brewing Co., Coca-Cola, Dodge, Office Depot, A-B, Blockbuster Video
OUTFIELD WALL ADS:
Coca-Cola, Office Depot, GTE, Target, A-B, Armitron, Miller Brewing Co.
VIRTUAL ADVERTISING:
None
WEB SITE:
www.texasrangers.com
SITE DESIGNER:
Netcom Interactive/Icon Interactive
ADVERTISING ON SITE:
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
BROADCAST TV:
KXAS-TV, KXTX-TV
GAMES/YEAR IN DEAL/$:
KXAS-15 games, KXTX-35 games/2 of 5/$7M
CABLE TV:
Fox Sports Southwest
GAMES/YEAR IN DEAL/$:
60 games/1 of 4/na
SALES RESPONSIBILITY:
Station for both broadcast and cable
RADIO:
KRLD-AM
GAMES/YEAR IN DEAL/$:
162/1 of 1/$4.5M
SALES RESPONSIBILITY:
Station
NOTES: Team payroll comes from USA TODAY figures. Length of deal and rights fee for TV and radio packages comes from Broadcasting & Cable, 3/31 issue.

          Although the Red Wings will continue to use the "Al the
     Octopus" character as a marketing mascot, the team is
     "discouraging fans from flinging seafood on the ice" during
     the Stanley Cup playoffs, according to Steve Schrader of the
     DETROIT FREE PRESS.  The NHL has decreed that "any concerted
     or widespread conduct by the fans which results in the
     littering of the ice ... will not be tolerated" and may
     result in a delay of game penalty.  Ted Speers, Wings Dir of
     Marketing: "We're going to work with fans to keep the
     octopus as a symbol, not an action."  Kevin Dean, owner of a
     Detroit-area fish market: "As the rounds progress, we'll see
     our octopus sales increase" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 4/16).