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Volume 24 No. 113

Franchises

          The Ravens are scheduled tomorrow to finalize a
     "complex financial restructuring" in which the team will
     take on $185M in debt and shift majority ownership -- "but
     not control" -- from Art Modell to his wife, Pat, according
     to Jon Morgan of the Baltimore SUN.  Modell, "working to pay
     off debts" from Cleveland, buy out two OH-based minority
     partners and pay the "considerable bills" from his
     relocation to Baltimore last year, transferred ownership of
     70% of the team to his wife of 28 years.  He will retain 30%
     of the team's stock, "the minimum that the league requires
     for a general partner."  As General Partner, he will "retain
     the ability to make all decisions affecting the franchise
     and vote on its behalf at league meetings."  Boston-based
     Fleet Financial Group will raise $90M in capital through
     partner banks and will arrange for the sale of $95M in notes
     similar to corporate bonds (Baltimore SUN, 9/17).
     

          Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner has confirmed that
     Joe Molloy, his son-in-law and the team's General Partner,
     "has given up his day-to-day responsibilities -- a move
     several Yankees insiders anticipate will become a permanent
     withdrawal," according to Dan Wasserman of the Newark STAR-
     LEDGER.  After nine years with the Yankees, Molloy has taken
     a "sabbatical" to return to teaching at a Tampa high school. 
     Wasserman wrote that observers "agree that Molloy's days
     [as] a full-time force in the front office are history,
     especially as long as Steinbrenner is around."  On Monday,
     Steinbrenner "admitted that the latest defection makes his
     youngest son, Hal, a clear-cut heir apparent" as Managing
     General Partner when he retires (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 9/16).

          In Memphis, just over 13,000 tickets have been sold as
     of Tuesday for Sunday's Oilers game (Memphis COMMERCIAL
     APPEAL, 9/17)....At the MLB owners meeting in Atlanta, the
     Executive Council, of which Twins Owner Carl Pohlad is a
     member, "is expected to further discuss" the possibility of
     allowing individual team owners to sell stock in their teams
     -- a policy Pohlad has endorsed (STAR TRIBUNE, 9/16)....In
     Chicago, Sam Smith writes about Dennis Rodman and the Bulls
     under the header, "Memo To Bulls: Whatever You Do Don't Sign
     Rodman."  Smith: "It's time to dump Rodman's behind, not
     risk seeing it. ... Just say no" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/17).
          ECHL NEWS: The ECHL approved the expansion application
     KTB Sports for the territory of Southwest FL.  The
     principles in the expansion franchise are Hurricanes/
     Compuware Chair Peter Karmanos, Compuware Vice Chair Thomas
     Thewes, and Craig Brush, president of KTB Sports (ECHL).
     ...Minority partners Matt Strelo and Shawn Hegan have
     assumed management control of the ECHL's Jacksonville Lizard
     Kings, owned by Horn Chen.  Strelo is now the team's new
     president and Hegan is the Exec VP & GM (Lizard Kings)

          An Edmonton group "is expected" to announce sometime
     today its intentions to buy the NHL Oilers, according to Ric
     Dolphin of the EDMONTON JOURNAL.  The group is led by Cathy
     Allard Roozen, who is part owner of Vancouver-based WIC TV;
     and Bruce Saville, a computer entrepreneur.  The JOURNAL's
     Dolphin reports that the two are worth "in excess" of C$300M
     between them (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 9/17).
          SALES UPDATE: Senators President & CEO Roy Mlakar said
     that the team is "approaching" the 9,400 mark for season-
     ticket sales, 1,300 more than the team sold last year.  He
     said the goal is to have 10,000 season-ticket holders by the
     start of the season and 12,000 by the start of the '98-99
     season (OTTAWA SUN, 9/17)....Canadiens GM Rejean Houle:
     "We've sold about 15,000 season tickets, which is where we
     were last season.  We're working on our group sales and
     various packages now" (Montreal GAZETTE, 9/17).

          Anaheim Sports President Tony Tavares said that the
     Walt Disney Co. "expects to lose at least" $25M in its first
     two seasons operating the Angels and "could spend" another
     $90M to renovate Anaheim Stadium, according to Shaikin &
     Weyler of the L.A. TIMES.  Tavares said the Angels lost $12M
     in '96, and he "anticipates a larger loss this season,
     primarily because of lower attendance."  The Angels are on
     pace to draw 1.8 million, their "lowest figure for a
     nonstrike season" since '78.  Tavares added that the $100M
     stadium renovation project is also over budget by about 10%.
     Disney is responsible for cost overruns on the renovation. 
     Noting the team's financial situation, Tavares said that he
     was "disappointed to receive letters from fans critical of
     Disney" for selling naming rights to Edison Int'l.  Tavares:
     "How does it harm you as a fan?  It doesn't.  We've got to
     try to tap every source of revenue we can to keep these
     seats affordable" (L.A. TIMES, 9/16).