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Volume 24 No. 160

Franchises

          The Celtics "are likely to move their business to
     Citizens Financial Group," sources familiar with the talks
     tell Charles Stein of the BOSTON GLOBE.  The team is "on the
     verge of severing their relationship" with Fleet Financial
     Group.  Yesterday BankBoston "dropped out of the race" for
     the team's account.  BankBoston Exec VP Ira Jackson: "We
     looked hard at the numbers and simply couldn't make them
     work" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/19).

          Thursday's paid crowd of 52,140 at 3Com Park for the
     Dodgers-Giants game was the Giants' largest since July 26,
     1994, and marked their first back-to-back crowds of more
     than 50,000 since July 26-27, 1994 (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS,
     9/19)....Walt Disney's ownership of the Angels is profiled
     by Stefan Fatsis of the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  Disney "has
     been frustrated by low attendance, failed marketing efforts,
     unbending ownership rules, and a team that, like Angels of
     yore, has faded down the stretch.  In un-Disney fashion, the
     team expects to lose around $15 million this season, on top
     of $12 million in 1996" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/19).


          K.C. banker and car dealer Jerry Green said Thursday
     that he wants to buy the Royals, according to Charles
     Crumpley of the K.C. STAR.  Green, who says he has assembled
     a group of "wealthy investors" whom he would not identify,
     leads the third publicly known group interested in buying
     the team, and Royals execs said yesterday that one other
     K.C. family, "which they would not identify," is a fourth
     ownership candidate.  Yesterday Green "complained" that the
     Royals' top execs "refused to show him the financial records
     of the team."  Royals execs, however, "expressed frustration
     with Green."  Crumpley reports that because the Royals are
     operating under a special IRS ruling, they "cannot negotiate
     with only one person.  Instead, the team must hold an
     auction, at which time all potential bidders would see the
     books."  The Royals' board of directors "have been leaning
     toward waiting until next year" to hold the auction "when
     the team may profitable and, therefore, may fetch a higher
     bid" (K.C. STAR, 9/19).  The directors have three years left
     on their "six-year clock" to find a local buyer (AP, 9/19).

          The Orioles said they will have an operating profit of
     "at least" $10M this year, according to Mark Maske of the
     WASHINGTON POST.  Orioles Vice Chair/Business & Finance Joe
     Foss said that this will be the "first time" in Peter
     Angelos' four seasons as Managing General Partner that the
     team will turn an operating profit.  The size of the
     Orioles' '97 operating profit "will depend upon how far they
     advance during the postseason" -- from $10M for one
     postseason home game to approximately $17M if the team
     advances to the World Series and plays the maximum 10
     postseason home games (WASHINGTON POST, 9/19).

          A "feisty" Carl Pohlad said Thursday that his effort to
     sell the Twins to NC businessman Don Beaver is "no bluff,"
     according to Jay Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. 
     Pohlad, after meeting with Beaver for the third time in two
     days: "This is a real deal.  We're moving ever closer to an
     agreement."  Asked if the negotiations were "a ploy to
     pressure" the MN Legislature to build a new ballpark, Pohlad
     said, "Nothing could be further from the truth.  Why would I
     go through the charade of doing all this, if it's a phony
     deal, of spending hours and hours on this?  I don't care
     whether people believe me or not.  I'm going about my
     business" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/19).    
          FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES: In MN, Sid Hartman writes that
     Pohlad has "many good friends in the banking business in
     Charlotte."  Hartman: "Pohlad seldom makes a deal unless he
     gets something thrown in.  If the Twins wind up in
     Charlotte, it wouldn't be a surprise if Pohlad receives
     stock in one of the big banks there" (STAR TRIBUNE, 9/19).
          MORE BALLPARK WOES? In MN, Robert Whereatt writes that
     the possibility of "legislative consensus on one financing
     plan" for a new Twins ballpark "seems to be drifting away."
     Gov. Arne Carlson, who "has pushed" for a new ballpark,
     expressed "some dismay Thursday when asked if it could be
     turned around" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/19).