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).