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Volume 24 No. 112

Franchises

          Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones downplayed a N.Y. Times
     report that he was considering becoming head coach of the
     Cowboys, according to Jean-Jacques Taylor of the DALLAS
     MORNING NEWS. On Sunday, Jones said, "I coached my last
     football game a long time ago" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/22). 
     But the N.Y. TIMES' Mike Freeman wrote that Jones confirmed
     last week that he "has actually been considering coaching
     the Cowboys himself, either next season or not long after
     that."  While Jones says "he would probably not make such a
     move because there are so many qualified head-coaching
     candidates out there, he would also not rule out the
     notion."  Jones: "[T]here is something in me that would like
     to coach. ...  But ... the best chance for this organization
     to win is by having a full-time head coach who is qualified,
     so that's why I probably won't do it."  Still, one league
     exec who has spoken to Jones on the subject, said, "It could
     definitely happen" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/21).  CNN/SI's Peter King,
     on Jones: "I asked him if there was any circumstances under
     which he could envision ever coaching the team, and he said,
     quote, 'Not that I could ever dream of'" ("NFL Preview,"
     CNN, 9/21).  ESPN's Chris Mortensen: "Jerry Jones coaching? 
     Yes, he wants to.  No, he won't."   ESPN's Chris Berman:
     "Bye week, they needed pub" ("NFL Countdown," ESPN, 9/21).
          NOTE: The Cowboys said they would no longer conduct
     training camp at St. Edward's Univ.'s Austin, TX, campus,
     ending an eight-year relationship.  The news "raised the
     possibility" that the Cowboys might move their training camp
     to San Antonio or El Paso (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 9/20).

          Warriors Owner Chris Cohan was profiled by C.W. Nevius
     of the S.F. CHRONICLE, who wrote, "Cohan makes all the
     calls, all the time, sometimes leaving his staff to read
     about changes in the newspaper."  More Nevius: "With a
     lackluster team, a brand new arena and a cranky group of
     fans, it is crunch time for the Warriors, and it will be
     interesting to see how the sometimes mercurial owner handles
     himself."  While a new Oakland Coliseum is Cohan's "baby,"
     Nevius asked, "Will anyone be inside?"  Reports estimate
     that 4,000-6,000 season tickets have been sold and only 20
     of 72 luxury boxes.  But team General Counsel Robin Baggett
     says there has been a recent "surge" in luxury sales. 
     Nevius also noted the personnel changes within the team's
     organization: "The major staff turnover when Cohan took over
     might have been expected, but some top new hires haven't
     been around long either.  The Warriors snapped up three
     marketing types from the San Jose Sharks, but two left
     within a year.  Those who leave have complained that their
     input was limited" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/20).
          

          A group headed by K.C. businessman Frank Oddo "was
     identified Friday as the fourth group interested in bidding
     for the Royals," according to Crumpley & Whitlock of the
     K.C. STAR.  Oddo said late Friday that he has assembled
     "eight wealthy investors -- all local" -- who are interested
     in buying the team.  Oddo, who would not identify the would-
     be investors: "I've been trying to buy them for six months.
     ... I don't think they're interested in selling."  Local
     businessperson Jerry Green expressed his desire to buy the
     team on Thursday, but "complained about the reluctance of
     the Royals' board of directors to sell" (K.C. STAR, 9/20). 
          UPON FURTHER REVIEW: Royals Chair & CEO David Glass
     said it was "great that we now have a level of interest" in
     team.  But the K.C. STAR's  Crumpley wrote "whether that
     level of interest can last is a question.  As the two new
     possible owners stepped forward, the two old possible owners
     seemed less confident about continuing."  Glass, "long
     considered the front-runner ... may be out if prospective
     bidders for the team prove to be solid."  Bobby Brett, on an
     ownership group headed by him, his brother, George, and
     business exec Bill Pereira: "This year, our interest has
     really waned" (K.C. STAR, 9/21).  Columnist Jason Whitlock,
     on the Royals' Glass, President Mike Herman and GM Herk
     Robinson: "Now, for the good of [K.C.], it's time they step
     aside, put the franchise up for auction and accept our warm
     thanks for watching over the baseball club. ... [T]hey have
     outstayed their usefulness and are on the verge of
     destroying the franchise" (K.C. STAR, 9/21).

          A's co-Owner Steve Schott, on possibly relocating: "We
     have to keep all of our options open.  We have one year left
     on our lease."  In N.Y., Murray Chass noted Sacramento and
     San Jose as possibilities, "but an even more intriguing
     candidate could be Las Vegas" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/21)....In
     Dallas, season-ticket renewals for the Stars ran at a record
     92%, with 2,000 new accounts approaching the team's goal of
     10,000.  But Stars President Jim Lites "is resigned to
     losing money this season even if the Stars fill every seat
     in Reunion Arena, sell all their advertising and advance to
     the Stanley Cup finals" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/19)....In
     Toronto, Raptors Majority Owner Allan Slaight said that
     controlling interest in the team "is no longer for sale,"
     and that fans will see more of him this year.  Slaight:
     "I'll be attending games.  I have become an ardent Raptors
     fan" (TORONTO STAR, 9/22)....In Memphis, 17,737 attended the
     Ravens-Oilers game Sunday (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 9/22).

          Clark Griffith, the son of the Twins' former owner,
     Calvin Griffith, said Friday that he'll make an $80M offer
     to buy the team from Carl Pohlad and keep it in MN,
     according to Jay Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. 
     Griffith, who is aligned with "multimillionaire publisher"
     Vance Opperman and St. Paul Saints Owner Mike Veeck, said
     the offer will come before a special legislative session
     tentatively set for the week of October 20 "to determine the
     fate of a new Twins ballpark."  Griffith: "I want the
     Legislature to know that we're for real."  But Twins
     President Jerry Bell said that $80M would be "inadequate,"
     and he "dismissed Griffith as 'a fringe player.'"  Noting
     that Pohlad has more than $100M invested in the team, Bell
     said, "I'd say it's too little too late."  Griffith said the
     Twins are worth $80M in the Metrodome, where he, as an
     owner, would keep the team until "people want a new
     stadium."  Griffith, on Pohlad's talks with NC businessman
     Don Beaver: "Don needs someone who has a team whom he can
     talk about having talked to.  Carl needs leverage with his
     Legislature.  Don needs this to give him credibility for the
     referendum he's involved with."  Weiner reported that Twins
     officials "have said the Pohlad family has no intention of
     selling the team to Griffith, who has irritated them by
     repeatedly stating he wants to buy the team, but never
     delivering a serious offer" (STAR TRIBUNE, 9/20).  
          NOTES: Pohlad, on his talks with Beaver: "We have had
     some very serious conversations with Charlotte, and we will
     have some more on the telephone this weekend."  On local
     bidders: "Nobody has stepped to the plate.  But we will talk
     to anybody" (Sid Hartman, STAR TRIBUNE, 9/20).  Beaver: "We
     had some very serious discussions, though I'm not going to
     violate their trust by talking about them" (Raleigh NEWS &
     OBSERVER, 9/20)....A St. Paul PIONEER PRESS editorial on a
     new Twins ballpark: "We can only repeat our view that the
     honest way to fund a Twins stadium would be with a broad
     metrowide tax that fairly distributes the burden of this
     diffuse public benefit" (PIONEER PRESS, 9/21).

          Marlins President Don Smiley said Friday that partial
     public ownership "could be in the franchise's future,"
     according to Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD.  Smiley, who
     is trying to put together an investment group to buy the
     team from Wayne Huizenga, said that "he would consider
     selling shares in the Marlins if he acquires the team." 
     Jackson added that Smiley "has quietly submitted an offering
     circular to baseball attorneys" which explains his "approach
     to buying the team -- a process that includes securing 15 to
     25 investors who would each pay in the $5 million range." 
     Among members of Smiley's group include Huizenga's brother-
     in-law Whit Hudson.  Joe Arriola, President of a Miami-based
     printing company and an uncle of Marlins P Alex Fernandez,
     is among others who are considering joining Smiley's group. 
     Potential investors who have met with Smiley said that he
     has an interest in eventually building a baseball-only
     ballpark, "possibly near" the Heat's planned bayfront arena
     in Miami, and wants to trim payroll (MIAMI HERALD, 9/21).