Expos President Claude Brochu told the Journal de
Montreal that the team will lose "more than" C$13M this
year. Brochu made his remarks after a meeting of the club's
ownership group. The team "may consider" cutting its
payroll next season; it currently has MLB's lowest payroll
at "about" C$17M. The team is "expected to draw a major-
league-low" 1.4 million spectators this season, including
300,000 on promotional give-away tickets. Brochu: "There's
no hiding it, we're last in everything. We're last in ticket
sales, parking, television, etc" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/26).
GENERAL: The Lightning will donate 10% of all ticket
revenue from their home opener October 1, to the Children's
Cancer Center in a tribute to Lightning C John Cullen who
was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma last March
(Lightning)....In Seattle, Blaine Newnham wrote that drawing
3 million fans for the season "is a big deal," and that the
Mariners "will be close" to 3.2 million. Team President
Chuck Armstrong said that the team "will make money" for the
first time its 20-year history (SEATTLE TIMES, 9/25)....
Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford, on the team's financial state:
"The situation isn't quite as bad as the perception. If we
draw 10,000, we'll lose about the same as we lost in
Hartford last season" (HARTFORD COURANT, 9/26).
There is a "good chance" the NFL Giants will have their
smallest September crowd since the team moved to the
Meadowlands 21 years ago this Sunday against the Saints,
which could mean "about 10,000 no-shows, if not more,"
according to Bill Pennington of the N.Y. TIMES. Giants co-
Owner Wellington Mara: "Nothing sends a more powerful
message than empty seats. It's a message that we're not
pleasing our patrons" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/26).
OTHER NOTES: In Tampa, Bucs officials said "only 57,000
are expected for Sunday's game against Arizona," leading to
a local blackout (ST. PETE TIMES, 9/25)....As of late
yesterday, "about" 12,000 tickets remained for Sunday's
Eagles-Vikings game, which will be blacked out in the Twin
Cities area (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/26).....In San
Diego, Mayor Susan Golding sent a letter to NFL Commissioner
Paul Tagliabue in "an attempt to have the league lift" the
Chargers blackout this Sunday. Golding said in a statement:
"The NFL created the blackout to encourage people to
purchase tickets to sell out home games. However, through
the rent credit, the Charges will not lose ticket revenue
for unsold general admission tickets. Therefore, the
financial requirement needed to lift the blackout has in
essence been met." According to an NFL source, Tagliabue
said he would review the request (UNION-TRIBUNE, 9/26).