Timberwolves Owner Glen Taylor met with the Pohlad
family this week "and discussed the possibility of buying
into Carl Pohlad's Twins as part-owner," according to Sid
Hartman of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Taylor: "I want to
do anything I can to help the Twins get the new stadium so
they can stay here." Neither party would discuss the
meeting, but a source told Hartman that "while little
progress was made, Taylor and Pohlad might meet again."
(STAR TRIBUNE, 10/10). In Minneapolis, Jay Weiner reports
that the MN Legislature's special stadium task force
recommended that the state contribute $250M to stadium
construction, "with slot machines at Canterbury Park
racetrack and Minnesota Lottery proceeds as the main funding
sources." The state's contribution would be part of a $411M
retractable-roof ballpark. The host city and county would
kick in a combined $50M, and the Twins would be responsible
for raising $111M in private money (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/10).
FROM THE VIKINGS: Meanwhile, Vikings President Roger
Headrick denied an ESPN report that quoted him as saying
that if the Twins get a new stadium and the Vikings don't
receive any legislative help to remodel the Metrodome, the
team will leave MN. Headrick: "I didn't mention anything
about moving the franchise." The STAR TRIBUNE's Sid Hartman
reports "talk" that MN-based Lyle Berman and Stan Taube are
ready to make a bid for the Vikings (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/10).
Newly acquired Shawn Kemp has become the "centerpiece"
of the Cavaliers' efforts to "revive fans' flagging interest
in the franchise and to fill more seats at Gund Arena,"
according to Angela Hardin of CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS.
Cavs Senior VP/Sales & Marketing Jim Kahler said that Kemp's
arrival puts the team "ahead" of last year's ticket sales
pace, but he would not provide specific figures. With a
"need to boost attendance," the Cavs are "stepping up" their
marketing efforts. For the first time, the team has created
a 30-minute infomercial that has aired once on local WJW-TV
and three times on SportsChannel. Kahler: "It allows us 30
minutes to tell what['s] going on with the team. ... We've
seen around 100 calls a show." In addition, the Cavs have
boosted their telemarketing department from a staff of 10 to
30 and have joined with Cleveland based Liggett-Stashower
Inc. for a new advertising campaign with the tagline, "Bring
It On" (CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS, 10/6 issue).
NO BACKLASH HERE: In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman reports
that the Timberwolves have sold more than 1,000 full-season
tickets since signing Kevin Garnett to a $125M contract
extension. Also, more than 7,000 people attended Tuesday
night's free, intrasquad scrimmage at the Target Center.
Overall, the team has sold almost 10,000 full-season and
5,000 partial-season tickets (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/10).
NHL: In N.Y., Marc Berman reports that Coyotes co-Owner
Steven Gluckstern is expected to sign contract documents
today for his $195M purchase of the Islanders. Berman's
source said that Gluckstern will purchase 50% of the team;
partner Howard Milstein, will get 40% and 10% will be
divided among Stephen Ross and Dan Doctoroff. Milstein,
Ross and Doctoroff are in real estate (N.Y. POST, 10/10).
NFL: SI's Peter King reports that Oilers Owner Bud
Adams "has informed club employees that he must approve all
expenses of more than $200" (SI, 10/13 issue).
MLB: In Miami, fewer than 4,000 tickets remain for Game
Five of the NLCS on Sunday. More than 51,000 tickets have
been sold for Games Three and Four (SUN-SENTINEL, 10/10).
K.C. business exec Frank Oddo and his group of local
investors have "dropped out of the bidding" for the Royals,
according to Charles Crumpley of the K.C. STAR. Oddo said
yesterday that his group was interested in buying the team
six months ago, but the Royals were not interested in
selling then and members of his group "have invested their
money elsewhere since then." Oddo's departure leaves two
publicly known groups interested in making a bid: one led by
K.C. banker and car dealer Jerry Green, and a second led by
George and Bobby Brett and Bill Pereira Jr. Royals
President Mike Herman said that other unnamed groups also
have expressed interest in making a bid (K.C. STAR, 10/10).