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Volume 24 No. 159

Franchises

          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).