MLB: CNBC's Don Dahler examined News Corp.'s purchase
of the Dodgers and noted that "a phrase being batted around
to describe what Murdoch will do with the Dodgers is 'take
it global.'" Sports marketing analyst Don Dixon: "They've
got a great opportunity long-range to get fifty, a hundred
times their money back over the relatively near haul"
(CNBC, 10/16)....Although the city of Baltimore "was
willing" to throw a parade for the Orioles, the team turned
down the offer (Baltimore SUN, 10/17).
GENERAL: The MLS Rapids drew 18,452 for Wednesday
night's playoff game, which was the third-highest weekday
crowd of '97 (USA TODAY, 10/17).....ESPN's Gary Thorne was
the emcee at a rally yesterday in Columbus, OH, which
launched the sale of PSLs for that city's expansion NHL
franchise (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 10/16).
New York City Mayoral candidate Ruth Messinger
yesterday charged that Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Yankees Owner
George Steinbrenner have struck a "secret deal" that would
commit $1.1B in public funds to a new Yankee Stadium on
Manhattan's West Side, according to Susan Rubinowitz of the
N.Y. POST. Messinger "contended the pact is being kept
quiet until after" next month's election. Although
Messinger admitted she had "no proof," she said that "over
and over again, we have heard there is a secret deal."
Steinbrenner's spokesperson Howard Rubenstein "denied"
Messinger's charge of any pending deal (N.Y. POST, 10/17).
After a request from Twins Owner Carl Pohlad, T-Wolves
Owner Glen Taylor "has begun discussions" with MN
legislators in the hopes of "getting a stadium built and
keeping" the Twins in MN, according to Weiner & Whereatt of
the Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE. Taylor said that he "intends"
to buy part of the team, and that he has "already discussed"
a partnership with Minneapolis publisher and lawyer Vance
Opperman, among others. Taylor added that as part of any
role he plays in stadium negotiations, "he would insist"
that Pohlad "relinquish" operating control of the Twins, and
that his participation "is dependent" on a new stadium being
built. Taylor: "I think I have to be in a position to have
the authority if I would be doing the negotiations. ... I'll
only be in on this to help a stadium get built." Taylor
met with Pohlad Wednesday, and said that Pohlad "had been
told ... by 'a very important person'" at the State Capitol
that the tone of the Twins' stadium negotiations "might
change" if Pohlad wasn't the principal owner. Taylor added
that he "would not consider" buying a majority interest in
the team himself (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 10/17).
Marlins President Don Smiley and city of Miami execs
have "quietly been discussing the franchise's future - one
that could include a move to downtown Miami," according to
Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD. Miami Mayor Joe Carollo
said Thursday that he has had "several conversations" with
Smiley about "everything from changing the name of the team
to the 'Miami Marlins' to building a stadium adjacent to the
Heat's planned bayfront arena." Carollo said that he would
be "willing to consider" the use of a tourist hotel tax to
help finance a new ballpark, and that marked the "first time
a local official has publicly expressed" possible public
investment in a facility. Smiley said he "won't seriously
pursue" a new stadium until he purchases the team, and that
he "remains confident" that he will be able to put together
an investment group (MIAMI HERALD, 10/17).
FISH BITS: In Miami, Anne Moncreiff Arrarte wrote that,
"[M]arketers from Manhattan to Miami are rushing to take
advantage of the momentum" of the Marlins postseason run.
The team's official sponsors, including American Airlines,
NationsBank, Blockbuster and AutoNation, have received
"first dibs" on all new postseason promotions (MIAMI HERALD,
10/16)....Pro Player Stadium has sold out for all four World
Series games, with each expected to draw more than 65,000
(Marlins)....The Ft. Lauderdale Convention and Visitors
Bureau estimates that the Marlins participation in the World
Series will result in a $24M regional economic impact (SUN-
SENTINEL, 10/16)....The Marlins' popularity, especially
among Miami's Hispanic population, is examined by USA
TODAY's Tom Weir in a front-page cover-story: "The Marlins
multinational roster has tapped the spirit of Miami's
Spanish speaking community in a way that football,
basketball and ice hockey can't" (USA TODAY, 10/17).