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Volume 24 No. 114

Franchises

          Toronto lawyer Lawrence Dale, who has put together a
     group trying to buy the Blue Jays, "confirmed yesterday that
     two principals" in his potential ownership group are Harvey
     Walken and Alan Cohen, according to James Christie of the
     Toronto GLOBE & MAIL.  Walken was a partner in the Pirates
     for 10 years, while Cohen is a former partner in the Celtics
     and served as Chair of the NBA Board of Governors.  A source
     told Christie's that if the group "obtains the portion of
     the Jays and the SkyDome that has historically belonged" to
     Labatt Brewing, Dale will "also go after" the 10% owned by
     the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (GLOBE & MAIL,
     10/24).  Dale's group has "at least six investors, but that
     number could increase," according to Elliott & Rutsey of the
     TORONTO SUN.  On Wednesday, the group met with Penfund, a
     pension fund group that controls 35% of SkyDome, "about a
     partnership."  Penfund has the right of first refusal in
     acquiring Interbrew's 49% interest in the SkyDome and "is
     interested in exercising that option" (TORONTO SUN, 10/24). 

          In an "unprecedented move" by an NFL coach, Dennis
     Green "is threatening to sue Vikings owners who attempted to
     oust him a year ago unless they sell him their interest in
     the team," according to Jeff Seidel of the St. Paul PIONEER
     PRESS.  Green's plan to buy a 30% controlling interest in
     the team is outlined in his autobiography, "No Room for
     Crybabies," which was available in the Twin Cities for the
     first time Thursday.  Although Green stops short of "stating
     he will go through with the plan, the book includes a copy
     of the lawsuit he would file against the unidentified
     owners, a stock purchase agreement, a draft of a letter to
     the team's board of directors stating his intentions, a
     financing plan and the specific dates when he would put into
     motion each 'phase' of the takeover bid."  In his bid, Green
     would remain head coach and be named GM, while Roger
     Headrick would remain team President (PIONEER PRESS, 10/24).
          GREEN WITH ENVY: In St. Paul, Bob Sansevere writes that
     Green "knows how to end a book with a bang, not to mention a
     threat of blackmail."  Sansevere: "Once team owners read the
     book, Green might not be coming back.  The reaction of
     people threatened with blackmail always holds a certain
     amount of intrigue.  Green could be fired for his attack on
     team owners" (PIONEER PRESS, 10/24).  On CNN/SI, Ed Werder
     added that Green's book also "addresses incidents of alleged
     sexual misconduct, claims he's been unfairly criticized
     because of his race, and complains that certain members of
     the team's ownership group have deliberately undermined
     him."  Green, on the book's timing: "I'm not on a promotion
     tour, and I won't be. ... [I]n my opinion if you write a
     book, you take the time to write it, you should release it
     when it's done.  And so it's done" (CNN/SI, 10/23).

          The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
     (MMAC) is "in the red $795,000," for the 12 months that
     ended June 30.  MMAC Exec VP Mary Ellen Powers said the
     reason for the shortfall was "misjudging" MMAC's commitment
     that guaranteed the Brewers 10,000 season tickets.  The MMAC
     purchased a total of 5,647 season tickets through '95 and
     '96, for a total of $4.467M.  The MMAC has yet to calculate
     the association's season ticket purchase for the '97 season
     (MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/20 issue)....The HARTFORD
     COURANT ran a home attendance comparison between the NHL
     Hurricanes and the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack.  Through five
     games, the Hurricanes have averaged 9,112 per game, playing
     to 43.8% of capacity.  Through four games, the Wolf Pack
     have averaged 7,670 per game, playing to 52.3% of capacity
     (HARTFORD COURANT, 10/24)....Since naming former ASU QB Jake
     Plummer the team's starting QB on Tuesday, the NFL Cardinals
     sold 3,546 tickets to Sunday's game against the Oilers. The
     game will still be blacked out as a total of 38,522 tickets
     remained 72 hour prior to kickoff (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/24).
     ...The Bruins "drew only" 12,470 for their third home game
     of the season.  In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont: "The message:
     Even if the Bruins can put a respectable product on the ice
     -- and they have thus far -- the fans want some sizzle for
     the high price of tickets" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/24).