NHL: In Edmonton, Alberta Treasury Branches will
announce today whether it will accept a local group's offer
to buy the NHL Oilers. Current Owner Peter Pocklington said
that the bid will be accepted, but the deal does not include
Coliseum Management Inc., which holds the lease on the
Coliseum (JOURNAL, 3/18)....The Predators said yesterday
they are 1,195 season tickets away from meeting the NHL's
condition of 12,000 season tickets by March 31 (Predators).
NOTES: NFL VP/Communications Greg Aiello said that
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "probably won't" make a decision
on the Vikings ownership dispute between Tom Clancy and team
President Roger Headrick "until Thursday" (PIONEER PRESS,
3/18)....Sonics Owner Barry Ackerley lent the team's plane
to the Univ. of WA Huskies for their flight to Greensboro,
NC, for their Sweet 16 appearance (SEATTLE TIMES, 3/17).
While Celtics Chair Paul Gaston "threatened" a little
over three years ago "to sue the Wall Street Journal after
the newspaper suggested drug abuse and team negligence may
have contributed to the death of Reggie Lewis," the statute
of limitations has expired, according to Peter May of the
BOSTON GLOBE. The statute of limitations for libel in MA is
three years, and the three-year anniversary of the Journal
article "passed quietly" last week. Gaston: "[A]s much as I
hate the fact that some injustices go unpunished, I decided
that this was one that was going to get away" (GLOBE, 3/18).
ROCKETS: The Rockets "have been alerted to the
possibility of legal action" by two former employees and
three current employees who are charging that members of
Rocketball Ltd. "engaged in race discrimination, violations
of the Fair Labor Standards Act and sexual harassment,"
according to Eddie Sefko of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. The team
received a letter from the attorney representing the five
complainants. The letter seeks a $2.5M settlement "to keep
the group from filing a civil action suit against the
organization." Last year, Rocketball Ltd. had 51 minority
employees out of a total of 160 (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/18).
The Packers announced yesterday that they raised more
than $24M from the sale of roughly 120,000 shares of stock
during a 17-week window, "a considerably smaller haul than
was originally forecast," according to Tom Silverstein of
the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The $24M in new revenue
"doubles the team's coffers" and means the Packers "have
probably enough money in their savings to keep them afloat
for at least a quarter century." However, early estimates
were that the team could generate $80M from the stock split,
which the club said was the "high end" of the estimate.
Packers President Bob Harlan said that the team "would still
be able to" renovate Lambeau Field, expand its football
offices and workout facilities and contribute to a new
stadium fund, "but the contribution to the stadium fund
won't be as great" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 3/18).
The Twins have sold about 5,400 season tickets, "down
from 8,800 last season," according to Jay Weiner of the
Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. About 25,000 tickets have been
sold for Opening Night, and the team has budgeted for 1.2
million tickets to be sold this season, "which would be the
lowest sales in a non-strike" year since '83. The Twins
sold 1.4 million tickets last year. However, despite coming
off a last-place finish and "facing perhaps its final season
in a stadium its owners say is inadequate," the team's
corporate sponsors and signage buyers "have, generally,
stayed on board." Twins Dir of Corporate Marketing Laura
Day said that she "already" has met about 93% of her sales
goals, heading toward more than $3M in corporate sales.
This year, there are 24 giveaway nights planned and seven
season-long promotions (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/18).
WHITE SOX: The White Sox are bringing back Dog Day
Afternoon and Elvis Night this season, while adding fan-
friendly concourse attractions at Comiskey Park. Senior
VP/Marketing Rob Gallas: "The fans love 'Dogs' so much, and
it's easy to do. There will be new ones that we're not
quite ready to announce" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/18).