The Phillies, who sell "the most expensive cup of beer"
in the NL, "are skimming their suds ... a racket that costs
beer-drinking fans at Veterans Stadium nearly a half-million
bucks a year," according to Don Russell of the PHILADELPHIA
DAILY NEWS. In a "random sampling," Russell found that the
team's $5 18-ounce cup of draft beer "actually contains, at
most, just 16 ounces of beer. A 12-ounce cup typically
contains 10 or 11 ounces." Russell reports that the team
sold an estimated 750,000 cups of beer in '97, and that the
"value of skimmed suds at 2 ounces per cup" is equal to
$495,000. Russell adds that the Vet gets up to 14 extra
cups from every keg, $90 in "extra revenue." Ogden
Entertainment, which runs the Vet's concessions, "denied any
ripoff" (Don Russell, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 4/23).
The fate of the NHL Oilers now rests with Edmonton's
City Council "after Edmonton Northlands approved a deal last
night to give the team rent" for $1, according to Johnson &
Findlay of the EDMONTON SUN. The Northlands board passed a
motion to let the Oilers play in the Coliseum for $1 a year,
"provided city council agrees to hand over C$2.4M a year to
help cover an expected C$4.8M deficit." The motion was
seconded by Mayor Bill Smith, and goes to a Council vote
tomorrow. Under the current deal, the Oilers paid C$2.8M
for rent, using money collected by the city through a ticket
tax. Local investors who've bid to keep the team want to
rent the facility for $1 a year, "yet still keep most of the
ticket tax and game concession" revenues. In return, the
local group would give Coliseum management to Northlands for
all non-Oilers events. Northlands says the deal would result
in a C$4.8M a year operating deficit, of which "it is
willing to pay half" if the city pays the rest. Smith said
that the council vote "should be a no-brainer," but Johnson
& Findlay write that the council must "consider the flood of
calls that have come into City Hall" recently, the "majority
of which have been opposed" to the city using taxpayer money
to help the team (EDMONTON SUN, 4/23). Team and Northlands
officials say the assistance "isn't for the team but for
Northlands," a non-profit organization which oversees the
Coliseum. Councilmember Brian Mason, however, called such
aid "money straight for the team" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/23).
In Edmonton, Donna Marie Artuso writes under the header,
"Miffed Council Will Back Oilers Deal" (SUN, 4/23). Also in
Edmonton, Scott Haskins writes, "I want to know who votes
no. I want to know who should receive a standing boo the
next time they set foot in the Coliseum" (EDM. SUN, 4/23).
NHL: Adelphia Communications has transferred its
interest in the Sabres to Adelphia Chair John Rigas, who
will end up with majority control. Rigas will also get
majority ownership of the Marine Midland Arena. As part of
the deal, Adelphia subsidiary Empire Sports received an
extension of its cable rights deal to Sabres games (DAILY
VARIETY, 4/23)....The Bruins have "slashed" the average
ticket price of some 7,500 "upper-bowl" seats by about $9.50
apiece. A season ticket to 42 Bruins home games, including
one exhibition, for the '98-99 season can now be purchased
for $630 (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/23)....The NHL expansion Thrashers
will unveil their logo to the public tonight at 6:15pm ET on
NHL.com, becoming the first sports team to use the Internet
as the primary medium to introduce a new logo (NHL ICE).
MLB: The MLB Cardinals signed a five-year sponsorship
with BJC Health System, to "team up" and talk to kids about
staying in school, staying physically fit and staying away
from drugs. BJC will also donate $200 to the Cardinals Care
charitable fund for every home run hit by a Cards' players
at Busch Stadium this season, while Cardinals players will
make multiple visits to schools (POST-DISPATCH, 4/21)....The
Indians have partnered with marketing & consulting firm J.D.
Power & Associates, to evaluate and improve Indians' fans
experience at Jacobs Field. The team will distribute 30,000
questionnaires and postage paid envelopes over 13 different
home dates, beginning tonight, with J.D. Power providing
information based upon responses (Indians)....With
yesterday's crowd of 7,491 at the A's-Twins game, the A's
home attendance stands at 151,358, "down more than 50,000
from last year's attendance at the same point" (S.F.
CHRONICLE, 4/23)....The Mets released their "Mets in Black"
catalog yesterday, featuring the team's new black uniforms.
"Mets in Black" merchandise areas will be created at NYC
area Modell's, Bob's and Sports Authority stores (Mets).
NOTES: Following a closed door meeting which lasted
throughout the day yesterday, the Maple Leafs' acquisition
of the Raptors and the Air Canada Centre "has been
completed." The "complex" deal was estimated at between
$400-$500M (Bruce DeMara, TORONTO STAR, 4/23)....The federal
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board will hear oral arguments on
May 27 in the case to cancel federal protection of the
Redskins nickname. Each side has been allotted half an hour
to make their arguments. If the ruling goes against the
Redskins, selling of team memorabilia "will be severely
curtailed" (Avis Little Eagle, INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY, 4/22).