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Volume 24 No. 115

Franchises

          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).