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Volume 24 No. 117

Franchises

          In S.F., Matier & Ross cited sources who said that the
     A's are offering to drop their $48M claim against Oakland. 
     Matier & Ross wrote the A's, in return, are looking for a
     "couple of million in cash, and for their Coliseum landlords
     to release them from having to offer up the team for sale,"
     which they are required to do for a four-month window if
     they want to opt out of their current lease.  Matier & Ross:
     "So far, it's not exactly going over like gangbusters" (S.F.
     CHRONICLE, 6/29)....Bulls Chair Jerry Reinsdorf said Monday
     "that he intends to involve Michael Jordan in the team's
     search for a new coach, and has already discussed the matter
     with Jordan" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/30)....In Orange County,
     Kingsley & Garcia profiled the Padres' Hispanic marketing
     effort and wrote the team is "reaping dramatic results"
     (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 6/28).  In Baltimore, Peter Schmuck
     examines the efforts of Padres President Larry Lucchino to
     obtain a new ballpark for the team.  If such a move fails,
     the team could relocate to Northern VA, but Schmuck writes,
     "Sounds logical, until you talk to friends of the new, laid-
     back Larry, who have watched him embrace the Southern
     California lifestyle and doubt that he is all that eager to
     get back into the Washington rat race" (Balt. SUN, 6/30).

          Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Chair J. Bruce
     Llewellyn "is scheduled to undergo heart surgery today and
     will not make a bid to buy the Vikings by the team's
     Wednesday deadline," according to Jerry Zgoda of the
     Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  Llewellyn was scheduled to meet
     with team owners last week, but his trip was postponed
     because he was admitted to a N.Y. hospital after meeting
     with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue last Wednesday. 
     Llewellyn had proposed his bid through former Vikings CEO
     Mike Lynn, who said he would have owned "only a small part
     of the team" if Llewellyn had been successful.  Llewellyn's
     departure "presumably will leave Lynn out of the bidding
     picture" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/30).  The deadline for
     bids is 5:00pm Wednesday (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/30).

          NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "lauded" Houston
     leaders Monday "for their unified effort to get another
     team," according to John Williams of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. 
     Williams writes that such unity "is needed to show that
     Houston wants an NFL team, and it apparently places this
     city ahead of [L.A.], its chief competitor" for a 32nd NFL
     franchise.  Tagliabue: "The real measure of success of this
     meeting was that the progress and concrete plans we talked
     about today were beyond my imagination when I was here two
     years ago."  Following the meeting, local business exec Bob
     McNair said that he hopes Houston "pushes the NFL for a fast
     decision," to prevent L.A. from catching up on planning for
     its stadium (John Williams, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/30).

          THE SPORTING NEWS named Detroit its "1998 Best Sports
     City."  TSN Managing Editor Bob Hille cited the Red Wings'
     back-to-back Stanley Cups, the Univ. of MI's national
     football title and the number of star athletes in the area
     as reasons for Detroit's top status.  Judging criteria
     ranged from success of the teams to fan attendance, as well
     as the quality of the cities' stadiums and arenas, weather
     and ownership stability.  The complete list of the "Best
     Sports Cities" can be found at www.sportingnews.com.
     Rounding out TSN's top 10 sports cities are: (2) Boston; (3)
     Dallas-Ft. Worth; (4) Chicago; (5) Denver; (6) Phila.; (7)
     N.Y.; (8) Miami-Fort Lauderdale; (9) S.F.-Oakland-San Jose;
     and (10) Baltimore-Washington DC (THE SPORTING NEWS, 7/6).