Expos Chair Jacques Menard said yesterday that the
reported C$15M that Expos President Claude Brochu "will
command" to sell his 7.6% share of the team "is in the
ballpark," according to Stephanie Myles of the Montreal
GAZETTE. Menard: "We have agreed in principle on a range
and a general figure that is about of that magnitude, as
regards the economics part. But a deal hasn't been signed
yet, and it hasn't been put to our shareholders -- much less
to [MLB]." Menard said that the timetable for buying out
Brochu and the 52 days remaining in the 150-day limit set by
MLB to put a new ownership group in place are "are
independent" of each other. He also said that former
Canadiens GM Serge Savard is "not waiting in the wings to
succeed Brochu." Menard added that "other significant non-
monetary issues still need to be resolved" before a deal
with Brochu is finalized, such as how the team will be run
until new ownership is established (Montreal GAZETTE, 1/13).
Expos' ownership group will meet today "to decide" whether
to offer Brochu C$15M for his share (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/13).
TIME KEEPS ON TICKING: In Montreal, Jack Todd writes
that the Expos "are running out of time" to assemble a new
ownership group and that the team has accomplished "little"
because of the slow pace of negotiations with Brochu. Expos
Limited Partner Mark Routtenberg "won't deny" that Savard
could possibly run the team, but said: "We have to know from
[MLB]. Is Claude Brochu the control person until a stadium
deal is lined up?" (Montreal GAZETTE, 1/13).
Bill Cosby "will be introduced this week" as a member
of the new ownership group of the Nets, according to Phil
Jasner of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. Cosby met for
several hours yesterday in N.Y. with Lewis Katz, a member of
the team's ownership group. Cosby is expected to be chair
and spokesperson of a segment of ownership that will provide
scholarships to inner-city students through a non-profit
trust fund. Katz and Cosby attended Temple Univ. together
in the early '60s (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 1/13).
In S.F., Matier & Ross write that the 49ers "stadium
flap" this week over the future of a stadium/mall complex
shows "how up in the air the entire deal is." Matier &
Ross: "At this point, it's not clear who's really running
the 49ers -- and who will broker the final deal." While it
"appears" that team co-Owner Eddie DeBartolo is "calling the
shots," he is "barred from saying anything" official until
he "gets the blessing" of the NFL (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/13).
NOTES: NHL Kings co-Owner Philip Anschutz's Anschutz
Properties acquired a 30% interest in the Sparta Praha
hockey club in Prague. Anschutz Properties President Bob
Sanderman said the purchase "is part of other things" that
the company is looking at in the Czech Republic that are not
hockey related (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/13)....In Miami,
Mike Phillips reports that prospective Marlins Owner John
Henry invited three FL newspaper reporters to fly with him
on his private jet to Carlsbad, CA, where MLB owners will
vote to approve the sale of the team from Wayne Huizenga.
Phillips calls the move "unprecedented" (MIAMI HERALD,
1/13)....In K.C., Jeffrey Flanagan writes that Royals
prospective Owner Miles Prentice may offer S.A. Missions
President Burl Yarbrough the position of Dir of Business
Operations with the Royals (K.C. STAR, 1/13).
CT Gov. John Rowland "signed into law Tuesday a bill
authorizing" $374M in state spending for a stadium and
training facility for the Patriots in Hartford, according to
Mike Swift of the HARTFORD COURANT. Rowland then "resumed"
his attempt to help CT and the Patriots finalize a
development agreement "that will obligate the state to pay
for a riverfront stadium in Hartford -- and the Patriots to
build it, manage it and play there for 30 years." Friday is
the deadline for completion of the development agreement,
although the deadline "could be extended by mutual consent."
Rowland said the "biggest remaining hurdle" is "clearing the
stadium site," which includes reaching a deal to relocate
the headquarters of the CT Natural Gas Corp. and a steam
plant (HARTFORD COURANT, 1/13). In Boston, Tina Cassidy
writes that CT execs "are nearing an agreement" on
relocating the steam plant (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/13).