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Volume 24 No. 157
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Franchise Notes

In Houston, Richard Justice noted before Mark Cuban bought the Mavericks in '00, the NBA team was "among the worst sports franchises in this country.” The Mavericks were “bad on the floor, boring off the floor and playing in front of thousand of empty seats.” But "everything began to change when Mark Cuban arrived.” During the last 11-plus years, Cuban has “managed to annoy a lot of people," from NBA Commissioner David Stern to “referees to opposing players and coaches.” Justice: “Yet what he has also done is turn a terrible franchise into a great one” (, 5/8). 

HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: In California, Dan Hayes noted the Padres before Saturday’s game against the D-Backs were “one of only 10 MLB teams with improved attendance” this season. The Padres Saturday night "drew 35,936 fans to Petco Park to give them a per-game increase of 1,741 through 20 home dates over last season.” Padres President & COO Tom Garfinkel said, "It's a process and as long as we're trending in the right direction we're pleased." Garfinkel said that “despite the team's early struggles on the field it has improved at the gate because more resources have been allocated to ticket sales and ticket services.” He added that season-ticket sales “are at 10,900, up from 9,100 in 2010, while group sales have increased to 450,000 up from 350,000” (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 5/8).

CITI ON DOWN: In N.Y., Rich Wilner notes as the Mets yesterday “closed out their third home stand of the season, attendance was down 9.3 percent from the same number of dates last year.” Yesterday's Dodgers-Mets game drew an announced crowd of 26,312 at 41,800-seat Citi Field, down 26% from last year's Mother's Day matinee against the Giants. Unless the Mets improve home attendance, "total attendance this year will drop by 240,000, to about 2.3 million.” That would mean $12M “less in ticket sales, even if just 25 percent of the decline comes from the pricey luxury seats” (N.Y. POST, 5/9).

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUNNERS: BLOOMBERG NEWS' Tariq Panja noted Arsenal Owner Stan Kroenke on Friday “submitted the offer document for the mandatory takeover bid triggered” two weeks ago when he boosted his stake in the EPL club to 63%. Kroenke said that he “won’t take out debt against Arsenal soccer club to fund his proposed takeover” of Arsenal. He added that he will “respect the club’s current structure by pursuing its so-called ‘self-sustaining’ model.” He has also said that the club “would remain listed on the PLUS stock exchange even if he acquires sufficient shares to take it off the market” (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 5/6).