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Volume 24 No. 115
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Franchise Notes

Astros Owner Drayton McLane said yesterday that he "expects the pending sale of the club to a group led by Houston businessman Jim Crane to be approved by Major League Baseball, perhaps by the middle of next week." Astros officials said that they "haven't been informed that Crane's bid is in trouble." McLane maintained that MLB's "dealings with the Dodgers -- who are in bankruptcy -- and last weeks' hurricane that affected the East Coast have pushed the vote on the Astros sale further to the back burner." McLane: "It's just gotten more complicated at the Commissioner's Office. Hopefully they're going to get back on it this week" (, 8/30).

SPENDING FRENZY: In Boston, Fluto Shinzawa noted Sabres fans "are reeling" this offseason because their penny-pinching club is burning through cash." Former Sabres player Daniel Paille said, "Definitely a new scene. When I was there, they were more stingy with spending the money. Now they have an owner who wants to win. They have that enthusiasm right now." The "free-spending Sabres will need to clear more than $3 million in salary to become cap-compliant before the start of the season" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/28)

FILLING SEATS: Lynx Exec VP Roger Griffith said ticket sales for his WNBA club, which has a league-best 24-6 record thanks in part to rookie F Maya Moore, "are up 30 percent" this season. Griffith added, "The number of fans in the arena is up 60 percent. That's always been a frustration -- the number of people with a ticket and they don't show up. People who have a ticket are showing up. We've already sold more season tickets for next year than we did for all of last season" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 8/30).

TICKET MONSTER: In N.Y., Ken Belson profiled Fenway Park's sellout streak, which "is scheduled to hit 700 games on Friday." It has been "more than eight years since a seat went unsold at Fenway." According to, the average resale ticket price for games at Fenway Park is "$139.95, by far the highest" in MLB. In addition, the wait list for season tickets to Red Sox games at Fenway "now has 8,500 names" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/30).