MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch noted the annual PirateFest concluded yesterday at Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center and the club announced that they "ended up having near-record crowds at the three-day event." The total of 16,574 fans "falls just short of the record 16,839 fans that the event drew last offseason." This also "marked the first winter that PirateFest has been held during the month of December." In the past, the event "had been a fixture in late January" (MLB.com, 12/18). Meanwhile, the Pirates on Friday announced they have partnered with Qcue to introduce dynamic ticket pricing for Bleacher General Admission seating at PNC Park for the '12 season. Tickets for the approximately 1,400 Bleacher GA seats will be put on sale 10 days prior to each home game. The initial price will then be adjusted based on demand for the game (Pirates).
BASKETBALL JONES: In Indianapolis, Mike Wells reported more than 5,000 fans attended the Pacers' annual Fan Jam yesterday at Conseco Fieldhouse. Wells writes, "There's a buzz again. It's the type of buzz the Indiana Pacers haven't felt since the start of the 2004-2005 season" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 12/19)....The 76ers drew around 2,500 fans for an open practice last night. The fans received "free tickets, t-shirts and mini basketballs" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 12/19)....The Hornets "received a warm, enthusiastic reception from the just more than 1,500 fans as they were introduced" at Saturday's open practice and scrimmage. Most of the fans present "seemed more interested in the present than the past" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 12/18).
RISK MANAGEMENT: In Miami, Armando Salguero writes what Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland "says and does the next three months will determine the direction of the franchise for years." Ireland "is putting together a list of coaching candidates the Dolphins will interview once the season ends in two weeks." However, it will be Owner Stephen Ross' hire and if the "coach hire doesn't work out, it'll be completely on Ross, not on Ireland" (MIAMI HERALD, 12/19).
RAKING IT IN: TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL's Jason deBruyn cites an SEC filing as stating that Hurricanes Holdings LLC "raised $19.5 million from investors." N.Y.-based financial services firm Allen & Co. "received $1 million in sales compensation for helping" close the deal." Hurricanes Owner Peter Karmanos "began looking for minority investors before the season, at the time saying he wanted 10 to 12 investors to kick in between $1 million and $5 million each, to collectively own no more than 25 percent of the team" (TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/16 issue).