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Volume 24 No. 156
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Franchise Notes

In K.C., Adam Teicher notes Chiefs GM Scott Pioli said that the team "talked with more than a half-dozen other candidates" before they hired interim coach Romeo Crennel. Crennel and Pioli "worked together with the Jets and Patriots before reuniting in Kansas City." They "appear able to work well together, something Pioli and [former Chiefs coach Todd] Haley, at least toward the end, couldn’t do" (K.C. STAR, 1/10). Also in K.C., Sam Mellinger writes Pioli is a "smart football man, and in the most important ways, the narrative about him being a wild egomaniac is misguided." Mellinger: "In certain ways, sure. But when it comes to personnel decisions and the thought process behind them, Pioli is hampered more by insecurity than ego." Faced with a decision, Pioli "almost always goes with the safe choice, the familiar choice, and that’s the part that needs to stop." Now "more than ever, Pioli must be bold." Mellinger writes, "Pioli made the right decision with Crennel, but only if the Chiefs understand that nearly all of the remaining fixes for a franchise that essentially just lost a year of development must be found outside the building" (K.C. STAR, 1/10).

FRONT-OFFICE SHUFFLE: In Chicago, Ed Sherman noted Bulls President & COO Michael Reinsdorf last week "re-organized the front office," and he said that he "anticipated questions wondering if the new set-up diminished" Exec VP/Business Operations Steve Schanwald's role in the front office. Reinsdorf "insisted that wasn't the case," and said that Schanwald will "continue to oversee the revenue side of the business while allowing somebody else to concentrate on the communications side." He said that the model is "similar to the one used by the White Sox." Meanwhile, Reinsdorf said, "I want to focus not on just the people coming to games, but also the rest of the community who are watching the games on TV, going to our website, Facebook. We want to cater to their needs, too. It may not equate to revenue today, but when that 10-year-old grows up to be a Bulls fans, he's going to buy tickets, merchandise in 10 years when he turns 20." (, 1/9).

In Dallas, Gerry Fraley noted the Stars "reached an agreement to open training camp next September in Boise, Idaho." While in Boise, the Stars will play an exhibition against Wild on Sept. 25. The Stars will "become the first NHL team to conduct part of training camp in Idaho." The deal "helps strengthen the working agreement" with the ECHL Idaho Steelheads (, 1/7).

BACK TO BLACK? In Detroit, Bill Shea noted the Lions' 10-6 season and return to the playoffs for the first time since '99 gives the team "an opportunity to increase ticket and other prices, such as merchandise, concessions, parking, local broadcast rights for preseason games and corporate sponsorship and suite sales." The Lions "haven't said they'll do any of that -- yet," but "don't be surprised if it happens." For the '10 season, the Lions "posted an NFL-worst $7.7 million operating income loss on revenue of $228 million." If those estimates are accurate, the Lions will be "very interested in capitalizing on renewed fan interest to get into the black" (, 1/9).