Late Titans Owner Bud Adams' "dying gift to Nashville is an NFL franchise that will remain in the city for the foreseeable future," according to David Climer of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. Adams established a plan to "pass ownership of the Titans to members of his family while contractual commitments keep the team at LP Field through the duration of the original lease," which runs through the '28 season. Adams had the "foresight -- and wealth -- to establish a succession plan that keeps the NFL team in the family." He took that action "after seeing other franchises sold because of the burden of estate taxes." While details are "sketchy because Adams insisted on keeping personal business matters private, it is believed that the families of his three children -- daughters Susie Smith and Amy Adams Hunt, and his late son Kenneth Adams III -- will share ownership of the franchise equally." Son-in-law Tommy Smith, who had "a significant role with the franchise when it was in Houston, could be in position to take the lead in the near term." Moving forward, a "key figure in all this is Bud Adams’ grandson and namesake, Kenneth S. Adams IV." He has worked "on the administrative side of the Titans operation for the past seven years," and is the "only member of the Adams family who has had a hands-on working relationship with the Titans in recent years." But even if "part or all of the franchise eventually moves outside the Adams family, that doesn’t mean the team would relocate." Much would depend on "the renegotiation of the lease or the signing of a new agreement between the Titans and Nashville" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 10/22). ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky wrote Kenneth Adams IV is "a likeable young man who’s taken a smart approach to learning his grandfather’s business." Tommy Smith could "re-emerge in some capacity eventually if the two sisters decide they want him to handle the team." The Houston Chronicle's John McClain yesterday said that he believes the "two daughters and Kenneth Adams IV will each have a vote in what happens with majority rule" (ESPN.com, 10/21).
Clippers coach and Senior VP/Basketball Operations Doc Rivers yesterday said that the team “meant no disrespect to its in-arena rivals by deciding to cover up the Lakers' championship banners and retired jerseys with seven giant banners of Clippers players during Clippers games,” according to Arash Markazi of ESPN L.A. Rivers said, “The culture is changing, and we want to be a winner. To do that, we have to make changes, and the one at Staples Center is one that I thought we needed to make. We don't leave the Lakers floor down, do we? And they don't play on the Clippers floor; they take it up. That's all. … When we play, it should be the Clippers’ arena” (ESPNLA.com, 10/21). USA TODAY's Sam Amick writes the move is an example of a team "executing its right to have full ownership of a building during those two-plus hours when the stage is theirs," just as the NFL Jets and Giants do when they "share the MetLife Stadium that both teams own, and just as the Grammys folks and various musicians do during their Staples Center productions when the Lakers' paraphernalia is covered by large black drapes." The "erasing of the Lakers during Clippers games was years in the making, not to mention long overdue, but it's clear Rivers' presence provided the sort of high-profile punch to the situation that helped finally get it done" (USA TODAY, 10/22).
LONG TIME COMING: The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan said the issue of the Clippers covering up the Lakers banners "should have been negotiated" when the Clippers moved into the Staples Center. Ryan: "This could have been taken care of 14 years ago when they opened up this building. ... This is a management issue that should have been taken care of." ESPN's Michael Wilbon: "What they're saying is, 'It's our home game.' It's a Clipper home game and so if they want to walk around the building as somebody did and say, 'You know what, cover anything up that says Lakers.' They are tenants" ("PTI," ESPN, 10/21). ESPN's George Karl said, "I love covering up the Lakers' banners. That is fantastic and … that should have been done years ago" ("ESPN The Magazine NBA Preview Show," ESPN2, 10/21). CBSSN’s Allie LaForce: “I like that Doc is trying to transform the image of the Clippers. ... Any rival would not want to just stare at the other team’s success at their home court” (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 10/21).
The Yankees yesterday announced their full-season ticket plan pricing for '14, which revealed that 96% of the tickets at Yankee Stadium "will either remain the same or have a decrease in price," according to Mark Feinsand of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Approximately 39,000 seats, 78% of the ballpark, "will have the same price next season as they did in 2013, while roughly 9,000 seats (18%) will see a decrease." Only five sections in the Stadium -- approximately 2,000 tickets -- "will see a price increase." Terrace Level prices in "many sections will drop from $40 to $28, while others will go from $55 to $50." Ticket prices on the Main Level "will fall from $70 to $50 while others will decrease by $5 each." Some Field Level seats also will "drop anywhere between $15 and $25 each." The Yankees additionally announced that the Home Plate Team Store, the "largest retail location in Yankee Stadium, will be transformed to create an improved experience for fans" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/22). The Yankees also are "adding 10 Outdoor Suite Boxes" (NEWSDAY, 10/22).
Red Sox players and coaches have reached out to bombing victims
Red Sox Senior Advisor Dr. Charles Steinberg said that in the days after the Boston Marathon bombings, the organization "formed five teams of five players who quietly fanned out to area hospitals to lift the spirits of the hundreds of wounded." He added that Red Sox players and coaches have "logged 470 public appearances -- the most in recent memory," and that private visits to marathon victims "aren't counted" in that total (BOSTON HERALD, 10/22). In Boston, Steve Buckley writes the "Boston Strong" message has "been delivered with deep-in-the-belly emotion" by the city's pro athletes. Buckley: "It's kind of cool when the local pro athletes behave in such a way that it's as though this really is their (expletive) city. ... They just got involved. In ways that cannot be captured by statistics, the 2013 Red Sox have already delivered" (BOSTON HERALD, 10/22).
TIGER ON THE PROWL:In Detroit, Rod Beard reports while Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch "hasn’t been around the team much publicly" this year, he "was one of the few people who knew during the season about manager Jim Leyland’s plans to resign." Tigers President & GM Dave Dombrowski yesterday said, "Mike Ilitch is fine. He was at the games in the postseason and in Boston the other day. I talk to him often and we haven't sat down and talked a great deal about this present situation because it just took place. He was aware it was taking place" (DETROIT NEWS, 10/22).
OF MONTREAL:In Boston, Nick Cafardo wrote the Rays "could see Montreal as a real alternative" if plans for a new stadium "don't work out in the Tampa Area." The Montreal business community is "much different than it was in the past," with "large telecom companies and financial institutions with big money." The city would "need a new stadium, but Montreal baseball has a very strong grass-roots movement to explore the possibility." Former MLBer Warren Cromartie, who played with the Expos from '74-83and is spearheading efforts to bring MLB back to the city, said that his group "will soon announce the results of a feasibility study" that has "been positive" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/21).
In Chicago, Danny Ecker cited data from ticket search engine SeatGeek as showing that the average price on the secondary market for the Blackhawks’ first 10 home games is “up 10 percent over this point last season, to $165 apiece.” Secondary market tickets “remain more than twice as expensive as the roughly $70 average ticket to a game.” SeatGeek analysts said that “pent-up demand from last season's lockout-truncated campaign has pushed up prices leaguewide, too.” The average ticket resale price among all NHL teams “also is up about 10 percent year over year to $89” (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 10/21).
FULL HOUSE: Vikings officials said that “just a couple of thousand tickets per game remain for Metrodome games" against the Redskins, Eagles and Lions, while other two home games -- against the Packers and Bears -- “are sold out.” In St. Paul, Charley Walters noted despite the Vikings' 1-5 start and “probable absence from the playoffs, there won't be any TV blackouts this season” (TWINCITIES.com, 10/21).
PAYING TRIBUTE: In San Antonio, Dan McCarney noted the Spurs have added a “special camouflage alternate to honor San Antonio’s strong military roots.” There is “no immediate word on when or how often the Spurs will wear the jerseys, images of which were not yet publicly available” (MYSANANTONIO.com, 10/21).