MLB would "welcome the idea" of Marlins bidders MasTec co-Founder & Chair Jorge Mas and Derek Jeter joining forces, but barring a change of heart on Jeter’s part, it is "not going to happen," according to Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD. Mas can be credited for "reaching out to Jeter several weeks ago to offer him an opportunity to join his group," but Jeter "rejected that offer." Jeter wants to "control everything -- both the business and baseball side of the operations." However, the problem is Jeter "isn’t bringing enough to the table financially" to "justify running the entire show." Mas and Jeter "continue to pursue the team, but there’s no indication of an imminent resolution." Mas has been "going about this sensibly, carefully studying the Marlins books and asking for an exclusive negotiating period which wasn’t granted" (MIAMI HERALD, 7/16).
The proposed sale of the Hurricanes has "left more questions than answers," including whether former MLB Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg "would be the majority owner, holding the largest financial stake in the team," according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER. While some Hurricanes investors "privately have raised questions both about the reported price" of about $500M and Greenberg’s position within the potential ownership group, it is unclear whether he would "be the 'face' of the group or majority owner." It is also unknown whether a sale would include the ECHL Florida Everblades and their arena in Ft. Myers, Fla., which is also owned by current Hurricanes Owner Peter Karmanos (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 7/15). In Raleigh, Luke DeCock offered four ways a "new owner could improve the Hurricanes." The new owner could "build a new practice rink." The Hurricanes have been practicing at Raleigh Center Ice since '00, but it "falls far below what are now NHL standards." The new owner also could "help grow hockey in the Triangle and North Carolina -- at all levels." They also need to "figure out the arena situation, one way or another." PNC Arena has "generally aged well, but as it approaches 20, it’s finally starting to show a few signs of wear compared to its newer, higher-tech peers." Bonds need to be rebuilt with the community, as "despite many promises to move to Raleigh on at least a part-time basis, Karmanos has always remained in Detroit." Having an owner who is "engaged in daily face-to-face contact with Triangle business leaders and influencers would make a huge difference" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 7/15).
The tandem of Knicks President Steve Mills and new GM Scott Perry heading the team's front office is "expected to be kinder, gentler and friendlier," according to Marc Berman of the N.Y. POST. Sources said that the duo will "be a lot more available to the media." Perry, who left the Kings, "pushed for the Knicks job -- feeling it was the most influence he yet has had." Sources said that in due time, Perry will be "allowed to hire new personnel men if he sees fit, though he is well versed in the current Knicks staff" (N.Y. POST, 7/16). In Sacramento, Ailene Voisin wrote it is "simply bad business to deprive someone of Perry’s character and reputation the opportunity to run his own franchise, to accept a GM job that he should have been offered years ago." The Kings and VP/Basketball Operations & GM Vlade Divac benefited "immensely from Perry’s presence, abbreviated though it was." Voisin: "Thanks in part to Perry’s influence, the Kings are no longer in the business of getting fleeced" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 7/15). THE RINGER's Riley McAtee wrote Perry's connections and relationships around the NBA "proved invaluable for the Kings, even though he was on the job for less than three months." McAtee: "His skill set could prove perfect for the Knicks, because guess which franchise was the least desirable this summer?" (THERINGER.com, 7/14). On Long Island, Al Iannazzone noted Perry since taking the job has "spoken about having no agendas and the importance of having good relationships with people." It is "unclear how much of a voice Perry will have within the Knicks because they have a number of front-office people and scouts who have been together for years." But any "change of philosophy or different vision or new voice would be a step in the right direction for the Knicks" (NEWSDAY, 7/16).
TAKING TO BROADWAY: In DC, Tim Bontemps wrote the Knicks' front office moves are "confounding," as a team in "need of a reset has opted instead for more of the same." It is "laughable" that a "culture change is taking place at an organization that refuses to actually change its culture or any of the people involved in creating it" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 7/14). The N.Y. POST's Berman reports former Knicks President Phil Jackson's camp "already is gossiping that Mills’ presence didn’t allow for the vast culture change" Jackson envisioned. Nevertheless, Mills and Jackson were a "good match in that Mills did all the dirty work and stayed on top of agents/opposing general managers." But Mills "isn’t a believer that management should interfere with the offensive system run by the coach" (N.Y. POST, 7/17).
Chargers Chair Dean Spanos exercised the option to relocate the team to L.A. six months ago, and the "whirlwind that ensued has been breathtaking," according to Vincent Bonsignore of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. For each "severed business connection, a handful of others emerge." For every "strained political relationship, the seeds for 20 others are planted." A new home office and practice facility "needed to be identified, purchased and built." More than 200 employees "had to be relocated." Spanos said, "It’s not a process that will happen overnight or in one or even two years. This is a long-range process that we’ll keep chipping away at each and every day." He added, "When I look back, I don’t have a second thought about my decision to make the move." That "might seem callous" but with "so much at stake while operating in a crowded sports market that demands winning, excitement and star power, it’s a necessary mindset." Whatever regret over the "failure to forge a workable stadium partnership in San Diego has been replaced by enthusiasm for the new future." It will be "left to the historians ultimately to determine whose fault it was that a stadium partnership never came to be." As time goes on, Chargers President of Football Operations John Spanos and President of Business Operations A.G. Spanos will "emerge more and more as the leadership face of the franchise with their father easing into more of a patriarch role." However, Dean Spanos said that he will "play an integral part of the sales and marketing effort leading up to the move from their Chargers’ temporary home at StubHub Center to the new stadium in Inglewood." Simultaneously, he will "put his real estate and construction hat back on in the planning and construction of the Chargers’ permanent headquarters" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 7/16).
TEMPORARY DIGS: In California, Sandy Mazza noted the first major security upgrade in 14 years at StubHub Center was just "introduced to meet NFL safety standards." Backpacks and any nontransparent containers are now "off-limits inside the 30,000-seat stadium." The home of the Galaxy "enjoyed relatively lax standards until officials began preparing for the Aug. 13 start of the Chargers first L.A. preseason in 57 years." Along with "increased security, there will be added game-day free shuttle trips to the stadium." StubHub Center GM Katie Pandolfo said that she "expects Chargers games to go as smoothly as any other sold-out event at the stadium." While there is enough parking on site to handle sold-out crowds, Pandolfo said that she is "working with LA Metro and Long Beach Transit officials to deliver new public transit options" (DAILYBREEZE.com, 7/16).
LAFC co-Owner & President Tom Penn said that he is "confident the world's 'top talent' will want to come to Southern California," according to PA SPORT. LAFC is set to debut for the '18 season and will be the second MLS team in L.A. The expansion club is building the 22,000-seat Banc of California Stadium near downtown and it "will feature a sunset deck, complemented by exclusive pitchside, barrier-free seats for premier ticket holders." Penn is "understandably proud of a ground that remains on time, on budget and on course to attract the biggest names in the game." Penn: "All players at all levels want to come to Los Angeles and we feel like we've built a stadium worthy of any player in the world." Penn added, "We're in the heart of Los Angeles. We'll have the most spectacular stadium in all of North American sport and I'd say the world -- for its size, there's nothing like it." In building a fan base, LAFC's motto has been "street by street, block by block, one by one." Without spending a dollar on traditional advertising, the club has "enticed supporters that have had the chance help select the colours, crest and even design the stadium." The approach has "clearly worked, given premier and club level tickets have sold out and 17,000 deposits have been put down for season tickets -- all before the club has even named a manager." Appointing a coach is "high on the list of priorities" (PA SPORT, 7/15).
In Denver, Nicki Jhabvala wrote given Broncos Exec VP/Football Operations & GM John Elway's "stature with the franchise and the state of Colorado, and given his unmatched track record while in the front office," the question of his re-signing is "not so much about whether a deal will get done, but how and when." As talks "drag on -- and the sides have maintained dialogue recently -- the general assumption is there's discord or tension." But a source said that is "not the case" (DENVER POST, 7/14).
HAVING A BALL: In L.A., Tania Ganguli wrote the Lakers are "hoping the positive momentum they are building" at the Las Vegas Summer League "carries over into the fall." Lakers fans "helped cause the first sellout ever" for the league for a game against the Celtics (L.A. TIMES, 7/16). THE VERTICAL's Chris Mannix noted rookie Lakers G Lonzo Ball "spoke to reporters packed around him four deep." Mannix: "And this is summer league" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/14).
READY TO SOAR: Falcons Owner Arthur Blank said the team is "in a great position" for '17. Blank: "I look forward to this year and many years to come. It's not about the one-trick pony or the one-year wonder. It's about creating a sustainable organization, and we've done that." On the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Blank said, "We are thrilled with it. I've found a lot of new definitions of the word 'iconic' in terms of times, schedule, costs, schedule and structure. But it’s going to be a spectacular stadium. A spectacular center really for Atlanta, both for the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, our soccer team, for many years to come" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 7/16).