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Volume 25 No. 29

Franchises

Grizzlies Owner & Chair Robert Pera yesterday said he wants to put his own "stamp on the team" now that its ownership situation is resolved. Pera bought out minority partners Steve Kaplan and Daniel Straus in April. Speaking on "The Chris Vernon Show" on the team-owned Grind City Media, Pera said, "I'd like to apply a lot of the skills that made my company, Ubiquiti, successful to the Grizzlies. I also recognize it's a little bit different." Pera said with Ubiquiti, he can "make all the decisions on the long-term (vision), and I can be kind of a dictator." But with the Grizzlies, there are "more elements than just the long-term picture." Pera: "You want to have some transparency with the fans ... The TV optics and how you handle the media and the fans are almost as important as the long-term goals so there's a little more balancing." It took Pera "some time to find my bearings the last several years" Pera said, "The goal for the Grizzlies is that people know that if they take a player or find a player, this is the best organization in the league for realizing that player's potential" ("The Chris Vernon Show," Grind City Media, 6/12). In Memphis, Ronald Tillery notes Kaplan and Straus each owned roughly 14% of the team compared to Pera's 25%, triggering the "buy-sell clause last fall." Pera was at FedExForum yesterday after "being disconnected from Memphis for more than a year" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/13).

A 94% increase in Wings season-ticket sales from '17 has led to a 34% increase in revenue from such sales
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES

The WNBA Dallas Wings "averaged 5,552 fans" at College Park Center for their first two home games this season, up by 1,430 from the first two games last year, according to Adam Grosbard of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The number also is up 1,680 from the "average attendance of 3,872" for the whole season last year. The '18 sample size is "small, but season-ticket sales give the Wings hope that this will be a season-long trend in their third year" in the Dallas-Ft. Worth market. Wings President, CEO & Partner Greg Bibb said that the team has seen a 94% "increase in season-ticket sales from a year ago," leading to a 34% "increase in revenue from such sales." He projects overall ticket revenue "to increase" by 25% compared with '17. Meanwhile, the Wings as a whole made "outreach to the grass-roots basketball scene in D-FW an offseason priority and have hosted girls high school teams and coaches at each home game." While Dallas is still "part of the team name, the Wings have made Arlington and its 400,000 residents a priority when marketing the team." The team has also "cut prices on some season tickets to make them more affordable, with some packages costing as little as $99" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/12).