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Volume 26 No. 201

Franchises

Spurs Sports & Entertainment announced that Peter J. Holt has "succeeded his mother," Julianna Hawn Holt, as Chair & co-CEO of the company, according to Tom Orsborn of the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. Julianna Hawn Holt had held the posts since March '16, when she "succeeded her husband," Peter M. Holt, after he "stepped down following a 20-year stint." The Spurs also announced Peter J. Holt and Corinna Holt Richter would "succeed their parents on the organization’s board of managers." Peter M. Holt allowed Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and President & GM R.C. Buford to run the team "without interference," a model that helped pave the way "for the club to become one of professional sports’ premier franchises." Stephen Lang, the only remaining original Spurs investor, "predicted it would be 'business as usual' for the club with the younger Holts in charge." Lang said, "I have no reason to think otherwise. They are both quick studies, and I think highly of them." Orsborn noted Peter and Julianna Hawn Holt became the Spurs’ "largest shareholders" in '96. They are "believed to own" about 40% of the team (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 3/30). Popovich said that he expects the Holt children to "continue the tradition of low-key ownership established by their parents." Popovich: "We have full confidence in them. They’re really intelligent, hard-working people who understand the organization. They’ve grown up with it" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS, 3/31).

In San Diego, Kevin Acee notes the Padres averaged 39,692 fans at Petco Park for their season-opening four-game series against the Giants, and while it "wasn’t a record for the first four games of a season," the "overwhelming majority of those inside Petco Park were Padres fans." That is "no small thing considering the popular Giants were in town" for Manny Machado's debut. Padres C Austin Hedges said, "The fans showed up. That was big. When we needed, they got loud. There have been plenty of times I’ve played here with more Giants fans than Padres fans" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 4/1).

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE: The Reds' Opening Day payroll was their "highest ever" at $129.1M, and the team has $57.8M "committed to contracts" for '20. All of those players "should be signing contributors" for '20. Last year at this time, that number was $68.5M. What the "lower number of money committed coupled with the higher overall payroll means is the Reds will go into the offseason with great flexibility" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/31).

FRONT & CENTER: The Giants on Sept. 15 are "scheduled to host their annual Strike Out Violence event," which is "one of the team’s long-standing community outreach efforts ... held to raise awareness and funds for victims of domestic violence." Giants President & CEO Larry Baer's suspension for an incident with his wife will end in July, so it is possible Baer at the September event "could take the microphone at a pregame ceremony honoring victims, as he has in the past." Such a scene "could be particularly awkward" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/31).