Franchise ponders name

Naming anything can be a pricey, dicey business.And if the item to be named is a brand spanking new National Basketball Association franchise set to win some games in 1995 and sell heaps of merchandise, then the name had better be...

Naming anything can be a pricey, dicey business.

And if the item to be named is a brand spanking new National Basketball Association franchise set to win some games in 1995 and sell heaps of merchandise, then the name had better be just right.

To find a nickname for the Toronto entry into the nba next year, the franchise’s owners went to the fans and then a celebrity judging panel.

Tom Mayenknecht, director of communications for the new franchise, says the ownership consortium will have the final say in choosing the team nickname, which should be announced by the end of May.

The panel – former Ontario lieutenant-governor Lincoln Alexander, biathlete Myriam Bedard, figure skater Josee Chouinard, Wayne Gretzky and Toronto Blue Jay Roberto Alomar – chose 10 nicknames from a 189-name list.

More than 100,000 names had been submitted by the fans through 125 newspapers, tv and radio stations.

The 10 names are: Raptors, T-Rex, Dragons, Grizzlies, Bobcats, Hogs, Terriers, Scorpions, Beavers and Tarantulas.

They were announced at a press conference in Toronto last week.

A nationwide vote on the name, which will act only as an indication of how fans are thinking, will begin April 13 and run until April 29 at Sears stores and Cineplex Odeon theatres. DC