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WOLVES SALE MIGHT NOT BE COMPLETED BY NBA TARGET DATE
Published September 23, 1994
The sale of the Timberwolves "is on the verge of unraveling because negotiations on a Target Center lease have hit 'huge hurdles.'" Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chair Henry Savelkoul said that he has "a significant fear" that a lease agreement between businessman Glen Taylor and the commission will not be worked out by October 5 -- when the NBA is set to approve the sale. Savelkoul, who for a year has "steered a plan to publicly" buy the Target Center from Marv Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner, made his comments after a team of bond lawyers told him and Taylor's representatives that their proposed lease includes legal flaws with "deal-breaking tax implications." Taylor is also seeking to place a limit on a ticket surcharge mandated by the legislation that authorized the public buyout of the Target Center. The legislation authorized a $42M buyout paid for by ticket taxes and $750,000/year for 15 years. NBA Commissioner David Stern was optimistic: "It's the normal ups and downs of a deal that's destined to get done." Wolfenson and Ratner agreed to sell the Wolves for $88.5M, but Taylor might not buy the team if a lease deal is not worked out. "One remote solution, Taylor could buy Target Center." Taylor: "Nothing is out of the question for me" (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/22).