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JOHNSON WILL BACK CITY BONDS FOR PIECE OF NBA BULLETS
Published November 4, 1994
BET President Bob Johnson "has switched gears and offered to back the [Washington, DC's] investment in arena construction in return for an opportunity to buy an interest in the Bullets." Under the plan, Johnson would guarantee the repayment of city- issued bonds and Bullets/Caps Owner Abe Pollin would "sell Johnson an interest in the Bullets immediately." Johnson would also have the first right to "buy the team in the future at whatever price Pollin sets." Johnson changed his proposal after "concluding" that his original offer to build an arena with his own money was gathering little support. The new proposal increased pressure on Pollin to "at least consider a partnership with one of the area's highest profile African-American businessmen." Last week the DC Chamber of Commerce "urged Pollin to meet with Johnson because, in light of the financial condition of the city," Johnson's offer could not be ignored (Howard Schneider, WASHINGTON POST, 11/4).