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ARENA SITE GRANTED TO JETS, BUT CONDITIONS ARE SET
Published February 2, 1995
Manitoba Entertainment Complex Inc. was "granted the rights" by the Winnipeg city council to build a new $110M arena, but with a "few conditions." MEC must come up with a plan to frees taxpayers from the 50-50 loss sharing deal between the province and the city, that expires in '97. Those losses could be more than $40M over two years. Some council members were concerned that by approving the business plan guidelines, the council "was in effect handing over the $12 million parcel of land" and "committing itself to servicing it for another $12 million." And, because the city and the province already own 36% of the Jets, "they warned that wouldn't be the end of public contributions." A spokesperson for MEC said "the deal is far from done" (Scott Edmonds, CP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/2). Jets Owner Barry Shenkarow "says there's only one thing that can kill the arena deal in Winnipeg. Revenue sharing. Or lack of same." NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told the WINNIPEG SUN: "It makes it too political when you say it's a revenue-sharing issue. It may be and it may not be. I think what we have to do is figure out what the problem is, figure out how to address it, then address it. ... But this is a front-burner issue" (Ed Willes, WINNIPEG SUN, 2/2).