SBD/22/Franchises

TARGET CENTER MANAGER TO MEET WITH BETTMAN

     Dana Warg, who runs the Target Center for Ogden Corp., will
meet NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to inform the NHL that the
deal between the arena and the city of Minneapolis is complete
and to "give parameters on what would take place if an NHL team
came here," according to this morning's ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS.
There has been increased speculation the Jets will move to
Minneapolis if their arena deal is not complete by May 1.  Ward
said that T-Wolves Owner Glen Taylor has first rights to purchase
the team and "bring it here," but that he had two other
interested investors.  The "consensus seems to be that, if the
Jets do move, it will be to Minnesota," writes Tom Powers.  If
the Jets move, the NHL would like to see them go to MN, rather
than taking away profitable expansion fees.  Powers adds that
"the league owes Minnesota" after the Stars left for Dallas (ST.
PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 3/22).  PIONEER-PRESS Columnist Charley
Walters, noting reports that Jets owner Barry Shenkarow figures
he can sell the team for $75M to MN interests, writes that Taylor
would be interested, "but not at anything near that price."
Wolves President Rob Moor, said $75M is "not a number we'd be
leaping at" -- after "he finished laughing."  Taylor will pay all
property taxes on the Target Center and any other party
interested in putting an NHL team there would have to negotiate
with him.  But Walters writes "that wouldn't preclude anyone else
from buying and operating a NHL club in Minneapolis" (ST. PAUL
PIONEER-PRESS, 3/21).  The Manitoba Entertainment Complex is
attempting to buy 64% of Shenkarow's stake in the Jets for C$32M,
but their ability to come up with the money is uncertain.
Taylor "would have no trouble raising" the $32M, which is
"preferable to bidding" for a team on the open market (Lance
Hornsby, TORONTO SUN, 3/22).
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