SBD/30/Franchises

OH! THE GLORY, THE JOY, THE RAPTOR OF LANDING AN IHL TEAM

     The Raptors are in the process of securing an IHL franchise,
according to Craig Daniels in this morning's TORONTO SUN.
Raptors VP/Business Operations Brian Cooper said the deal could
be completed by the summer.  An IHL team would not begin playing
for three years, but a source with ties to the Raptors said there
is "pressure on the team to close a deal with the IHL sooner than
later" in order to show investors in the new Air Canada Centre
the building "will be viable."  The source said the team "has to
show more than 45 NBA dates."  The only sticking point may be the
fluctuation in exchange rates and the "meteoric rise in prices"
of IHL franchises (TORONTO SUN, 3/30).  The Raptors will make a
presentation today to Toronto's land use committee to begin the
"maze-like approval process" on the arena (David Israelson,
TORONTO STAR, 3/30).
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