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         Partners Don Gaston, Alan Cohen and Paul Dupee together have
    made $1.8M a year in management fees from the Boston Celtics
    Limited Partnership, but for other investors the team has been
    "far less rewarding," according to the current issue of FINANCIAL
    WORLD.  FW's Ronald Fink reviews the stock, "the purest play on
    professional sports in the U.S.," and finds that price
    appreciation since the IPO has been roughly 2% a year.  With
    dividend reinvestment, annual returns improve to 12-13% a year --
     "but the dividends are likely to be slashed."  The reasons for
    the disappointing track record:  The IPO price of $17.50 was too
    high; the Celtics' deal for a local TV station was a good one for
    partners, but bad for investors; and, the fact that master
    limited partnerships (MLPs) are off-limits to pension fund
    investors.  Fink notes that the team has about $170M in cash
    after the sale of the TV station, with one possible use being a
    purchase of the Red Sox.  But with the Celtics set to lose their
    MLP tax break on earnings in '97, the general partners may look
    to buy up investors' shares "at a discount."  That could change
    if a bill backed by Sen. Finance Committee Chairman Bob Packwood
    extending the MLPs' current tax status is passed (FINANCIAL
    WORLD, 5/9 issue).

    Print | Tags: Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Franchises

         The Manitoba Entertainment Complex, the group attempting to
    buy a majority share of the Jets before May 1 in order to keep
    the team in Winnipeg, said yesterday that the deal was dead after
    the NHL "suddenly imposed" unacceptable conditions.  MEC Chair
    John Loewen told a crowd gathered to hear about the new arena the
    group wants to build that "the NHL has sabotaged" the MEC's
    proposal (Nick  Martin & John Douglas, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS,
         THE DEMANDS:  Toronto GLOBE & MAIL's David Roberts explains
    the NHL's three conditions:  1) The MEC cannot sell the team
    until they had lost at least C$25M; 2) The MEC would have to pay
    a C$50M transfer fee if the team leaves before '99; 3) The MEC
    cannot secure debts exceeding the value of the team -- currently
    placed at C$50M.  Roberts writes that the MEC had planned to buy
    majority owner Barry Shenkarow's shares for C$32M and build a new
    arena for C$122M.  They were also asking for city, provincial and
    federal governmental funding of up to C$130M in land, loans and
    guarantees.  If the team could not turn a profit in a new arena,
    they "planned to flip the franchise and repay the taxpayers for
    their arena investment."  Roberts reports that the NHL "wants to
    prevent teams from transferring to lucrative U.S. expansion
    markets" (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/28).
         BLAME BETTMAN:   Canadian reports place the blame for the
    failed deal heavily on NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.  This
    morning, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Columnist Brian Cole urges fans to
    fax a coupon to Bettman demanding he reconsider the conditions.
    Text: "Dear Gary:  Hockey is CANADA'S game.  I want the NHL to
    drop the conditions imposed on the MEC and let Manitobans decide
    whether the Jets will stay in Winnipeg."  Bettman's fax number is
    included (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 4/28).  Winnipeg Mayor Susan
    Thompson: "Mr. Bettman has said here's the reality of the NHL,
    here's what it takes to play in the big league -- if you're not
    in the big league -- then out" (David Roberts, Toronto GLOBE &
    MAIL, 4/28).
         THERE'S STILL TIME:  MEC officials said they will not
    concede the team until Monday's deadline, leaving WINNIPEG FREE
    PRESS writer Scott Taylor to believe there is still hope for a
    deal.  Taylor writes, "This soap opera isn't over."  Taylor
    suggests that the MEC's refusal to agree to keep the team in town
    until 2005 and not to move the team until it loses C$25M is
    motivated by their desires for a "risk-free deal."  Taylor:
    "Since when were losses during the next two years, a long-term
    commitment to Winnipeg and rising player salaries big news" (WIN.
    FREE PRESS, 4/28).
         HEADED FOR 'SOTA?  In Minneapolis, Jay Weiner examines a
    possible Jets move to the Target Center.  Among the questions:
    Can the team survive as second to the T-Wolves at the Target
    Center? (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/28).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Jets, NHL
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