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  • LAST DITCH EFFORT IN WINNIPEG HAS ALL-BUT-A-DONE- DEAL

         Health care entrepreneur Richard Burke "bought the right" on
    Friday to move the Jets to MN, but a new Canadian-based group has
    until Thursday to put together a package to keep the team in
    Winnipeg, according to the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  Burke:  "We
    don't own the team. ... If the team is moved, they've accepted
    our offer."  One NHL source put Burke's offer at about $65M.
    Burke said he has one partner thus far, Bermuda-based insurance
    exec Steven Gluckstern -- but the Naegele family is expected to
    be involved in any deal.  As for possible public aid, Burke said,
    "One step at a time."  On Thursday, MN Gov. Arne Carlson capped
    any state aid at $15M.  But, noting that the MN Legislature is
    set to adjourn on May 22, Target Center Exec Dir Dana Warg said
    that the time delay "could have an adverse effect" in getting a
    deal (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/13).
         LAST GASP?  The effort by Jets Owner Barry Shenkarow to keep
    the team in Winnipeg is described by John Douglas of the WINNIPEG
    FREE PRESS as a "reconfiguration of the original plan" of the
    Manitoba Entertainment Complex.  This time, however, instead of
    linking the team and a new arena, the city, provincial and
    federal governments will cover the C$110M needed for a new
    16,000-seat arena, while a private sector group -- led by CanWest
    Global TV head Izzy Asper -- will cover the costs (past, present
    and future) of the team (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 5/13).  Sources say
    that Asper has agreed to purchase naming rights of the new arena
    for CanWest for C$20M.  Asper's group would purchase the Jets'
    privately held shares (with the exception of Shenkarow's) for
    C$50M, pay off about C$15M in current debt and establish a pool
    of C$45M to cover future losses.  Shenkarow would stay on as team
    president.  The governments would each pay C$37M for the arena,
    which would be owned by the public but leased to the team
    (Douglas & Samyn, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 5/13).  Asper admitted
    Saturday that chances of success are "remote" (WINNIPEG FREE
    PRESS, 5/14).
         TWIN CITIES NOTES:  Vikings President Roger Headrick
    indicated a desire to renegotiate their Metrodome lease with the
    Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission should an NHL team get
    public aid.  Headrick:  "First, they had to finish the Target
    Center deal.  Then Target Center has become the NHL, which then
    becomes the Twins.  And the Vikings are always next in line."
    The Vikings' lease runs through 2012.  Under a joint Twins-
    Vikings plan, the teams would take over Dome operations and
    control virtually all revenues (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR
    TRIBUNE, 5/14)....STAR TRIB columnist Dan Barreiro writes, "We
    should know this by now:  Never count on anything until the
    moving vans have arrived, or been recalled" (Minneapolis STAR
    TRIBUNE, 5/14).... Carlson said he would call a special
    legislative session on the Jets if necessary (Minneapolis STAR
    TRIBUNE, 5/15).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, NHL
  • NORDIQUES OFFICIAL DENIES "WAVERING" AMONG TEAM OWNERS

         In Denver, Curtis Eichelberger reports that majority owner
    Marcel Aubut is "encountering resistance" from two of his four
    partners to selling out to Comsat Video and moving to Denver.
    Due to "recent public sentiment" in Quebec against the sale of
    the team, Metro-Richelieu, a wholesale grocer and supermarket
    chain, and Le Fond de Solidarite des Travailleurs de Quebec, a
    labor union -- "are wavering" (ROCKY MOUNTIAN NEWS, 5/13).
    Nordiques spokesperson Jean Martineau said reports the team's
    five major shareholders were split on whether to accept the
    government's offer "were off base."  Martineau:  "Solidarity is
    strong among the owners" (CP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/13).
    Nordiques ownership is expected to inform provincial officials
    today whether they will move the team (Curtis Eichelberger, ROCKY
    MOUNTIAN NEWS, 5/14).  In Vancouver, Tony Gallagher writes, "If
    Denver doesn't get the Nords, they are slated to become the
    second expansion team announced.  You don't keep people like
    Comsat waiting for long, or they start and televise their own
    league" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 5/14).
    

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  • SALE OF KINGS THREATENED -- BANKRUPTCY STUMBLING BLOCK

         An undisclosed offer to buy a majority interest in the Kings
    was made last week by CO billionaire Philip Anschutz and Southern
    CA developer Edward Roski, "but it is far from a done deal,"
    according to Dillman & Reich of the L.A. TIMES.  The "major
    stumbling block" remaining is the 28% controlled by Bruce
    McNall's bankruptcy trustee, R. Todd Neilson.  According to
    Neilson, the 28% is "critical and essential because it includes
    an option to repurchase up to 80% of the team."  If the sale goes
    through, Anschutz reportedly "has no plan" to move the Kings.
    Sources say he wants to build a new arena for hockey and
    basketball in downtown L.A. near Dodger Stadium, on land near
    Chinatown owned by his company, Southern Pacific Railroad Corp.
    (L.A. TIMES, 5/13).  Sources close to the negotiations say that
    the deal is worth $75M (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/14).  In Boston,
    Kevin Paul Dupont notes Anschutz is the developer of Denver's new
    Pepsi Center, and writes, "It's unclear right now whether
    Anschutz wants to be a team owner or a key player in the building
    of a new arena to replace the Great Western Forum in Inglewood"
    (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/14).
    

    Print | Tags: AEG, Franchises, PepsiCo
  • WHICH WAY WILL HE GO? REPORTS SWIRL AROUND RAIDERS' DAVIS

         The NFL's offer to help build the Raiders and Owner Al Davis
    a new 68,000-seat stadium in Hollywood Park is one "he is going
    to find difficult to refuse," according to Will McDonough in
    Sunday's BOSTON GLOBE.  McDonough reports that the league has
    assured Davis that two Super Bowls would be played at the new
    facility shortly after it is completed, with Davis receiving
    10,000 additional tickets to each game that he can distribute to
    Raiders season ticket holders who purchase the personal seat
    licenses that would help fund the facility.  In return, McDonough
    reports, Davis must play all Raiders home games in L.A. while the
    stadium is being built, and must allow an NFC team that could
    move or be created with expansion, to occupy the stadium "at the
    same rates as the Raiders pay to use the facility."  McDonough
    writes that the NFL's Finance Committee developed the plan last
    Thursday and sent it to Davis on Friday.  NFL Commissioner Paul
    Tagliabue reportedly told Davis the Committee "unanimously
    endorsed this offer, and that if Davis accepted, the committee
    and Tagliabue would give it unanimous support" at league meetings
    later this month.  One NFL owner told McDonough that "if Davis
    accepts this proposal, he would go from one of the bottom-end
    teams in the NFL in terms of gross revenue to second-highest"
    (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/14).
         BACKUP PLAN?  In this morning's S.F. CHRONICLE, Glenn Dickey
    reports that the league "has prepared a backup position" if the
    deal with Davis falls through and he moves the Raiders back to
    Oakland.  Dickey: "The league would immediately look for another
    site which would be easily accessible both from Los Angeles and
    Anaheim, with the idea of building a stadium which could be used
    by two teams, one from each conference."  Dickey reports that
    "ideally, the teams would be expansion teams, because the
    existing teams would share in the expansion fees."  But Dickey
    also notes that Cincinnati and Seattle are possibilities.
    Dickey: "If both AFC teams moved to Los Angeles, the Seahawks
    would be moved to the NFC West" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/15).
         NOT AN L.A. TYPE?  Dickey reports that "it seems almost
    inconceivable that Davis would leave the rich Los Angeles market,
    but to capitalize on the area's potential, a team must have good
    marketing.  Davis knows nothing of marketing himself, and he has
    nobody in the organization who does either."  Dickey also notes
    that Davis' "primary goal" is winning, and the crowds in L.A. are
    the "least partisan crowds in the league."  Dickey also notes
    Davis' relationship with other league owners: "Because of the
    extraordinary difficulty of dealing with Davis, there is some
    sentiment within the league for allowing him to move back to
    Oakland and starting fresh with new, more tractable owners in Los
    Angeles" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/15).
         LOCAL POLITICOS:  If the Hollywood Park plan is not
    approved, Coliseum officials "expect the Raiders to leave" for
    Oakland or Baltimore.  L.A. Sports Council President David Simon:
    "It's just a continuum.  We want the Raiders to stay here, but
    what is occurring at the moment is the free market is creating an
    environment for the Raiders to decide what to do next.  It's part
    of the business side of sports" (Mark Katches, L.A. DAILY NEWS,
    5/13).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, Vulcan Ventures
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