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LAST DITCH EFFORT IN WINNIPEG HAS ALL-BUT-A-DONE- DEAL
Published May 15, 1995
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).