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STRIPPING FOR A CAUSE -- SAVE THE JETS UNITES WINIPEGGERS
Published May 16, 1995
A grassroots effort in Winnipeg has everyone from schoolchildren to strippers donating money in an effort to raise C$110M by Thursday to keep the Jets from moving to Minneapolis. The first day of fund-raising by the MEC and CanWest Communications raised more than C$30M, and other efforts have raised "untold millions," Bruce Owen writes in the WINNIPEG FREE PRESS. The deadline to keep the team in Winnipeg is Thursday (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 5/16). ARENA MONEY: The Winnipeg City Council "appears ready to spend a minimum" of C$37M to help build an arena if the Jets stay in town. The city money would complete a plan by Manitoba Premier Gary Filmon that would have city, provincial and federal governments each donating equal shares to build a facility. Filmon met yesterday with local officials, saying that "virtually any civic government in Canada would give their eye-teeth" for such a deal. The city's previous estimated contribution to a new arena was C$7M for the land. But in Winnipeg, Nick Martin reports that after roads and other services, the city's contribution could be as high as C$66M (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 5/16). SLEEPLESS IN 'SOTA: Health care entrepreneur Richard Burke's chances to "break even" if he buys the Jets and moves them to the Target Center depends on $18M-$23M in state aid, according to a letter from Target Center Exec Dir Dana Warg to Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chair Henry Savelkoul. Jay Weiner and Dennis McGrath report that Warg's letter states if Burke pays $65M for the team, he will need between $18M-$23M in "some form" of state aid to break even. Warg also claims the team is only worth $42M-$47M becuase they will have to share the Target Center with the T-Wolves, who control most revenue opportunities. Weiner and McGrath report that sources "close to" Burke say that "the chance of him simply trying to operate the Jets" without state aid "is virtually nil." Savelkoul says Warg's analysis "misses some issues," and the state will produce an independent analysis (STAR TRIBUNE, 5/15).