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JETS SUPPORTERS RALLY; LIFE SUPPORT NOT TURNED OFF YET
Published May 17, 1995
An estimated 35,000 Winnipeggers rallied yesterday in a fund-raising effort to keep the team from being moved to MN. Meanwhile, CanWest Global TV head Izzy Asper, who is "spearheading the effort" to keep the team in Winnipeg, told the Winnipeg City Council yesterday that he has written commitments for C$32M and verbal commitments for C$30M to save the team, and that he will make a bid to Jets Owner Barry Shenkarow if he has C$60M "in writing" by Thursday (Tim Campbell, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 5/17). BACK ON THE CHAIN GANG: "Everything from the contents of childrens' piggy banks" to a C$10M commitment from a local businessman was poured into the campaign to save the team. Even prisoners got involved, as "more than 100" inmates at Rockward institution North of the city donated their C$5.28 daily pay to the Jets cause. Local McDonald's and Burger King outlets will donate C$1 for every large sandwich sold. Fans at last night's rally donated more than C$100,000 (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 5/17). ARENA FINANCING: The Winnipeg City Council's support to fund a third of the cost for a new arena for the Jets "looked solid last night, after a last minute flurry of proposals were raised that could spare homeowners from property-tax increases," according to this morning's WINNIPEG FREE PRESS. The Manitoba provincial government has already pledged to pay their third -- C$37M -- but, the federal government "remained non-committal." Winnipeg's share of the C$111M arena may be funded through an increase in the city's business tax, effective '97. According to a proposal by Winnipeg Chief Commissioner Rick Frost, the tax would rise from 9.8% to 10.3%. Mayor Susan Thompson predicted that all three branches of government would approve their respective tax plans by 5pm today. Thompson added that the proposed business tax increase "would not be necessary" if the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecom Commission approves a plan that would allow pay-TV for Jets games (Nick Martin, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 5/17). HELP IN MN? Richard Burke, who is trying to buy the Jets and lure them to Minnesota, has told MN Gov. Arne Carlson that he wants state help. Burke did not specify the amount he is seeking. According to the Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, Burke "strongly endorsed" a funding approach that would give the state a stake in the team. The MN Legislature is scheduled to decide on a plan before they adjourn Monday (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/16).