SBD/18/Franchises

MEADOLWANDS AUTHORITY MAKES OFFER TO KEEP THE DEVILS

     The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority made an offer
yesterday to keep the Devils from moving to Nashville, according
to the N.Y. TIMES.  The offer came only a day after the Nashville
Metro Council passed a "package of inducements" to lure a team to
a new arena in the city.  Terms of the NJSEA's offer were not
released and "it was not apparent how far the agency went to
satisfy claims" that the Devils had made in a challenge of their
lease at Brendan Byrne Arena.  Representatives of both the NJSEA
and of NJ Gov. Christine Todd Whitman refused to say whether the
offer was a "significant improvement" over the current terms of
the team's lease.  Whitman spokesperson Carl Golden:  "Just
because an offer was made is not tantamount to a confirmation
that he [Devils Owner John McMullen] isn't making enough money.
The offer is just part of a process" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y.
TIMES, 5/18).  The N.Y. POST's Larry Brooks asks why NHL
Commissioner Gary Bettman hasn't "stepped up to do the right
thing now, which is to protect the state of New Jersey and Devils
fans from the threat of a Nashville heist?  He shouldn't wait for
a call from Trenton.  He should make it" (N.Y. POST, 5/18).
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