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THE DEVILS WENT DOWN TO NASHVILLE?
Published May 8, 1995
Devils Owner John McMullen is "unhappy" with the terms of his lease at Brendan Byrne Arena and could be preparing to brea the agreement and move the team out of NJ, according to Saturday's Bergen RECORD. Though they would not specify McMullen's concerns, members of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NSEA) said they were willing to work with Devils ownership. NSEA Chair Michael Francis: "We consider the franchise valuable to the sports authority and to the people and the state of New Jersey. We would be delighted to sit down with Mr. McMullen or anybody from the Devils and to (try to) resolve our differences amicably" (Mult., 5/6). By refusing to deny the rumors, McMullen and Devils President & GM Lou Lamoriello are seen by the N.Y. POST's Larry Brooks as "attempting to gain major concessions" from the NSEA. But Brooks adds that the NHL "would not oppose a move that would take one of the three New York-area teams into a city without a major league franchise." In addition, Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen is working on legislation to be introduced at the state legislature tomorrow that would authorize the use of public funds to cover the moving costs of a major league franchise (N.Y. POST, 5/8). Also in New York, Dave Anderson notes that breaking the lease at the Meadowlands would cost the Devils as much as $26M in penalties (N.Y. TIMES, 5/8).