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TWO MINNESOTA GROUPS TO BID FOR JETS THIS WEEK
Published May 8, 1995
The two leading suitors for the Jets are expected to have their offers in to Owner Barry Shenkarow this week, according to this morning's Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. While a group led by health care entrepreneur Richard Burke "seems to have the blessing" of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, representatives of the Nederalander family, owner of theater and entertainment interests and Yankees limited partners, have contacted Timberwolves Owner Glen Taylor. On Saturday, Taylor expressed a renewed interest in getting involved in the Jets purchase. The team is expected to sell for between $60-70M, although the NHL "wants to push the price as high as possible to set a standard for future expansion franchise prices" (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/8). ANOTHER LOOK: Taylor's "review" of his options regarding the Jets was based on the reported willingness of the MN Legislature to supplement the financing needed to lure the team by as much as $20M. But on public aid, Taylor was quick to note: "Just because it's there, it doesn't mean I'm going to do it" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/7). PUBLIC DOMAIN: Weiner analyzes the state's role in the purchase, writing that the suggestion of Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chair Harvey Savelkoul that the state money go toward "contract rights" -- guarantees that the team won't move -- "signals the advent of a new evolutionary stage in the state's pro sports public policy." Savelkoul sees "broad-based ownership," perhaps a public stock offering in local teams as a possibility, an idea shared by Taylor and Twins Owner Carl Pohlad. With a proposal to restructure Metrodome operations due from Twins President Jerry Bell and Vikings President Roger Headrick, and a possible Twins sale in the wake of a baseball labor deal, Savelkoul foresees all four MN teams "linked under a giant broad-based public -- not state -- ownership arrangement" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/7). On Friday, MN Gov. Arne Carlson endorsed the idea of public ownership and said it was his intention to link the bonds for the team with the "Mighty Ducks Bill" which would build youth rinks around the state. NHL sources said Bettman was "encouraged" by the state's position. One NHL source: "There's a difference between owning and running a team, and owning an interest" (McGrath & Weiner, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/6). CAUGHT IN THE JET WASH: Winnipeg fans packed a ceremony Saturday at Winnipeg Arena where the team's name and logo were retired (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 5/7).... The IHL Minnesota Moose want to establish a "working arrangement" with the Jets should they move to the Target Center. One scenario has the Jets becoming the "Minnesota Moose" with the IHL "St. Paul Moose" serving as the team's IHL affiliate. Moose Co-Owner & President Kevin MacLean: "I never got into the hockey business to compete with the NHL" (John Gilbert, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/6).