SBD/9/Franchises

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  • HELL NO, THEY WON'T GO! CBA TO RESURFACE IN HARTFORD

         After initially rejecting his first bid to buy the Hellcats
    for $750,000 in February, the CBA yesterday announced that
    businessman Brian Foley had acquired the the team for $500,000,
    according to this morning's HARTFORD COURANT.  Foley, owner of
    Avon, CT-based Apple Health Care, received "unanimous approval"
    on Friday from the league's 14 owners, but "some reservations
    about Hartford remain."  The CBA has set conditions for the team:
    Foley must sell 2,500 season tickets and have $400,000 in
    corporate sponsorship by July 30.  CBA Commissioner Tom
    Valdisseri would not comment on what would happen if the
    conditions were not met.  Foley has reportedly made a commitment
    to play at the Hartford Civic Center for three seasons, and is
    currently working on a lease agreement with the state.  Also,
    citing "personal reasons," Foley plans to change the team's name,
    with a new one to be chosen through a contest (Roy Hasty,
    HARTFORD COURANT, 5/9).  Foley reportedly will not be responsible
    for the debts that caused the Hellcats' previous owners, Hartford
    Sports and Entertainment Group, to cease operations (Roy Hasty,
    HARTFORD COURANT, 5/8).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises
  • MN LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE GAMBLING BILL TO HELP FUND JETS MOVE

         A group of bipartisan lawmakers in MN yesterday introduced a
    video gambling proposal that could be used to help a private
    buyer bring the Jets to Minneapolis.  The group said the bill,
    which would put video gambling machines in bars and restaurants
    throughout the state, would raise close to $250M a year.  MN Gov.
    Arne  Carlson "sarcastically ripped" the new attempt to legalize
    video gambling, saying he believed the bill was "too
    conservative."  Carlson: "I think you could widen this rascal and
    put video gambling in every school, every church, every
    synagogue, on every street corner."  Carlson would prefer to sell
    bonds to finance the team's move, which would in turn be paid off
    through higher tax revenues generated by the presence of an NHL
    franchise.  An "agreement in principle" to buy the team could be
    reached this week to give Carlson "specific financial figures as
    he tries to push" his proposal through the legislature."  A group
    led by health care entrepreneur Richard Burke is considered to be
    the front runner to buy the Jets.  The Burle group is reportedly
    willing to spend more than $45M of tjhe estimated $60-70M
    believed to be the price of the Jets.  T-Wolves Owner Glen Taylor
    said he would get involved only if a deal appears in jeopardy
    (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS/AP, 5/9).
         WHAT HIT THEM?  In Vancouver, Kent Gilchrist writes that
    neither Jets Owner Barry Shenkarow nor new Manitoba Premier Gary
    Filmon "figured on the intensity or depth of anger and despair
    the loss of the Jets invoked" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 5/9).  Bob
    Strumm, GM of the IHL Las Vegas Thunder, sees the Jets move
    leading to a Canadian division of the IHL (Mike Beamish,
    VANCOUVER SUN, 5/9).
         NHL CANCELS DRAFT RESERVATION: The NHL has cancelled about
    2,500 hotel reservations in Winnipeg that were made for the
    league's entry draft.  The league pulled the draft out of
    Winnipeg once the Jets deal collapsed (Mult., 5/9).  The BOSTON
    GLOBE's Kevin Paul Dupont floats Philadelphia or Chicago as
    possible draft sites (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/7).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Jets, NHL
  • RUMORS FOLLOWING DEVILS THROUGH THE PLAYOFFS

         As the Devils prepared to play the Bruins in Game 2 of the
    playoffs, rumors of the team's move to Nashville "fueled
    speculation and discussion" around the team, according to today's
    N.Y. TIMES.  And, top Devils officials "keep refusing to deny the
    rumor."  Yesterday, Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen and City
    Council officials held a news conference announcing the formation
    of a sports authority to look into the possibility of attracting
    an NHL franchise to the city.  According to Bredesen, Devils
    Chair John McMullen visited Nashville and inspected the new
    20,000-seat arena.  Devils President and GM Lou Lamoriello
    acknowledged that McMullen was in Nashville, but said it was for
    a celebrity golf tournament (Alex Yannis, N.Y. TIMES, 5/9).  In
    Toronto, Bob McKenzie writes, "There's a better than even chance
    there'll be as many as three relocations alone in the next month
    or two."  On the Devils, McKenzie writes that they are "going to
    move.  Only question is whether it's now or in a few years"  On
    Quebec, he writes, "There is a much better chance of the
    Nordiques leaving La Belle Province than there is of them
    staying" (TORONTO STAR, 5/9).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Franchises, New Jersey Devils, NHL, YankeeNets
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