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SPIRIT OF MANITOBA AGREES TO BUY JETS

     The Spirit of Manitoba agreed yesterday to purchase the
majority shares of the Jets for $32M, according to today's
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS.  The agreement is not final, however, until
Spirit puts down a $10M deposit -- for which it has until Friday.
The FREE PRESS' John Douglas notes that, "while the sale is a
major step towards keeping the Jets in Winnipeg long-term, it is
not over."  Spirit must now complete an agreement with the three
levels of government to build a new 16,000-seat arena and raise
another $20M to cover future losses.  Closure is "contingent on
three issues being settled":  1) Private sector investment of
$80M -- $60M of which has already been pledged;  2) Favorable
rulings on re-capitalization and the charitable status of a fund
to cover losses; and 3) Approval by the NHL.  In addition to
buying shares for $32M, the new owners would pick up $8M in debts
and be prepared to cover about $15M in expected losses next year
(WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 6/14).
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Franchises, New York Jets, NHL

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