SBD/16/Franchises

JERSEY GOV SAYS DEVILS ARE OBLIGATED TO HONOR LEASE

     NJ Gov. Christine Todd Whitman responded that the Devils,
"have a contract to the year 2010" when asked if Owner John
McMullen had a deadline for accepting the NJSEA's arena
improvement offer to stay.  Whitman, according to the Nashville
TENNESSEAN:  "That's our deadline."  Whitman added, "The only
escape clause they have is if they notify the [NJSEA] by 1998-99
that they want to stop playing here by 2002" (Nashville
TENNESSEAN, 6/14).  THE SPORTING NEWS' Larry Wigge writes that NJ
businessman Robert Brennen's $65M offer should satisfy an NHL
bylaw that prevents a franchise from moving if a prospective
local buyer is willing to take over the team (THE SPORTING NEWS,
6/19 issue).
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