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PANTHERS NOT PURRFORMING FINANCIALLY, HUIZENGA MAY MOVE TEAM
Published July 19, 1995
At a news conference Tuesday, Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga, "complaining" about million-dollar losses, said he may have to move the team. Huizenga said a decision to relocate would come in three months unless someone came forward to build an arena in South Florida. He said steep prices and other losses could force him to put the team up for sale. Huizenga: "I don't know who's going to buy a team losing a million dollars a month, but if he's here, step up." Huizenga's frustrations stem from his failure to get a new arena in Broward County. David Neal speculates three possibilities for the Panthers' future in this morning's MIAMI HERALD. The options: Huizenga could get a deal from another municipality to build an arena; Huizenga and Heat Owner Micky Arison team up to build a new arena in downtown Miami; Huizenga sells the team. Boca Raton businessman Norton Herrick is mentioned as a possible suitor and would likely move them out of FL. Neal writes that Huizenga insinuated that selling the team to parties interested in moving it is a "last-ditch option" (MIAMI HERALD, 7/19). WHY ARE THINGS SO BAD? When Huizenga was granted an expansion franchise by the NHL in '93, it was done "with the understanding ... that the Panthers would be in a new arena quickly." Neal writes that "the quick genesis could have been the problem" leading to the team's current financial troubles. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told the HERALD in June, "With the benefit of more time, this could've been buttoned down better" (MIAMI HERALD, 7/19).