The "long-awaited" sale of the L.A. Kings was completed last night, after the team declared Chapter 11 to allow the deal to be finished. The team was sold by LAK Acquisition Corp. -- headed by Jeffrey Sudikoff and Joseph Cohen -- to Majectic Anshutz Venture, a partnership of Denver-based Philip Anshutz and L.A. developer Edward Roski, Jr. The bankruptcy move "helped the parties reach a definitive sale agreement for $114 million, including a binding agreement with Laker and Forum owner Jerry Buss that could move the team into a new arena yet to be built." There is an "approval hearing" scheduled for October 5 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in L.A., and the sale also needs approval from the NHL Board of Governors. Anschutz and Roski also "have the option to purchase a minority interest in the Lakers." NHL officials had viewed bankruptcy as a final option, but "almost everyone involved recognized the neccessity of running the Kings through a cleansing process of bankruptcy, protecting the potential purchasers from unseen potential future liabilities." NHL General Counsel Jeffrey Pash said "the bankruptcy filing will have no effect on the club's operations" (L.A. TIMES, 9/21).
MN Gov. Arne Carlson said yesterday that he still supports a plan to help the prospective owners of the Jets hockey team if they move them to Minnesota, according to Jay Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE. Carlson said he didn't want any assistance "sold as a subsidy," reportedly referring of "a tax- rebate concept that received limited support in the Legislature in May." Under that plan, prospective owners Richard Burke and Steve Gluckstern "would have been given the income taxes Jets' players would have paid to the state" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/21).
In a presentation yesterday, the Spurs projected a $3.26M loss of '95-96 while reporting earnings of $4.51M for the '94-95 season (which includes more than $4M from the playoff alone), according to this morning's SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. The projected loss is based on the team not making the playoffs. Spurs President & CEO Jack Diller: "Somehow, we've got to work with the city to obtain a revenue stream to make this viable." Diller was referring to contracts with the city involving concessions, parking, luxury boxes, rent, and other costs at the Alamodome. San Antonio Mayor Bill Thornton opposes any changes in the Spurs' lease, but is open to adding new seating and portable luxury suites. EXPRESS-NEWS business columnist David Hendricks writes, "City Hall would be smart to start renegotiating its Alamodome contract." He points out the Spurs are limited in areas of broadcast revenues and the lack of a corporate presence in San Antonio. The city is the NBA's smallest TV market, but the fact the Spurs get only 24% in revenue from corporate accounts "remains the most threatening." NBA teams average 76% of revenue from corporations. The team is now targeting "corporate-rich" and "high-tech" Austin (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 9/21).