SBD/10/Franchises

SALE OF JETS DELAYED; CAN THEY FIT IN TWIN CITIES MARKET?

     The sale of the Jets to MN businessman Richard Burke was
delayed until sometime this week, according to Jay Weiner of the
Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE.  Weiner reports the "complexity" of the
deal is the reason with Burke insisting it is not in jeopardy
(Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 10/7).  Meanwhile, in Sunday's STAR-
TRIBUNE, Weiner examined the troubles Burke faces as he tries to
carve out room in the Twin Cities market for a hockey team.  NHL
Commissioner Gary Bettman is scheduled to address area business
and political leaders tomorrow, but Weiner notes while the Jets
are the area's "best and last chance" to get an NHL team, there
are several problems.  There is "limited economic room alongside
the Wolves in the city-owned Target Center," and the Jets
situation has taken a back seat among many who are "more worried
about saving the Twins."  Burke has told political leaders he
needs around $5M a year to make the Jets viable at the Target
Center.  Weiner rates the chances of the team opening next year
at the Target Center at 50-50 -- the same chance of the team
moving to Nashville or San Diego (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE,
10/8).  This morning, Weiner reports Warlock Whitney, who
attracted the Twins to MN in '61, is leading the charge to obtain
$20M in state funding for the Jets (STAR-TRIBUNE, 10/10).  The
Jets drew a non-sellout 13,914 to their home opener, and only
7,856 in their second game.  L.A. TIMES columnist Mike Penner
notes the irony of one Winnipeg Arena dasherboard ad -- "Winnipeg
Allied Moving and Storage" (L.A. TIMES, 10/10).
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