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  • BETTMAN TO TWIN CITIES: JETS ARE YOURS, IF YOU WANT 'EM

         NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told MN officials Wednesday
    they are "in a one horse race," if they so choose, to bring the
    Jets to the Target Center.  In this morning's Minneapolis STAR-
    TRIBUNE, Jay Weiner reports Bettman, addressing the state's
    Advisory Task Force on Professional Sports, "nonchalantly
    triggered a collective jaw dropping" among leaders when he
    advised them of his "apparent deadline" of December 14 for a plan
    to help relocate the club.  Bettman was joined by likely Jets
    buyer Richard Burke.  However, Weiner notes they "were probably
    talking to the wrong people.  The 20-member task force ... has no
    negotiating power."  Burke said he will negotiate with "anyone in
    Minnesota who could provide him with the cash" he and partner
    Steven Gluckstern need.  Burke was referring to a $20M figure
    said to be the amount needed keep a team from financial
    difficulty.  State Sen. Dean Johnson noted state help may be hard
    to obtain by the deadline, as legislative sessions do not begin
    again until January 16.  Johnson also doubted a quorum would show
    if Gov. Arne Carlson called a special Jets session.  Bettman:  "I
    believed, based on the sentiments I heard after the [Stars] left,
    that people here really wanted to have a hockey team.  If I
    misread that, then so be it.  Opportunities don't last forever"
    (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 10/12).  Columnist Patrick Reusse
    writes that the state "would be idiots to pass up an NHL team,"
    and leaders should tax casino operators to obtain financing
    (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 10/12).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Stars, Franchises, New York Jets, NHL, Southwest Sports Group
  • FRANCHISE NOTES: IHL TO RETURN HOCKEY TO QUEBEC CITY

         The IHL announced yesterday it has signed a lease with
    Quebec City to bring a team to Le Colisee for at least the next
    three years.  The franchise start-up is currently in league
    hands, "while the possibility of private ownership is under
    evaluation."  The franchise has established an office led by
    former Nordiques Marketing Dir Bernard Thiboutot.  Quebec will be
    the IHL's 20th team, and first in Canada in more than 30 years
    (IHL)....The Bulls became the first sports team to crack
    TicketMaster's top ten attractions, coming in at No. 5 of the
    most inquired attractions nationwide for the week ended October
    4.  The Bulls put tickets on sale September 30.  R.E.M. topped
    the list.  Inquiries are measured by Ticketmaster Online.  Web
    address: http://www.ticketmaster.com (VARIETY, 10/9-15 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bulls, Franchises, Ticketmaster
  • SAN JOSE, OAKLAND WANT WARRIORS TO COME OUT AND PLAY

         An Oakland official indicated "for the first time" Wednesday
    that the city and Alameda County "now are willing to commit
    significant public funds to keep the Warriors from moving to San
    Jose," according to this morning's SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS.  Ostrom
    & Akizuki report yesterday's assertion by Oakland City Councilman
    Ignacio De La Fuente the city and county may be willing to lend
    as much as $8M to help finance a new arena is "a sign" the team's
    search for a new home "may be turning into a municipal bidding
    war."  Warriors officials met with San Jose city leaders
    yesterday to iron out details of a $43M publicly financed plan to
    lure the team to San Jose Arena next season.  Although San Jose
    officials have said "they have no intention of getting into a
    bidding war," De La Fuente's statement "may turn up the heat."
    De La Fuente said the loan, which would be used for preliminary
    design and environmental work for a new facility, would be paid
    back from arena revenue.  Oakland may not have to offer a public
    subsidy the size of San Jose's because the team would have "a
    significant advantage" in terms of controlling revenue in its own
    arena.  Also, 45% of the team's season ticket base is in Alameda
    and Contra Costa Counties (in and near Oakland), compared with
    24% of ticketholders in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties (in
    and near San Jose) (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/12).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Golden State Warriors
  • WHAT'S WORSE, HERSHISER ON FOUR DAYS REST OR WA POLITICS?

         "As many as three-quarters" of WA House Republicans "now
    oppose" WA Gov. Mike Lowry's plan to finance a new stadium for
    the Mariners and Kingdome renovations, according to this
    morning's SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER.  Michael Paulson reports
    one House Republican leader said Wednesday that only a quarter to
    a third of the Republican-controlled body "are prepared to vote"
    for the proposal, which would use state money from expanded
    lottery games, special license plate sales and existing taxes to
    pay its share of the $515M price tag for the facility
    construction and improvements.  King County's share would be
    financed through tax increases in car rentals, restaurants and
    sports tickets.  The plan was made public yesterday by King
    County Exec Gary Locke.  While Lowry's plan has the support of
    top Republicans, Speaker Clyde Ballard and Senate Minority Leader
    Dan McDonald, "the debate clearly has partisan overtones."  Lowry
    last night called a special session to discuss the plan and is
    "still optimistic" some form of financing will pass.  The
    Democrat-controlled Senate is thought to have the votes.  Under
    the plan, the Mariners would contribute $45M, with the state and
    county splitting the remaining $255M  (SEATTLE POST-
    INTELLIGENCER, 10/12).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Seattle Mariners
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