SBD/24/Franchises

STARS' TROUBLED FINANCES HINDERING NEW INVESTMENT

     The sale of a half-interest in the Stars "still isn't
completed, but owner Norman Green on Monday brushed aside
speculation that the delays stem from financial difficulties,"
according to today's DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  Green, who admits the
Stars have major debts and went into a "cash crunch" during the
'94 lockout, has been negotiating with John Spano, President of a
local leasing company, on a $40M deal for 50% of the team.
Sources familiar with the team's financial situation says the
Stars' debt is at nearly $60M, raising "doubts about whether the
franchise can produce enough cash to keep up with that much
debt."  The MORNING NEWS' Richard Alm notes questions on the
team's financial situation come at an "inopportune time."  For
Green, selling half the team "might not provide the Stars with
enough financial relief, forcing Green to sell a majority
interest."  In addition, any complications to the sale hold up
consideration of a new arena for the Stars and Mavericks.  One
source notes the team's market value currently exceeds its debts
by only about $20M, and that value is unlikely to grow unless a
favorable arena deal is worked out.  Green's primary financial
burden is $42M owed to Alberta Treasury Branches, a province-
owned bank, over failed Canadian real estate interests.  With the
Stars as collateral, one Alberta politician said over the weekend
the province could end up owning the Stars if Green's deal with
Spano falls through (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/24).
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