SBD/5/Franchises

JETS SET A PATH FOR PHOENIX, CITE UNCERTAINTIES IN ST. PAUL

     Jets buyer Richard Burke yesterday decided that an offer
from St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman to have the Jets play in the St.
Paul Civic Center had too many questions at too late of a date,
according to the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  Burke said "serious
discussions" would begin today to take the team to Phoenix to
play in America West Arena.  Burke was "very optimistic" a final
deal will be in place within the week.  He and partner Steven
Gluckstern will now negotiate with Suns & Diamondbacks principal
Jerry Colangelo, who is likely to become a Jets limited partner
(Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/5).  ESPN's Linda Cohn
reported, "The Jets should be dropping the puck in Phoenix
beginning next season" ("SportsCenter," 12/4).  NHL Commissioner
Gary Bettman released a statement yesterday thanking Coleman for
his efforts and encouraged him to "pursue the necessary
arrangements" to try and bring an NHL franchise to the city in
the future (NHL).
     NEW AND IMPROVED:  "In all likelihood," the Jets' name will
change, and "it would not be surprising" to see some purple added
to the team colors, according to the ARIZONA REPUBLIC.  At a news
conference yesterday, Colangelo said  Burke talked of changing
the team name to one with more of a regional theme.  Colangelo
said any changes would be up to Burke and Gluckstern, but added,
"I wouldn't be surprised that there will be real consideration of
a major name change and repackaging."  Colangelo estimated the
lowest priced tickets for games would be about $10, with the
average ticket costing $34 -- which is also the league average.
Colangelo also noted that while he does not have a hockey
background, he is confident the team can be a success in Phoenix.
Colangelo: "The business of sport is applicable to any sport.
Whether it's a puck, a basketball or a baseball, the same
principles apply" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 12/5).
     WHAT NOW FOR WINNIPEG?  An IHL committee is expected to
recommend today which franchise will move to Winnipeg for '96-97
(Rachel Blount, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/5).
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