SBD/30/Franchises

OILERS WELL OF SUPPORT DRYING UP QUICKLY?

     Unable to sell advertising space around the boards and
renovated luxury boxes and to find a firm willing to affix its
name to the Edmonton Coliseum, Oilers owner Peter Pocklington
faces another unprofitable year, according to the GLOBE & MAIL.
The Oilers are "not even close to passing the NHL's fiscal
physical" to determine if the team is healthy enough to be helped
by the league's recently approved aid package for small-market
clubs.  To qualify for assistance, the Oilers must double the
number of season ticket holders to 13,000 and sell the remaining
rink boards and luxury boxes by the end of May.  NHL Commissioner
Gary Bettman has said, "At some point, the economics of this
isn't going to work."  Pocklington, who has threatened to move
the Oilers in the past, said, "Is it my duty to spend four or
five million dollars a year entertaining Edmontonians?  I can't
afford that.  I don't have a printing press" (Scott Feschuk,
Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/30).
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Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, NHL

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