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OILERS WELL OF SUPPORT DRYING UP QUICKLY?
Published January 30, 1996
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).