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ROWLAND'S STERN WARNING: SUN SHINING ON WHALERS?
Published May 10, 1996
CT Gov. John Rowland "hardened his stance" on the Whalers self-imposed ticket-selling deadline on WTNH-TV in New Haven Thursday when he warned it could cost the Whalers money should they break their Civic Center lease and leave for a new city. The HARTFORD COURANT's Michael Arace reports Rowland called the team's 11,000 -ticket deadline "somewhat artificial" and invoked the two-year lease the Whalers have with the Civic Center, saying "that contract is binding unless they spend a huge amount of money to move out of the state." Arace notes there "has been some question" if the Whalers' lease requires team owners to pay $10.5M or $25.5M to move prematurely. Though he admitted Rowland's warning surprised him, Whalers President/GM Jim Rutherford refused to comment on Rowland's statements (HARTFORD COURANT, 5/10). Meanwhile, the COURANT's Jeff Jacobs writes some life was breathed into the Whalers when Sun International committed to buy 120 season tickets. Sun's Kevin DeSanctis, managing partner of the Mohegan Sun casino, announced the tickets will be donated to area youth. The team had averaged 46 ticket sales a day, which would have landed them 11,000 in time for the '99-2000 season (HARTFORD COURANT, 5/10).