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TORONTO REPORT LAYS OUT AMBITIOUS NHL EXPANSION PLANS
Published August 27, 1996
The NHL will expand by at least one team next year and add a total of four franchises by 2000, according to William Houston of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. NHL sources cite the expected payoffs as the reason for "reversing an earlier strategy of slower growth." With sale prices for expansion predicted at $80-$85M per team, current teams can expect a "windfall" of about $13M each. The NHL charged $35-50M per team for the last round of expansion in '94. The plan, according to the GLOBE & MAIL's Houston, is to place teams in Atlanta, Nashville, Houston and Portland. Ted Turner would own the Atlanta team and Paul Allen the Portland entry. The league will either add two teams for '97-98 and two more for '99-2000, or they will bring in one franchise at a time starting in '97. With the league going to 30 teams, Portland would be placed in the Pacific Division, Atlanta in the Atlantic, and Nashville and Houston in the Central (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/27). STILL HOPEFUL: In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman reports that Target Center head Dana Warg is in the process of organizing a group of 10 local business persons to apply for an NHL expansion team. Hartman also reports that the word is the NHL will add four teams soon, but he identifies only Nashville and Atlanta as the two cities that are "sure to get franchises" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/27).