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Published March 3, 1997
Felix Sabates, who withdrew Raleigh's bid for an NHL expansion team after he could not work out a lease agreement at a proposed arena, contends -- "and sources on the NHL Board of governors agree" -- that Raleigh would have made the league's cut from eleven candidates to six and had a chance of winning a franchise. Sabates: "It's a heartbreaker. ... I tell you this Raleigh thing is a real heartbreaker" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/1)....Shares in Ascent Entertainment Group are "slouching toward historic lows" due to "too much uncertainty," according to industry observers. N.Y.-based Smith Barney analyst Bill Meyers: "Everybody has questions, but nobody is providing the answers." Among the unknowns: "Who will manage the company?" MD-based Comsat Corp. announced plans to divest its 80% stake in Ascent in October, but no buyers have surfaced so far; "Can the company be kept together?; Can a lucrative arena deal be cut with the city of Denver?" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 2/28)....The Lions hope to begin negotiating "in the next few months," with the Pontiac Stadium Authority to discuss leaving the Silverdome before their lease expires in 2004. The team hopes to be in their new stadium "for the 2001 season" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/1).