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REPORTS HAVE RALEIGH CLOSE TO LANDING WHALERS

          Raleigh's "latest flirtation" with the NHL "is starting
     to look very serious," as Whalers Owner Peter Karmanos said
     Monday evening that his decision to relocate to Raleigh,
     N.C. or Columbus, OH, would "come in the next few days." 
     Raleigh's Centennial Authority overseeing the city's planned
     arena has hired Maryland Stadium Authority Chair John Moag,
     who was the lead negotiator in bringing the NFL back to
     Baltimore.  Moag "is expected to contact" Karmanos today
     (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 4/29).  The Durham Herald-Sun this
     morning quotes Raleigh Chamber of Commerce President Harvey
     Schmitt as saying, "Get ready to lace up your skates."  The
     HARTFORD COURANT's Greg Garber notes "in private
     conversations in recent days, Whalers executives have taken
     to speaking highly of Raleigh, while acknowledging problems
     in Columbus."  The Hockey News is also predicting the team
     will land in Raleigh as the league "does not want to
     alienate" Lamar Hunt, who is bidding for an NHL team in
     Columbus (HARTFORD COURANT, 4/29).

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