SBD/20/Franchises

WILD THINGS: TEAM OPENS BOOKS AFTER QUESTIONS ON FINANCES

          Minnesota Wild officials released a partial list of the
     team's investors and details of its business plan to
     legislators yesterday, in "an effort to quell suspicions
     about its financial dealings," according to Brown & Whereatt
     of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  The disclosures came after
     State Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe asked a legislative
     committee to investigate arrangements between the Wild and
     the city of St. Paul to see if "the process up to now has
     been a legally defensible one."  Wild CEO Jac Sperling said
     that he "will meet" with committee members, and the team is
     "expected" to hold a news conference today "to discuss the
     documents."  Documents released show the team's average
     ticket for the 2000 season will cost $40, with club seats
     costing "as much as" $65; by 2004, the average ticket price
     will be $54.33.  Also, the team "has reduced" its projected
     attendance numbers from 16,650 to 15,770, 83% capacity of
     the planned arena, and the team is predicting a positive
     cash flow of "more than" $2M each year (STAR TRIBUNE, 3/20).

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