SBD/23/Franchises

LIGHTNING WANT PUBLIC IN THE DARK OVER FINANCIAL RECORDS

          Lightning attorneys have filed a request to have the
     team's financial records kept out of public view, "citing
     the text of a recent Tampa radio interview in which
     plaintiff Marc Ganis ... promises next year's trial will be
     a 'media circus,'" according to Larry Dougherty of the ST.
     PETERSBURG TIMES.  Ganis, who accuses the Lightning of
     "thwarting his bid to start an NHL franchise in Tampa" and
     is seeking more than $100M, said in a March 4 interview: "I
     want this information to be made public.  You and the press
     are going to love the information that comes out of this." 
     But attorneys for the team and former Lightning exec David
     LeFevre say that Ganis' interview "reveals a willingness to
     abuse the legal system to damage the team and vent his
     personal frustrations."  Team attorneys are also worried
     that Ganis "would publicize confidential business documents
     provided to him during pretrial discovery."  Ganis could not
     be reached for comment (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/21).

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