Blue Jays Praised For Shapiro Hiring Islanders Dropping Ice Girls This Season Should Ravens Rein In Harbaugh? Blue Jays Officially Hire Mark Shapiro Indians' Dolan Confirms Search For Minority Owner Mariners Search For Zduriencik's Replacement Dombrowski Evaluating Sox Before Making Moves Lakers' Jim Buss Has No Plans To Sell Chargers Earning Merit With Military NASL RailHawks Put Up For Sale
BUFFALO NEWS HAS SABRES FACING "A HOST OF SERIOUS PROBLEMS"
Published March 27, 1998
When Adelphia Chair John Rigas becomes owner of the Sabres, he will be "taking over a franchise facing a host of serious problems," according to Robinson & Warner of the BUFFALO NEWS. Because the Sabres have lost $15M during each of the last three years, the deal "requires" Rigas to pay "only" $5M cash to the existing owners. Rigas "also has pledged to pay another" $10.5M, plus interest, over the "next few years." Robinson & Warner wrote that despite the opening of Marine Midland Arena, the team has lost about $46M in the last three years "largely because of the franchise's ballooning debt load" that stands at "nearly" $81M. Another $6M was lost "in the first four months" of the current FY. The team's season-ticket base "shrank" by 1,600 this season to 8,634, almost 16% less than last year. But the Sabres purchase "gives Rigas a valuable source of programming for Adelphia's Empire Sports Network," which already pays the team "a minimum" of $1.6M per season to air 70 games. A source said that the deal "also gives Rigas and Adelphia the chance to use some of the Sabres' losses to offset other income and reduce taxes" (BUFFALO NEWS, 3/26).