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NHL OILERS NEWS: ALBERTA SPORTS LOTTERY PROPOSED TO RAISE $$
Published April 7, 1998
The NHL Oilers and other Alberta pro sports teams "could benefit from a new private-sector lottery foundation as soon as this fall," according to Jac MacDonald of the EDMONTON JOURNAL. The Alberta Sports Prize Bond Foundation (ASPBF) will offer as yet undetermined cash prizes to participants who buy a C$100, "fully redeemable interest- free bond." The bonds could go on sale this summer. The money raised will be placed in a trust account and the interest earned will help fund and upgrade community-owned sports facilities used by pro teams in Alberta. At least 20% of the interest will go to prize winners. The ASPBF was founded by NHL Oilers investor Jim Hole and Edmonton lawyer Robert Turner. Hole said that he doesn't "anticipate problems" from the government because the private lottery foundation will be supporting sports facilities that otherwise depend on tax dollars. The proposal "has the support" of all of Alberta's major pro sports teams (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/7). In Edmonton, columnist John Short calls the lottery proposal "a remarkable concept, one that deserves every consideration" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/7). FINANCING: The Oilers local investors group reached the C$54M mark with the addition of two new investors. The new investors bring the total number of unit holders to 20, but the actual number of investors totals 26 (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/7). Investor Cal Nichols said almost every area oil and gas company has turned down a naming rights proposal that would have generated C$2.7M annually and renamed the Coliseum Petroleum Place, with logos of the eight companies displayed on the outside of the arena. Each company would have paid about C$300,000. Nichols: "No one asked a price. They just said no" (EDMONTON SUN, 4/7). DRILLERS DOWNSIZE: The NPSL Drillers said it is reducing operations for the summer, and "will evaluate the future" as soon as it is decided who will control the Edmonton Coliseum license agreement next season (EDMONTON SUN, 4/7). Ten Drillers staff members were "laid off" yesterday (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/7).