SBD/24/Facilities Venues

REGRETS, WE'VE HAD A FEW: BETTMAN APOLOGIZES FOR LEAVING MN

          NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman attended groundbreaking
     for the $130M St. Paul arena which will house the expansion
     NHL Wild, according to Curt Brown of the Minneapolis STAR
     TRIBUNE.  Bettman "apologized" to the fans, saying that the
     NHL "never should have left Minnesota five years ago and
     promising it will thrive in St. Paul in the next century." 
     Bettman: "We are thrilled to be back here once again, and
     we're sorry we ever left."  After the ceremony, Bettman said
     that he "has no doubts the Wild will succeed," even though
     St. Paul has never had a major league sports franchise. 
     Bettman: "Based on my understanding of the demographics of
     how the Twin Cities metropolis is expanding, this is
     actually the right place to be" (STAR TRIBUNE, 6/24). 
          FAME COMES QUICKLY: Discussions between Wild officials
     and U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame officials "are pointing to
     development of a satellite hall of fame exhibit" at the
     Wild's new arena.  Wild VP/Communications & Broadcasting
     Bill Robertson said that the team has "had preliminary
     talks" with the hall of fame (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/24).

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