SBD/Issue 150/Franchises

Group Meets With NHL, NHLPA On Second Team In Toronto Area

Daly Reportedly Has Met With Group Trying
To Bring Another NHL Team To Toronto Area
A group of business execs “wants to bring a second hockey team to the Greater Toronto Area, and the NHL took the group seriously enough to grant it an audience,” according to a front-page piece by David Shoalts of the GLOBE & MAIL. Sources said that the unidentified group met with NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly last week in Toronto. The meeting “was scheduled to last one hour but stretched approximately 2 ½ hours.” The group has “also discussed its proposal” with NHLPA Exec Dir Paul Kelly. It proposed to build an arena in Vaughan, Ontario, on land owned by former Royal Group Technologies Chair & CEO Victor De Zen. A source said Daly told the group that the league is “not currently considering expansion nor do we have any intention or desire to relocate an existing franchise.” Shoalts notes the city of Vaughan “may be that much farther removed” from the Maple Leafs’ Air Canada Centre “to make a second team acceptable" to the team’s owner, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. MLSE has previously indicated that it "would not consider allowing another team into its territory until the league presents concrete data to demonstrate that the Leafs position in the marketplace would not be compromised.” Sources said that the group is “taking a long-term view,” and “at least two years -- more likely three to five -- would be needed to build an arena and settle territorial-rights fees for the Leafs and perhaps the Sabres.” Sources added that De Zen has “no interest in owning an NHL team but may be willing to participate in an arena deal” (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/23).

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