SBD/Issue 237/Franchises

Hurricanes' Payroll To Drop About 18% From Last Season

Hurricanes Owner Peter Karmanos Still
Looking To Sell 49.9% Of Team

Hurricanes President & GM Jim Rutherford said that the team's payroll this season "will be in the range of" $44-45M, about 18% less than its '09-10 opening payroll of $54.6M, which was the "largest in team history," according to Chris Baysden of the TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL. One reason for the payroll reduction is the team's "financial performance a year ago." Rutherford "won't reveal specifics," but he said that the team "lost money." Hurricanes Hockey LP generated total revenue of $65M for the nine-month period that ended March 31, a 5.8% decline "from the same period in the previous season, when the Canes made the playoffs and advanced all the way to the conference finals." The two "big culprits for the revenue decline were admissions," which were down 9.5% to $21.8M, and revenue sharing, which declined by 9.1% to $23M. The declines "would have been worse if not for a nearly 30 percent spike in revenue from advertising sales," which totaled $6.1M. Baysden notes the revenue declines are "only part of the reason the team is cutting back on player costs." Hurricanes Owner Peter Karmanos also has hired Allen & Co. to sell 49.9% of the team "after former partner Thomas Thewes died" in '08 (TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/20 issue).

JUST A MATTER OF TIME: In Nashville, Nate Rau reports the Predators' ownership group "has until Sept. 15 to purchase shares in the team that were owned by" former investor William "Boots" Del Biaggio. Nashville's Metro Sports Authority "moved the date after the initial Aug. 12 deadline passed without a deal." Metro Sports Authority Chair J.D. Elliott said that the deadline extension "was for procedural reasons and the deal should be consummated in the coming days." The purchase requires the approval of CIT Group, the owners' primary lender, and the NHL, but attorneys working on the deal indicated that "those hurdles would be cleared without a problem" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 8/24).

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