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SBD/February 18, 2011/Franchises
Filmmaker Rollins Part Of Investment Group Looking At Buying Thrashers
Published February 18, 2011
NAMING RIGHTS WON'T PREVENT MOVE: In Atlanta, Jeff Schultz noted Atlanta Spirit in the past has suggested that the $10M annual deal for naming rights to Philips Arena was "tied to having two tenants," but Thrashers President Don Waddell now "claims that's not the case." Waddell said that if the Thrashers leave, the ownership group "merely receives a reduced pro-rated amount." Schultz wrote the Thrashers' situation is "tearing up the insides" of Bettman. He "doesn't want to be the guy who allowed Atlanta to lose an NHL franchise for the second time," but he "knows it's a horrible situation created by horrible ownership." There is "no incentive for an outsider to purchase only the hockey team and keep it in Atlanta." And there is "no market right now for the Spirit to sell both teams and the arena rights, even though both have been on the market for at least two years" (AJC.com, 2/17).