SBD/June 28, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Sale price for Hawks reportedly in the $300M neighborhood, including team debt
NBA.com’s David Aldridge reported the sale of the Hawks is “close to being completed, though it won't be finalized in time” for a vote by the NBA BOG at its meeting today in Dallas. The sale price is “in the neighborhood of $300 million, including debt on the team.” A source said that there is “a single, and up to now, anonymous buyer.” The source added that the Atlanta Spirit is “expected to remain on in a minority ownership capacity.” A source said that another group “led by the founders of the Outback Steakhouse chain in Florida also put in a bid on the team," but it is “unclear how much they put up or if they were ever seriously considered” (NBA.com, 6/27).

STAR SEARCH: In Dallas, Mike Heika reported prospective Stars Owner Tom Gaglardi has “had his exclusive negotiating window extended beyond 30 days and he could actually be beyond 60 days right now in the negotiating process.” Sources said that “things are moving forward, but that it is a tough negotiation.” Once Gaglardi's offer is approved by the team’s lenders and the NHL, a “hearing in bankruptcy court can be scheduled.” Heika noted there “could be a new owner in place before the start of the next season” (DALLASNEWS.com, 6/27).

RUBIO REPERCUSSIONS: In St. Paul, Charley Walters notes the T’Wolves signing of G Ricky Rubio and his subsequent appearance at Target Center last week “resulted in sales of almost 200 replica No. 9 Wolves jerseys at $65 each.” The team said that it has “sold about 540 full season tickets” since signing Rubio, bringing its “total full season-ticket equivalent to about 7,100.” Many of the new season-ticket purchases “were part of a $9-per-game upper-level-seat promotion that runs through Friday” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/28).

FLYING HIGH: True North Sports & Entertainment Owner Mark Chipman on Friday during the NHL Entry Draft revealed that Winnipeg's NHL franchise will be named the Jets, and a Winnipeg Free Press editorial notes Chipman “showed the city that he is not just a successful Winnipeg businessman, but that he is a true Winnipegger as well, someone with a sense of the city’s history and identity and, perhaps most importantly, its people.” The editorial: “There was no question that the team would be welcome here no matter what it was called … but the frenzy Friday night at the MTS Centre and the gossip and good-feelings across Winnipeg on the weekend was a kind of fairy-tale ending to a dream that Winnipeggers have hung on to for 15 years, that the Jets would come back” (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 6/28).
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