SBD/September 26, 2011/Franchises

NHL Has Lent Stars More Than $51M Since '09 To Keep Franchise Afloat

Sources say the NHL has lent the Stars more than $51M since '09
The NHL "has lent $51.7 million" to the Stars since '09 "to keep the troubled franchise afloat," according to court documents and financial sources cited by Daniel Kaplan of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The "figure is disclosed in the bankruptcy filing the Stars submitted earlier this month." The document "shows an entity called CFV I LLC as the Stars’ runaway top creditor, owed $51,691,783." The mailing address for CFV is "care of NHL Enterprises and William Daly," and the sources said that the hockey league "owns CFV." Daly, the NHL's Deputy Commissioner, "declined to comment" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/26 issue).

STAR WATCH: In Vancouver, Ed Willes notes Tom Gaglardi's bid to buy the Stars "raises all manner of fascinating issues for the NHL." Among those are Gaglardi's "feud with Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini, Gaglardi's childhood friend, who he sued in a bitter, five year court battle over the Canucks." Willes writes, "Suffice to say that relationship is more toxic than the Exxon oil spill." But Willes notes the potential sale to Gaglardi "is crucial to the long-term stability" of the franchise. Willes writes there "was a time when $265 million would have been laughably low for this franchise and its building," but "it says so much about the state of hockey in Big D that the only bid for the Stars is coming from Vancouver and it's a bargain-basement bid at that." Willes: "Dallas might be saved and it remains an important market for the NHL. Unfortunately, there are too many others in a similar predicament and, at some point, the process of natural selection will determine who survives and who doesn't (Vancouver PROVINCE, 9/26). Meanwhile, in Dallas, Tim Cowlishaw asked, "How do the Stars and the NHL take advantage of an NBA lockout? Or is that even possible?" Cowlishaw: "People tell me it's two different fan bases, and I don't really argue with that statement other than to say there's certainly an overlap. Some fans like a little of everything. And some people in Dallas just want to be out and about, so the absence of Mavericks games creates opportunity for the Stars on that front" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/23).
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