SBD/September 19, 2013/Franchises

Ducks Owner Samueli Hopeful New CBA Gives Franchise More Stability

Samueli (l) says he eventually wants to pass the team on to his children
Ducks Owner Henry Samueli said that the current NHL CBA "was needed for more financial stability for his franchise," according to Eric Stephens of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. Samueli "ultimately wants to keep ownership of the Ducks within his family and is hopeful that the new CBA ... will trim the annual losses." Samueli yesterday "wouldn't specify how much the team lost last season but previous estimates of double-digit millions each season remain the case." He said, "We'll know this year for sure what the impact is. We're optimistic we'll turn the corner and start heading in the other direction.” Samueli was reportedly "seen as one of the 'hawks' who pushed for a lengthy NHL lockout." Samueli: "My position was do what you can to help the teams in the bottom half of the league get to profitability. That was my goal all along. And the commissioner knew that. He tried to negotiate a CBA that moved in that direction.” Samueli said his long-term goal is to keep the Ducks “forever and pass it on to the kids and keep it in the family.” And it appears that could "be realized as their books are not bathing in red ink." Samueli: “We're just hopeful that the financial situation will correct itself to the point where that will allow us to do that in the long term" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 9/19).

NBA NOT IN THE CARDS: Samueli said that he "doesn't anticipate bringing an NBA team" to the Honda Center "as a tenant any time soon but he remains committed to backing his money-losing NHL team and maintaining a state-of-the-art arena." In L.A., Helene Elliott notes Samueli since buying the team in '05 has spent $80M "on arena improvements." That includes "upgrading locker rooms to NBA standards and undertaking" the $20M Grand Terrace entertainment project that will open Oct. 10, coinciding with the Ducks' home opener. Samueli said of adding an NBA tenant, "If an opportunity presents itself we'll look at it but we haven't had any contact with the NBA for quite a while. You never give up, but clearly it's not going to happen in the near term" (L.A. TIMES, 9/19).
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