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SBD/September 30, 2013/Franchises
Viola Ready To Do What It Takes To Make NHL Panthers Winners
Published September 30, 2013
AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING DEAL: In Miami, George Richards reported Viola bought the franchise for $230M, and the sale covers everything under the Panthers umbrella, "including: the NHL team; the operating agreement with the Broward County-owned BB&T Center; the three-sheet Iceplex in Coral Springs; and the rights to develop nine acres surrounding the arena." Yormark "continues to work in trying to land a 'destination' casino on the arena land." Viola "wouldn’t go into specifics about the future development of the arena land, saying he was going to concentrate on making the hockey team more successful on the ice." Bettman said, "The rumor and speculation about the franchise has been overdone. The fact is, Vinnie comes in with an energy and an excitement and a commitment of resources. He wants to take this club to another level" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/29). In Miami, Barry Jackson reports Viola "will allow a higher payroll, and Tallon expects to be more of a player in free agency next summer." Also, Viola "has such high regard" for Yormark that he "has been allowed to become a minority owner in the team" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/29).