SBJ/March 14-20, 2011/Opinion

Watch Pegula, Brown

• One of the best stories from the NHL this year has been the introduction of Terry Pegula as the new owner of the Buffalo Sabres. If you haven’t followed his brief stewardship of the team, you should. He offers a refreshing approach to ownership: progressive, aggressive, passionate yet human. The oil and gas executive is a lifelong Sabres fan who has been a season-ticket holder for nearly 20 years. He understands the team’s special place in upstate New York and its history, he promises to spend money, and he has a focus on winning a Stanley Cup. Sabres fans deserve this, and Pegula has them believing.

Sports is littered with longtime fans who became ineffective owners. Pegula must bring his business discipline to team operations, but he seems the perfect fit for the NHL in such a rabid hockey market.

• Keep an eye on newly elected California Gov. Jerry Brown, who’ll play a critical role in the future of the state’s big league franchises. As the Chargers, 49ers and others vie for new facilities and virtually no public dollars, they’re unlikely to get any help or leadership from Brown, long opposed to publicly funding such sports projects. The issue of stadium development in California has worried league leaders for years.

Brown’s priorities and position can’t make them feel better about their prospects.

Abraham Madkour can be reached at amadkour@sportsbusinessjournal.com.
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