STRIPPING FOR A CAUSE -- SAVE THE JETS UNITES WINIPEGGERS
A grassroots effort in Winnipeg has everyone from
schoolchildren to strippers donating money in an effort to raise
C$110M by Thursday to keep the Jets from moving to Minneapolis.
The first day of fund-raising by the MEC and CanWest
Communications raised more than C$30M, and other efforts have
raised "untold millions," Bruce Owen writes in the WINNIPEG FREE
PRESS. The deadline to keep the team in Winnipeg is Thursday
(WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 5/16).
ARENA MONEY: The Winnipeg City Council "appears ready to
spend a minimum" of C$37M to help build an arena if the Jets stay
in town. The city money would complete a plan by Manitoba
Premier Gary Filmon that would have city, provincial and federal
governments each donating equal shares to build a facility.
Filmon met yesterday with local officials, saying that "virtually
any civic government in Canada would give their eye-teeth" for
such a deal. The city's previous estimated contribution to a new
arena was C$7M for the land. But in Winnipeg, Nick Martin
reports that after roads and other services, the city's
contribution could be as high as C$66M (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS,
SLEEPLESS IN 'SOTA: Health care entrepreneur Richard
Burke's chances to "break even" if he buys the Jets and moves
them to the Target Center depends on $18M-$23M in state aid,
according to a letter from Target Center Exec Dir Dana Warg to
Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chair Henry Savelkoul.
Jay Weiner and Dennis McGrath report that Warg's letter states if
Burke pays $65M for the team, he will need between $18M-$23M in
"some form" of state aid to break even. Warg also claims the
team is only worth $42M-$47M becuase they will have to share the
Target Center with the T-Wolves, who control most revenue
opportunities. Weiner and McGrath report that sources "close to"
Burke say that "the chance of him simply trying to operate the
Jets" without state aid "is virtually nil." Savelkoul says
Warg's analysis "misses some issues," and the state will produce
an independent analysis (STAR TRIBUNE, 5/15).