NHL CONCERNED OVER SPIRIT OF MANITOBA FINANCING
As the NHL's Board of Governors meets this week in New York,
there reportedly are "concerns the Spirit of Manitoba simply does
not have the financing to make hockey work in Winnipeg,"
according to today's WINNIPEG FREE PRESS. Spirit has raised
C$78M -- C$33M less than the C$111M the group had promised to
raise. But "what worries NHL officials most" is long-term
financing. Of the C$78M raised, C$40M will be used to purchase
the majority shares and cover existing debts. That leaves C$38M
to cover "future team losses." However, with losses of C$15M
expected this season alone, the NHL is concerned the fund "will
be depleted" to less than C$25M before the Jets move into their
new arena (Samyn, Douglas & Campbell, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 6/21).
In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman writes, "There is no question that
the NHL would prefer to sell the Jets to a Minnesota group rather
than keep the team in Winnipeg." Hartman notes that Richard
Burke is interested in the Jets, but there are questions whether
transferring ownership this late in the season would be possible
in terms of selling season tickets and radio and TV rights
(Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/20).
LAST-DITCH EFFORTS IN QUEBEC: A Quebec group was
denied a request for a 30-day delay before final approval is
given for the Nordiques sale to Comsat Video Enterprises.
The group claims that an article of the league's
constitution is interpreted as meaning the former owners
should have offered the team to local investors before
selling it to COMSAT (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN, 6/21). The