DESPITE LOSSES AND RED INK, MCCAW REMAINS COMMITTED TO TEAMS
Six months into his term as Orca Bay Sports &
Entertainment's President & CEO, Stephen Bellringer
"commands a corporation immersed in a sea of red ink caused
by rising salaries ... and an unsteady Canadian dollar,"
according to Grant Kerr of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. Kerr
reports that Northwest Sports Enterprises, the Orca Bay
subsidiary which owns the Canucks, reported a loss of C$15M
through the first half of the NHL season after reporting a
loss of C$21.2M last year. This season, the Canucks may
report losses up to C$30M, and the Grizzlies up to C$9M.
Bellringer, on Vancouver's "mid-market" status: "We get no
market-size relief from the NHL, zero, under the current
policies. We are obviously concerned about the losses, but
there's no magic-wand solution." Bellringer, who said Orca
Bay is "committed" to retaining its top players, including
Pavel Bure and Shareef Abdur-Rahim: "It's a North American
business, competing for North American talent. You can't go
to the players ... and offer Canadian dollars." Bellringer
added that Orca Bay Owner John McCaw's commitment to the two
teams "has not wavered," while "admitting there may be room
for additional partners" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 3/10).