NOT EVERYONE IN MINNESOTA SEEMS WILD ABOUT NEW NHL FRANCHISE
A "political maelstrom continued to swirl" around St.
Paul's bid for a $130M hockey arena, as arena "protagonists"
faced off with "new financing plans, veto threats, and
demands for new investigations of the fledgling NHL [Wild's]
operations," according to Whereatt & Brown of the
Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. On Friday, MN Gov. Arne Carlson
threatened to veto a capital improvements bill "if it does
not contain" the $65M earmarked for the arena, while State
Senator Dean Johnson requested that the state "investigate
financial arrangements" between the Wild, the city and arena
construction manager M.A. Mortenson. Wild CEO Jac Sperling
said Friday that while the team's ties with Mortenson were
"legal," he did "acknowledge" that they "were causing damage
to the city's efforts" to get state money for the arena.
Sperling "reiterated" that no promises were made to "reward
Mortenson for its $100,000 loan" which helped pay the team's
NHL application fee (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/21).
OTHER QUESTIONS: In St. Paul, Laszewski & Reeve wrote
that a "number of questions remain" about the Wild's
finances. A list of investors released "omitted three --
two from out of state and one from MN -- who refused to have
their names be made public." However, Sperling said that
those investors "have no other involvement in the team."
The "amount of money the limited partnership controls also
remains a secret" (PIONEER PRESS, 3/21). But Sperling said,
"We want to be as cooperative and open as possible. We do
not have anything to hide here" (PIONEER PRESS, 3/21).