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Volume 24 No. 176
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Dundon Ready To Take Over Hurricanes As Closing Of Sale From Karmanos Imminent

The sale of the Hurricanes to Thomas Dundon from Peter Karmanos is "scheduled to close this morning," and a press conference featuring NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to announce the transaction "is scheduled for Friday," according to sources cited by DeCock & Alexander of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER. Dundon is buying more than 51% of the team "with an option to purchase the remainder in three years." The deal values the team "at about $505 million." Dundon will keep the team in Raleigh as part of the deal, but he is "expected to make sweeping changes to the team's business operations, in-game presentation and player comforts." He also is likely to leave Exec VP & GM Ron Francis and coach Bill Peters "in place" (NEWSOBSERVER.com, 1/11). The NEWS & OBSERVER's Luke DeCock notes Dundon is expected to "personally evaluate every single aspect of the franchise, from hockey operations to ticket sales to marketing to concessions to game presentation to parking to broadcasting to merchandising to accounting." He also is expected to "spend money where he thinks it will make an impact and prune excess where he thinks it won’t." Dundon is likely to be "more involved in day-to-day management decisions than in-game coaching decisions." One area to watch will be Dundon’s "interactions with the Centennial Authority." If he is "willing to pay for changes" to PNC Arena, the authority "won’t stand in his way in areas the Hurricanes occupy and control." However, it "gets trickier" with the arena's common areas, whether that is "upgrades to the scoreboard to improving wireless service to adding or removing concession stands, lounges and restaurants." The authority "gets a say in that, even if Dundon writes the check" (NEWSOBSERVER.com, 1/10).