Thrashers Bombshell: Owners have wanted to sell since 2005

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by Magnus Fulgur, Jan 21, 2011.

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  1. Magnus Fulgur

    Magnus Fulgur Registered User

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    http://www.ajc.com/sports/lawsuit-thrashers-owners-have-811606.html

    Atlanta Spirit has been trying to sell the team since 2005. Now they are suing the law firm that drew the contract that made it impossible for them to sell.

    They never cared. Never. They could have at least had the decency to start the suit in the off-season. I'm crushed.
     
  2. Pegger5

    Pegger5 Registered User

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    Ahh yes, finally, the truth comes out that they wanted to sell for the past 6-7 years but could not. Guess what? They can now sell the team!
     
  3. King of Arcadia

    King of Arcadia Registered User

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    ^
    I think I may know someone who might be interested;)
     
  4. CBJ goalie

    CBJ goalie Registered User

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    Oh no, not another messy ownership situation.....how many parts/threads will this saga have now????

    So, they're suing because they were unable to sell - does this better their chances now, or weaken them further?

    Ai yi yi......
     
  5. GetPucksDeep

    GetPucksDeep Registered User

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    Obviously, they are looking to recoup their losses.

    and also obviously, there is no potential buyer now who will keep the team in Atlanta.

    So Spirit has two choices.

    1 - sell to someone who will move the team (what Daly has been threatening will happen).

    2 - get some bucks out of this lawsuit. Hey - they may have a case, but who wants to wait the 5 to 10 years for it to go through the system?

    (literary reference alert warning.)

    Just rename Philips Arena, Bleak House and be done with it.


    edit - and how much of that $130 mil in losses is rent they pay to themselves as operators of the arena and concession revenue that's counted on the arena side of the books and not on the teams?
     
  6. Evil Doctor

    Evil Doctor Cryin' Hank crying

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    And here I was worried what I would do if the Phoenix Coyotes saga actually finds a resolution. Thank you NHL for giving me something else to entertain me...

    I call dibs on naming part X...:naughty:
     
  7. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    OK. So, am I missing something here?. They've signed an agreement with the NHL that forbids the sale of the team to outside interests for the purposes of relocation. Secondly, and perhaps someone of a more legal bent can clarify, how can they sell to anyone locally with the lawsuit pending; and how quickly can the case be heard & adjourned in Georgia?.

    Excellent work by the AJ. Thanks for the link & thread Tavares. Was wondering what the heck was going on over there, as I for one will be absolutely incensed with the league should they decide to retreat from Atlanta once again. Say it aint so....
     
  8. cbcwpg

    cbcwpg Registered User

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    ♦ Point 58: “In addition, the Thrashers have steadily lost money, requiring Plaintiffs to fund operations from their own pockets. Plaintiffs have incurred more than $130 million in out-of-pocket losses operating the franchise over this time period. Plaintiffs would not have incurred these losses if they had had free and clear title to the Thrashers and thus had the ability to sell or otherwise dispose of the franchise.â€

    When an owner uses the word dispose its not a good sign.
     
  9. Ashe

    Ashe Registered User

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    Your right. They signed an Agreement with the NHL the team cannot be re-located and must stay in ATL..A thing most people are over-looking (And is stated in that article). So the ****** group of 7 want to sell the team..Good. But it has to stay in ATL..What's new here?
     
  10. Pegger5

    Pegger5 Registered User

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    First of all, I am not sure why you think NHL would not give Atlanta permission to leave if this owner is telling the truth about this agreement with NHL. I bet it just means they have to have NHL's okay of what City and owner it gets moved to. This would be to avoid a crazy owner like what happened in Baltimore.. They can't prevent Spirit Group from selling to outside interests since they control the management lease of Phillips arena. There is no where to go for a new local owner to move to.. No new owner would pay a massive lease to Spirit Group. They also would not get to share in "other" revenues that Phillips arena produces..

    Second, the lawsuit will proceed in Atlanta regardless of what happens to the team going forward... This lawsuit is about the past, not the future...It will not effect anything the owners do with the team onward. It could take years even long after Thrashers have left.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  11. cbcwpg

    cbcwpg Registered User

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    And that agreement is only as good as every other agreement teams have with the NHL; they are only good until the NHL changes its mind.

    But forgetting that.... How are fans going to react when they know the owners are losing gobs of money, are trying to sell the team, but can't sell or can but they want all thier losses back. How much money are these owners going to put into a team that don't care about?

    It's great that Atlanta has a good team this year, but it could just be they are good despite of ownership and not because of ownership. Because it appears the current owners don't give a rats behind.
     
  12. Whileee

    Whileee Registered User

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    This does seem like significant and troubling news for the Thrashers.

    As I understand it, the lawsuit makes it clear that the recent departure of Belkin from the ownership group (December, 2010) leaves a clear path for the remaining owners to sell the team, which is what they are claiming they have wanted to do since 2005.

    It would appear that the lawsuit is for damages related to losses from 2005 until date, and might not be an impediment to a future sale.

    Combine the owners' desire to sell the team, now spelled out in black and white, and Daly's recent comments that expressed a lack of confidence in the Atlanta market, and it would seem that John Shannon's rumour about the Thrashers being sold to the NHL and then to the TNSE group in Winnipeg might be more than a puff of smoke.
     
  13. Whileee

    Whileee Registered User

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    Maybe the agreement with the NHL is the explanation for Shannon's rumour that the NHL would first buy the franchise, and then sell to TNSE. They would control the timing of the sale, and perhaps even make a bit of money on a subsequent sale to the TNSE group. But the NHL first wants to ensure that they can unload the team that they already own (the Coyotes), before tackling the Thrashers.

    So in yet another bizarre irony, Atlanta Thrashers' fans might be in the awkward position of hoping that the Coyotes sale to Hulsizer falls through, in which case the Coyotes would likely head to Winnipeg and the NHL would have to take its time to sort out Atlanta.

    What a mess! :shakehead
     
  14. Dogbert*

    Dogbert* Guest

    If they can't sell to a buyer who'd move the team and those are the only potential buyers that exist, then what's the NHL going to do? Force the ownership group to continue funding a team it doesn't want year after year until the end of time? Buy the team themselves (again) and hope against hope some Atlanta-based jillionaire gets a wild hair up its ass one of these years and buys them?
     
  15. cbcwpg

    cbcwpg Registered User

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    ^----

    So what does the NHL do if it has 2 teams ( just saying worst case ) it has to move and only 1 potential buyer?
     
  16. AtlantaWhaler

    AtlantaWhaler Thrash/Preds/Sabres

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    Have to admit, I fear the worst.
     
  17. Evil Doctor

    Evil Doctor Cryin' Hank crying

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    I'm still on the side of the rumour as being a puff of smoke, but I can't help but wonder if it was possible that it was a last ditch effort to circumnavigate the legal contracts that was preventing the sale, in order to head off the lawsuit?
     
  18. Whileee

    Whileee Registered User

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    Why do you think that the NHL is so desperate for the Coyotes' sale to Hulsizer to go through?

    Please reference my previous statements regarding the TNSE's bid to buy and NHL franchise: "the Coyotes if necessary, but not necessarily the Coyotes". ;)
     
  19. Evil Doctor

    Evil Doctor Cryin' Hank crying

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    :shakehead they have way more than 1 potential buyer....
     
  20. Blackhawkswincup

    Blackhawkswincup RIP Fugu

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    I hope for the best for Thrasher fans but honestly this really changes how I see things for them

    I cant see them being viable in Atlanta unless something drastic happens without ownership

    No buyers locally for 5+ years is pretty damning + who ever buys would have to play rent etc so it would be worse
     
  21. Ashe

    Ashe Registered User

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    It also makes sense that they had a buyer lined up to unload the team, and the contract and fight with Belkin impeded that, and the buyer backed off.

    And yes, You can force a company to keep funding a team until they are broke or the NHL steps in and buys it.
     
  22. Tommy Hawk

    Tommy Hawk Registered User

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    This is why the NHL is a joke. They make comments about the Atlanta market yet the thrashers have had less on-ice success but about the same attendance as the yotes. As pointed out, they also get the revenues form the entire arena and the company owns both the NBA and NHL teams so how much was directly attributable to NHL losses, not NBA losses? Where are they putting all the revenue from the various arena events?

    Unless the court compels them to fully disclose their financial, we will not know the true financial picture.


    I call dibs on naming part XXX




    The lease would need to be reworked, maybe CoG can contribute....

    I agree with the lawsuit impact on future owners.
     
  23. headsigh

    headsigh leave at once!

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    This doesn't really say anything that we don't already know. The apathy from ownership to fans has already been on example for what, the last decade?
     
  24. btn

    btn Gone Hollywood

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    Take a look at the Thrashers attendance figures from the lockout, when they wanted to sell, through now.

    How much do you think they put into creating a winning product? How much do you think they spent on cultivating fanbase for a team they didn't even want to own 10 years in the future?

    Hopefully a local owner comes forward.
     
  25. Whileee

    Whileee Registered User

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    As I have posted previously, the only important risk factor for relocation in today's NHL is an ownership group that does not want to own the team, and an inability to find a new owner for that market. The NHL can only force an owner to lose money for so long.

    I never paid much attention to attendance in Atlanta (or elsewhere), as long as the owners wanted to keep the team and work towards better days. But it is now clear as day that Atlanta Spirit are highly motivated to sell team, and have been for several years. According to the report in the AJC the main roadblock was removed a month ago when Belkin was removed from the ownership group.

    There are two troubling things here. First, the NHL has seemed surprisingly dispassionate about keeping the franchise in Atlanta (ref: Daly's remarks). Second, the arena management situation in Atlanta is not conducive to a new ownership group stepping in to keep the team in Atlanta. Given the struggles to find an owner for the Coyotes, it would seem like a very steep hill to find a new owner for the Thrashers in Atlanta, particularly because they would not be the main tenant or control the operations of the arena.
     
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