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09-11-2004, 12:25 PM
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I have some half-baked theories

An interesting group of possible buyers here.

I'll guess the guy who is running Arrowhead to end up with the team. However, when the owner of the Los Angeles Kings owns the company constructing an arena in Kansas City, you can't write that one off, either. (shades of Norman Green and the Gunds).

Even though I'm highly sceptical of Kansas City, it is possible. There are a lot more people in Southern California than there are in metro Kansas City, which already has MLB, NFL, and some strong NCAA teams, but no NBA or NHL . The NHL seems to work a lot better in medium-sized US markets than in Southern California, so moving the Ducks into a nice new arena is certainly possible. I can't see the NHL having any objections to moving to Kansas City, but Gary Bettman is going to make absolutely sure that Kansas City "buys" the hockey team for at least the same amount Columbus and Minnesota paid in expansion fees).

David McDavid seems to be a bona fide bidder and almost bought the Thrashers, but what is his role? Maybe he really wants a team (he's from Houston still hungry for an NHL team now that they have a new arena?) Maybe he helps push up the price and gets rewarded with another team later as thanks for bidding up the price on the Thrashers and The Ducks ( the guy must like birds, I guess).

I'm still betting on the Duck Pond operator, though. The Arrowhead Pond was one of the arenas that caused the Ogden Corporation to evolve from a concessions operator to an arena financier to an energy company to a multi-million dollar Chapter 11 bankruptcy over a brief period of time. Among the last "assets" of Ogden (which had been renamed Covanta) was the paper they held on the titles to the Corel Center and Arrowhead Pond, and it was the Ottawa Senators/Corel Center financing scheme that pushed Ogden/Covanta into bankruptcy. I kind of lost track of the Arrowhead situation.

The Ogden/Covanta bankruptcy has been completely wound down, I believe, but there is still an opportunity here to sell an NHL team for it's book value, and tie it in with an arena sale. It worked in Ottawa, it worked in Buffalo, it worked in Atlanta...sell the hockey team for at least the amount that teams paid in expansion fees, and the NHL franchise values continue to be high so that their book value doesn't have to be written down. The other side of the coin is that the arena gets thrown in for next to nothing.

In sum, the Ducks will probably be sold as Micheal Eisner closes the books on the non-core Disney assets before he leaves the company. Disney has a lot of ways to account for what it ends up selling the Ducks for, but it certainly won't be for a mere $ 50 million when the deal finally gets done. Just as in Ottawa, Buffalo, and Atlanta, the NHL franchise will be sold for at least what the last expansion teams paid in franchise fees, and the arena (Arrowhead) will be tied into the deal at a heavily discounted price.

I'll admit these are some half-baked theories on my part, but I really don't think anybody is going to get their hands on an NHL team for $ 50 million - too many other NHL owners would have too much explaining to do to too many banks.

Last edited by GabbyDugan: 09-11-2004 at 02:47 PM.
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