May 24, 2011
Atlanta mayor speaks outSays city will withstand Thrashers loss
By KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency
WINNIPEG - Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed is putting on a brave face, while also showing what appears to be a sign of surrender.
While speaking to reporters in Atlanta on Tuesday, Reed said it would hurt the community if the Thrashers relocate to Winnipeg but the city will move on.
“I think any time we lose a major sports franchise it is tough,” Reed was quoted as saying in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s going to hurt the city, but we are going to withstand it just fine. We will get through it. We have a lot of positive things going on in the sports franchise space that I think we will be announcing pretty soon that will offset it a bit.”
Reed also said he has tried to help the team find potential new ownership that was willing to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta.
However, Reed previously stated there would be no public money used in such an effort, not like in Glendale, Ariz., where local government was quick to jump in to bailout the Phoenix Coyotes.
“The Thrashers, as you know, are in an extraordinary position because of the amount of losses that are associated with the team,” Reed said.
“So we have not yet seen a path where we can reverse those losses fast enough. If you talk to the Atlanta Spirit ownership, they will share the same thing. It’s not a lack of the city being willing to step up and do something about it. It is a partner with deep enough pockets to be willing to sustain pretty significant losses. We have not yet had any of the individuals in our community who are prepared to take that on. But it has not been for lack of trying, believe you me.”