May 26, 2011
Atlanta deal '80% complete'NHL announcement likely next week
By QMI Agency
If Manitobans are partying throughout the weekend, it won’t be because of an official announcement about the return of the NHL at Portage and Main or The Forks.
Atlanta Thrashers owner Michael Gearon told Atlanta TV station Fox 5 Thursday that the deal with True North Sports and Entertainment, which would buy the franchise and move it to Winnipeg, is “About 80% complete.” However, he said the announcement likely won’t come till next week as there is still lots of paperwork to do.
Fox 5 reporter Ken Rodriguez said of Gearon: “There was no pretending that there was still a chance the team would remain (in Atlanta).”
It looks like official word might not come until next Tuesday, at the earliest, as Monday is a holiday in the United States (Memorial Day).
Reports say some of the details that still need to be worked out include consent, owner approval and proof of financial information.
However, the purchase price of $170 million, with $110 million going to the Atlanta Spirit Group and $60 million going to the NHL, has been agreed upon.