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Sarangel
04-18-2003, 11:40 AM
Now_that Disney apparently has unloaded one professional sports team, efforts might intensify to sell the Mighty Ducks, sources familiar with Angel negotiations said.__

Disney officials reached an agreement in principle to sell the Angels to_Phoenix_businessman Arturo Moreno for $180 million on Tuesday.
Lehman Bros., a_New York_investment firm hired to identify and solicit potential buyers for the two teams, can now focus on the Ducks, who are enjoying their best season in franchise history.

But finding a buyer for the NHL team appears to be a much more difficult task because of concerns about a potential labor dispute before the 2004-05 season. Both teams have been on the market for four years, but there has been sentiment within Disney to retain the Ducks, given that the company founded the team. Those feelings have grown weaker with the drop in Disney stock as corporate officials look to trim losses.

The Ducks have become a financial albatross because of a free-fall in attendance the previous three seasons. The player payroll is about $45 million and the team's losses are expected to be $8 million to $12 million, a hockey source said.

Disney put the Angels on the market at $300 million and the Ducks at $150 million. The price for the Ducks was reduced to about $100 million in the last year.

Even at the priced-to-move rate, there has been little interest.

Former_Madison_Square_Garden_president Dave Checketts, heading a group looking to buy into professional sports, inquired about the Angels and Ducks about a year ago. He walked away after concluding that the television contract for the two teams, both 10-year deals with Fox, made it impossible to turn a profit.

Disney received a "low-ball" offer to buy the team from an unidentified party last June.

The Angels became more attractive to buyers after winning a World Series, but the key element happened off the field, when a collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and the players' union was reached in August.

The NHL's labor problems loom, with little confidence of an accord being reached before the current agreement expires on_Sept. 15, 2004. At that time, owners are expected to lock out the players.

Even with a 16-month time frame, both sides are preparing for the worst-case scenario. Union officials have told players to save their money. NHL officials have asked teams to contribute to a lockout fund.

Even in peaceful labor times, financial dynamics in the NHL are considerably less appealing than the other major sports. The NHL receives $120 million a year in its television contract, while major league baseball receives $417 million. Hockey teams rely more on game revenues, which have led to escalating ticket prices.

KNWVIKING
04-18-2003, 11:53 AM
I think knocking off the Red Wings should double their value.

Figmentrocks
04-18-2003, 01:29 PM
Maybe the new owner can rename the team. :) Mighty Ducks just don't seem NHL.. Heck, I grew up with the Hartford Whalers, so that's not saying much. :)

kiddisney
04-18-2003, 08:05 PM
hey - i got a great idea - the politicos here want to rejuvinate the city of newark by relocating the devils - so we'll have a great arena available - maybe the duck can move here!

KNWVIKING
04-19-2003, 02:37 PM
The Mighty Meadowland Ducks.

The uniform possibilities are endless.