Spirit, True North have begun talks

Sorry folks. Got so caught up in my news story about Atlanta Spirit and True North negotiating about a possible sale that I didn’t give you a place to comment.

Here is the start of the story, if you are late to the news.

The Atlanta Spirit are in negotiations with True North Sports and Entertainment on the sale of the Thrashers, which would result in relocation to Winnipeg, according to a person familiar with the NHL’s sale process.

A deal has not been completed and the parties have not entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement. It is also not known how long the two sides have been negotiating. However, the fact that talks are on-going could mean the Thrashers would relocate to Manitoba perhaps as soon as next season.

“I have never confirmed nor denied specific parties we have been talking to in regards to a possible sale of the Thrashers,” Atlanta Spirit co-owner Bruce Levenson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday.

Typically, confidentiality agreements are signed between parties in negotiations which would prohibit Atlanta Spirit ownership from identifying suitors

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, reached via e-mail, said there was “nothing I’m prepared to say at this point.” A True North Sports and Entertainment spokesperson had no comment.

The rest of the story is HERE.

Also, here is what Jeff Schultz had to say about the news.

61 comments Add your comment

ATLANTA

May 16th, 2011
3:40 pm

We need to unite to save our team: http://keepthethrashers.com/

Brian Babyak

May 16th, 2011
3:41 pm

I don’t know what to say about all of this. I feel like I lost a loved one. Very sad day :(

Monkey

May 16th, 2011
3:42 pm

Give it a rest already.

dj tanner

May 16th, 2011
3:45 pm

does that mean you loose your job. hockey is a northen sport any way. southerners dont really understand it and most dont care too. it might be a good move for the team, but it’s a loss for hockey and it growth in the south.

TheShaft

May 16th, 2011
3:45 pm

Hey Chris, can you confirm/deny if there are any other interested parties involved or are also negotiating whether it be for just the Thrashers or for all 3 entities? Other talking heads around town are hanging their hats on a magical unicorn who is only interested in buying all 3 (arena, Hawks, Thrashers). Are these guys totally full of it? Why would they put their credibility on the line to hang on to this notion? This negotiation with True North isn’t an “exclusive” negotiation period, thus leaving the door open to other offers?

Matt

May 16th, 2011
3:47 pm

You know, I’m not usually one to wish bad fortune on people, but for the ASG group I’m willing to make an exception. A pox on all of their houses.

PMC

May 16th, 2011
3:48 pm

So basically, the Jets new history would then be taken from this inglorious run of an expansion franchise instead of the team they lost in the first place which will continue to languish in Arizona.

Yeah, ok, that makes $ense.

DM73

May 16th, 2011
3:48 pm

To Thrashers fans,

If the worst does come to pass and the Thrashers leave Atlanta, please accept the heartfelt empathy of Winnipeg Jets fans.

It hurt, A LOT, when the Jets were ripped out of Winnipeg.

And, no matter the outcome, thanks for being very classy, as opposed to some other fans in a different situation that showed anything but class.

Fans from one place or another will end up disappointed here, and we feel your pain if the Thrashers do indeed leave.

Hollard

May 16th, 2011
3:49 pm

The Atlanta Spirit could care less about the Thrashers. They are going to sell the team to Canadian owners and not blink one eye. Ask them a question about the Atlanta Thrashers and two seconds later they talk about the Hawks as a way to answer your Thrashers question – LOL. The Thrashers deserve to stay in Atlanta. This city can and will support this young promising team if new LOCAL ownership is found. If this team is sold and relocated I will never visit Phillips Arena again until it is under new ownership. I hate to say I hope the Hawks never win another game while under control of the AS, but if it happens I wont be losing any sleep over it.

JD

May 16th, 2011
3:52 pm

I hate to say it but so what…. maybe Spirit will have more time to deal with the Hawks….

ThrasherFan

May 16th, 2011
3:53 pm

Wow, they are blocking comments now…

[...] Journal Constitution:  Atlanta Spirit, True North in negotiations about Thrashers sale, relocation.  Vivlamore has been on top of this better than anyone.  Read if you want to know where things [...]

2mins

May 16th, 2011
3:53 pm

ATLANTA: We need to unite to save our team: http://keepthethrashers.com/

Do what you feel you have to, but just don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work. In Winnipeg back in 1995 a rally to support the team was held and 45,000 people showed up and donated millions of dollars, and the NHL still gave us the middle finger.

Just saying that the NHL has never cared about the fans.

ThrasherFan

May 16th, 2011
3:56 pm

Agree there 2mins – it’s all about the money. ASG gets to pocket it’s losses and stop the bleeding and the NHL gets a cool 60 mil in the process. ASG never wanted hockey to begin with and it always showed.

PMC

May 16th, 2011
3:57 pm

DM, I harbor no ill will towards Winnepeg or Calgary. I certainly hope they are better up north than they ever were here.

BirdsStaySouthThisWinter

May 16th, 2011
3:59 pm

Hockey can be successful in Atlanta, but needs a dedicated ownership group, not one that is both reckless and careless. Sadly, that trickled down to management of the organization over the years. This resulted in a lack of properly selling, marketing and developing interest in the game of hockey and the Thrashers. This could easily be done by leveraging the current, passionate fan base but as stated several times before by many parties, the incompetent Atlanta Spirit Group failed at doing so, if they even tried. Each ASG member should be ashamed at the wrongs they are bringing to the city and its fans.

ThrasherFan

May 16th, 2011
4:02 pm

BirdsStaySouth –

It’s too late for that…

BirdsStaySouthThisWinter

May 16th, 2011
4:05 pm

Sure looks that way…if only Bettman could have forced them to sell locally a long time ago.

Bewildered in Section 109

May 16th, 2011
4:07 pm

Who would’ve thought I would stop being both a Thrashers fan AND a Carlos Santana fan in just 24 hours?

Bobby G

May 16th, 2011
4:07 pm

ThrasherFan Its not to late only because the league would still have to approve it ….

Sherry Taylor

May 16th, 2011
4:13 pm

Birds Stay . . . I think Bettman could apply a lot more pressure than he has, if he wanted to, but obviously he doesn’t. For someone who has said along that the NHL can’t desert the #8 market, that he WANTS hockey in the ATL, and that he won’t even talk about the team being moved, Bettman sure is sitting on his hands.

I just hope they are currently addressing an envelope to us to enclose our season ticket refund.

How can you dislike seven people (ASG) so much that you have never met?

Bravo

May 16th, 2011
4:16 pm

The league will approve it in a heartbeat if the lowly Spirit Group doesn’t find a local investor willing to pony up the $.

JointherollercoasterNHL

May 16th, 2011
4:17 pm

Now Viv you report another group talking with AGS, which is it, why does no one have a MOU in place?

Doug

May 16th, 2011
4:17 pm

@BirdsStaySouthThisWinter I agree with your sentiment fully. But I place blame on Waddell, too. He has no idea how to build a winning team, much less a brand. Ten years of giving ATL fans no real reason to show up gets you…well, it gets you right here. By the time they brought in a coach and a GM who know exactly what they’re doing, it was too late. Sad. I wish Winnipeg luck.

JointherollercoasterNHL

May 16th, 2011
4:18 pm

Thrash fans, I know the ownership has been pretty bad there – but if they are also talking to those wanting to keep the team there- should say a little…?

Guffman

May 16th, 2011
4:33 pm

I would go bonkers excited if Winnipeg lands a team for next year, but not at the expense of Atlanta fans. Your team has only made the playoffs once in 11 years, and not won a single playoff game? How the heck do you expect the franchise to flourish if you don’t attempt to field a competitive team for such a long period of time? Atlanta fans just got hosed. If the team does move, I wish you the best in getting another crack in the future with hopefully competent owners that will actually try to field an exciting and competitive team.

cpsman_atlnata

May 16th, 2011
4:36 pm

Hey C Viv, rumor has it that ASG, LLC., is still talking to someone locally. If you want us to value you as a reporter, then why don’t you come clean and tell us the real story, and not just half of it?

Thrashers27

May 16th, 2011
4:36 pm

Absolutely heartbreaking. I hope the ASG buttholes are ashamed of themselves for the rest of their lives because of this.

ASG, you octodouches are personally responsible for the failure and destruction of a wonderful thing. Thanks, F#(&ers!

Stick a fork in it

May 16th, 2011
4:36 pm

You know, Don Waddell did his job perfectly: he kept the team solvent (sorta) until ASG could sell.

That’s what his real job was. Player development? Marketing? That wasn’t his real job.

ThrasherFan

May 16th, 2011
4:45 pm

You are probably right Stick,

I remember all his excuses about not having a big budget etc. Why in the world washe ever behind the bench coaching after Hartley was let go? There is one silver lining -if this True North group buys them, he will most likely be the first fired.

Sherry Taylor

May 16th, 2011
4:50 pm

BTW, should we war True North about the ASG? They screwed David McDavid, they screwed one of their own, they are trying to screw over their former attorneys and they’ve been putting it to the fans for 8 years, so they are sure to do it to the Winnipeg group.

Sherry Taylor

May 16th, 2011
4:54 pm

That’s . . . should we warn the True North group . . .

DWTOO

May 16th, 2011
4:58 pm

Na – Let them find out for themselves.

Thrashers27

May 16th, 2011
5:14 pm

Sherry, if anyone screwed David McDavid, it was AOL/Time Warner, not the octodouches, but hey, at this point, I wouldn’t care if we blamed ASG for aparthied, slavery, the holocaust, 9-11 and Don Cherry.

sisu

May 16th, 2011
5:33 pm

Well, no one has sold or bought the team so who really knows? According to the radio guy (kincade) no rally or any gathering will help since ATL failed to support the team with current owners. I really wish there was a way to keep the team here and get Winnipeg one as well…..
thanks Chris for keeping up with the story as it unfolds.

Chris, is there any comments from Waddell or even the Flames players who live here now?

Mark

May 16th, 2011
8:14 pm

Please people. Let the team go. Let the braves and hawks to. With the exception of the falcons, you guys are the worst supporters of teams ever!! Empty seats everywhere. No loyalty. Everytime i watched a game in center ice, the building was empty. Bye bye thrashers. Go to a place where 18,000 will care

Jets fan

May 16th, 2011
8:54 pm

Just the thought of the Jets coming back makes tears roll down my face. Its like meeting your best friend that died a long time ago in heaven.

MrBill

May 16th, 2011
9:46 pm

Phillips arena will sit darkened and will not make any money at all with just an NBA team there, you can’t book enough concerts to make up for 41 lost home games by the Thrashers leaving. How would you possibly fill that void? And the city will be the biggest loser with lost tax revenue as well as the vendors and restaurants and hotels and parking attendants. Way to go Mayor Reed by not showing some fight. Your are going to let all that money walk away to Winnipeg and put more people out of work. Hey you don’t have to like Hockey but you are allowing these people to walk all over you. You need to get some back bone and grow some big ones for a change because you are weak. You are not fighting for your city and it shows you don’t care about whats happening. The Atlanta Thrasher foundation does alot of good for needy people here. That doesn’t matter to you I guess. By the way I voted for opponent she should more fight than you ever will.

Big Wally

May 16th, 2011
9:59 pm

The only thing I can do now is boycott anything held in Phillips Arena; Hawks, concerts, whatever. The ASG scum will never get another penny from me. I feel nothing but disgust for those clowns. I wish them nothing but misery.

Big Wally

May 16th, 2011
10:03 pm

Hey Mark, go back to swapping spit with your boyfriend.

KLS1

May 16th, 2011
10:25 pm

ASG is negotiating? I don’t think an ownership group that has pubicly said they have been trying to sell for 3 years and has run a franchise into the ground has much power at the negotiating table.

“Negotiations” will be more like this:

ASG: Want to buy a hockey team?
TN: Yes
ASG: Really…?
TN: Yes
ASG: Sold

Crazy Diamond

May 16th, 2011
11:07 pm

Have I told you lately … we are so screwed.

Brendan

May 17th, 2011
12:38 am

What about the “iron clad” lease that is to keep the Thrashers here until 2019? Isn’t the city owed rent for all that time? And what about the naming rights to the venue? Doesn’t Philips have the right to back out of the deal, once the Thrashers are gone?

Atlanta Flames Fan

May 17th, 2011
7:20 am

@Brendan
The original agreement with Philips Electronics required both an NBA and NHL teams. However, last year, ASG renegotiated the deal where there would be a lower payment if the NHL team left. This premeditated murder of NHL Hockey in Atlanta has been well planned out.

TheLegend

May 17th, 2011
12:14 pm

DM73 wrote…

“To Thrashers fans,

If the worst does come to pass and the Thrashers leave Atlanta, please accept the heartfelt empathy of Winnipeg Jets fans.

It hurt, A LOT, when the Jets were ripped out of Winnipeg.

And, no matter the outcome, thanks for being very classy, as opposed to some other fans in a different situation that showed anything but class.

Fans from one place or another will end up disappointed here, and we feel your pain if the Thrashers do indeed leave.”
—————————————————————————————-

Gee Darryl…. should I repost some of your more “classy” and unsolicited posts from there for these people to see? ;)

My apologies to the Thrasher fans…. but I’m a bit tired of seeing people who came onto our site with the single intent of imploding it, try to play victim everywhere else because they failed.

Brendan

May 17th, 2011
12:16 pm

Atlanta Flames Fan, well … I had forgotten about that.

Bob

May 17th, 2011
4:53 pm

That’s OK… let them talk and if they go well? They go… and will be dubbed the ‘Threshers’ for the farm state of Manitoba Canada!

G52PIM228

May 17th, 2011
7:08 pm

“True North, which owns the MTS Centre, is looking to the province to help it manage the debt load it carries on the downtown arena in order to free up money to help pay for the relocation of the NHL team to Winnipeg.”

TNSE asking for government handouts.. OUTRAGEOUS..

MrBill

May 17th, 2011
10:03 pm

Breaking News the Thrashers have been purchased by Martians and will be playing on Mars next season this is according to John Kincade. Oh by the way the reception isn’t any better there with 680. Heck you get 2 miles out of Atlanta and you lose the signal. This station is suppose to be the voice of the Thrashers but you can’t here the broadcast at night. Also they give the Braves alot more coverage of the Braves before and after each game. They give the Thrashers very little as well as the AJC they show no interest is this team and that is something that has hurt the attendance. You have to got to page four in the sports section to see anything about the Thrashers, But when it comes to a possible relocation they are all over the place what is that all about.They certainly are taking the story away from the Stanely cup playoffs how about that Mr Bettman.

Disgusted

May 17th, 2011
10:13 pm

True North or any one else shouldn’t rush to buy. The ASG asking price can only go down, down, down as Thrasher Ticket Season Ticket holders (like me) don’t renew. ASG is pressed to sell so that they get the team out of here before the start of the 2011-12 season. If they don’t they’ll get a new defintion of ‘low attendance’ in October and it will serve them right.