Down to one group currently negotiating to keep Thrashers in Atlanta

There is currently just one group in active negotiations with the Atlanta Spirit interested in purchasing the Thrashers and keeping the franchise in Atlanta.

The group, not from Atlanta, is working with team president Don Waddell. A deal is not imminent, according to Waddell.

“My job is to try to find a buyer who will keep the team in Atlanta,” Waddell told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “As long as they keep taking my phone calls, I’ll keep working.”

Earlier this month, Waddell was dealing with two prospective buyers, neither local, to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta.

Negotiations also continue between Atlanta Spirit officials and True North Sports and Entertainment on a deal to purchase the Thrashers and relocate to Winnipeg. Such a deal is also not imminent, however an agreement would likely need to be reached in the near future to accommodate relocation.

An exclusive negotiating agreement has not been signed allowing multiple on-going negotiations.

“As has been the case, I cannot comment on who we are talking to or the status of those discussions,” Atlanta Spirit co-owner Bruce Levenson said.

324 comments Add your comment

Chris Vivlamoremoney

May 19th, 2011
3:37 pm

It is disturbing that DW was put on the case. We all know his 5 year plans work out very well.

Mad Thrasher

May 19th, 2011
3:37 pm

If Don Wadell is handling negotiations, we’re DOOMED!!!!

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
3:38 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.”

“Winnipeg is not footing any bills for the team purchase”

So what you are saying is if I get the bank to forgive my mortgage so I have money for coke and hookers, the money is not for coke and hookers..

EA

May 19th, 2011
3:38 pm

It only takes one. No imminent deal to Winnipeg. No imminent deal to stay in Atlanta. It has “dwindled” down to one of each. Bettman is denying a deal to Winnipeg. What’s next?

David F

May 19th, 2011
3:39 pm

G52, start what exactly? For every dipstick from Wpg who may something you dont like, there are many others that are civil and offer constructive comments. All we see from you is your constant put downs and name calling. This shows your maturity (not) level. How does this make things better for Thrashe fans or for you exactly? By the way, you are also posing as Chris Vilipeg, so whats with that? You seem to have far too much time on your hands.

The Balkan

May 19th, 2011
3:40 pm

Kincade just twittered “Justice League of America interested in all three…..I just made the intro and will now back away.”

Chris Vivlamore

May 19th, 2011
3:40 pm

Glovesave29: Apology absolutely accepted. I’m more than willing to reach out to fans of the Thrashers and offer as much insight as I can.into what I’m reporting and why I’m reporting it. You are a class act.

Tim

May 19th, 2011
3:40 pm

I love how Chris gets called a Jets fan because he thinks the team might leave based off the facts he’s found. Come on Chris you are just supposed to report that the team isn’t going anywhere regardless of reporting. Maybe you can be a PR guy for someone who owes $2mil and pass yourself off as a reporter too.

HillMan

May 19th, 2011
3:42 pm

Since DW’s job is finding a buy to keep the team here we are in trouble. I would guess he has not been given the job to talk with those that want to move us. Since he was sooooo successful in his prior roles, one could only assume he will be successful in pushing each suitor away. At one time I believe we had 3 interested in keeping the team here, now down to one. Who in their right mind would want to talk to him after his track record. That is probably why we have had few serious offers.

SportsFan

May 19th, 2011
3:43 pm

G52 – It’s called an investment – why did Glendale give money to build the arena in the middle of nowhere? Well at the time, the city thought they would reap the $$ benefits of the spin offs from the arena…

Mad @ NHL - Take Some Action

May 19th, 2011
3:44 pm

Take a few minutes to tell the NHL “We are sick of this!”:

http://www.keepthethrashers.com/forwardlinkATL.html

They have done nothing to help us.

SportsFan

May 19th, 2011
3:45 pm

Viv – great job. Nice to see some sane reporting amid the “Balkan” and other chaos around…

Bob

May 19th, 2011
3:47 pm

This is a no news blog… lets face it TNSE have an offer in, AS is trying to leverage a ‘ghost’ to help jack the price a few million to cover the $130M in losses… there is NO, repeat, NO buyer really willing to purchase the Thrashers and keep in Atlanta…TNSE wants the deal done and will pay a higher price to get it done quicker… and that higher price has come with a concession on behalf of the Provincial government in Manitoba that will help TNSE with the difference between $110M and somewhere just south of $130M…end of story…have a rally, buy some beer, dogs and crank up the music…but the ’song remains the same’…

AW

May 19th, 2011
3:47 pm

Hockey sucks – goodbye thrashers and we appreciate you leaving before becoming a tax burden on those of us that don’t want you.

PuckedUP

May 19th, 2011
3:50 pm

Why do people keep ripped C-Viv? He is just reporting news, which is his job. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. It’s news. He has no agenda. If he did, then the Thrash would be staying, staying, staying. If they leave, does anyone think the AJC fishwrapper is going to keep an extra sports reporter with one less team in town?

Use some of that higher-level brain matter you were given.

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
3:53 pm

“It’s called an investment ”

How did that “investment” work out for the last guy that tried the NHL in the peg.. The NHL in the peg lost 20 million which is about 29 million in todays dollars.. the sAME problems that plagued the TINY poor market STILL exist..

http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2010/12/8/1536097/nhl-relocation-winnipeg-quebec-city

HillMan

May 19th, 2011
3:54 pm

AW – you should probably do some siphering before you talk about tax burden. How many ushers, parklot folks, concession folks, ticket agents will be out of work? You will pay for that. How many waiters in nearby bars/resturants will be out of work You will pay for that. Oh and don’t you think some of the high priced hockey players give some tax dollars to GA. You will pay for that as well.

Burden – you will lose a blessing!

blazerdawg

May 19th, 2011
3:57 pm

Why does the NHL not offer Winnepeg an expansion franchise for $170M? More $$ for the NHL.

This way they get to keep Atlanta, a great market, and expand the NHL brand, while satisfying the folks in Manitoba.

Bob

May 19th, 2011
3:57 pm

G52 – You know not real facts about the Winnipeg situation back in 1995/6, none whatsoever.

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
3:59 pm

I know nobody went the the jets games making it impossible to justify the building of a new facility..

PMC

May 19th, 2011
4:00 pm

Why not go ahead and throw something about the NFL lockout into this blog too….?

Empty Seats

May 19th, 2011
4:03 pm

G52, don’t worry. Soon AZZ Central WILL be full of Frenchies dancing on the deadsert puppy’s graves after you mooks lose ANOTHER 25 mill of taxpayers money. Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg J

Jets fan

May 19th, 2011
4:04 pm

Hillman, I absolutely agree with your statement to AW….as a Jets fan I am happy our government is thinking of “lending” financial support to bring the Jets back….the economic spin-offs would far outweigh what TNSE is asking for in $upport…..just salaries alone of the players will bring 10 million to the province of Manitoba a year…..to all you classy Thrashers fans from a Jets fan who lost his favorite team when I was kid and the only sport I have ever played, I understand the anxiety and frustration you are feeling…….Let’s not forget the commonalities we have instead of wasting our time bashing each other…..

Hockey fan 58

May 19th, 2011
4:04 pm

Even if the Thrashers haven’t been winners, do the math – hundreds of part-time Arena staff, the Zamoboni guys, front office staff, parking lot attendents, hotel maids, restaurant waiters and cooks, these people and Atlanta will all be affected if this team or any leaves the area. Stop dancing on this grave and think about the little guy for once.

David F

May 19th, 2011
4:07 pm

G52, wrong again, you like to take stories that suit youre cause of bashing everything and anything Winnipeg. For your information, during the last season in Wpg, 95-96, it was a lame duck team. In other words the team was going to be leaving at the end of the season and we knew this from the start. Naturally, the attendance dropped big time with that revelation. Lets say people in Atlanta knew that after the next season they are going to be relocated, how many would show up for the games. Got it? Of course, you like to exploit that one season, dont you?

Labiche

May 19th, 2011
4:07 pm

The best thing about this is, when the hockey gets the hell out of Atlanta, is that the NHL will NEVER darken Dixie again with its damyankee “sport.”

GoBackToAZ

May 19th, 2011
4:09 pm

G52,

The difference between the Thrasher fans and the Coyote fans are that the Thrasher fans actually know what they are talking about. You are lucky in AZ, you have a moron council in Glendale that likes to throw away money. So to come here and spew crap out of your mouth about Winnipeg makes no sense. Go back to AZ and look for an owner. Or at least brush up on your french. Can’t you see the Thrasher fans don’t want you here?

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
4:10 pm

“you like to exploit that one season,”

Ya, I’m confusing the farewell season with all the other season that the jets had at capacity.. NOT.. Nobody went to the jets games but EVERYBODY showed up to wave good-bye..

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
4:14 pm

Take the jets average attendance, then take the Thrashers average attendance, compare the two and realize why the NHL will NEVER move this team to the tiny cluster of Igloos..

The NHL will more likely vote for a guy with no money that promises to keep the team where it is than a relocating offer from a paper “billionaire” already asking his province for help..

Bob

May 19th, 2011
4:15 pm

Like I said, you know not anything about the situation in Winnipeg.

It was never about a lack of fan support or interest, it was about a greedy ownership who would not spend his own money to keep the team when the CDN dollar sunk to an all time low and he had a plethora of amazing young players, then he began cleaning house so he wouldn’t have the rising costs of being an owner through tougher times instead of holding out and being creative while keeping a great product on the ice (Like the TNSE does today – great ownership).

Bottom line was he did not want to lose a dime of his own money… so he tried to unload instead of working diligently within the community… 35,000+ turned up for a rally to no avail. all because he wanted to dump the team and keep his fortune intact… Good business people tried to get involved but by the time it was too little too late…at least in Atlanta, the AS lost $130M before unloading…and at least trying to find a buyer to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta. Good on them if its true…be thankful for that.

The folks in Winnipeg who kept that owner smoking stogies and laughing up a storm when he was bringing in the cash for years where hung out to dry at the first sign of a target on hi own piggy bank… and shame on him for running away from his responsibility to the fans and good folks in Winnipeg.

Anti-G52

May 19th, 2011
4:16 pm

HEY, G52PIM228 from Arizona Central is here. And just like AZC, he adds nothing to the conversation. Seeing the same posts that he posted for the last 2 years on AZC. Hooray!

HillMan

May 19th, 2011
4:17 pm

Labiche – FYI baseball was origianlly invented in England (called rounders) and reinvented in New York. Basketball in Mass. and football also came from England (rugby) and was first played in North America in Canada at McGill U. and later Havard.

So I guess all yankee sports should be moved out of Atlanta??

joey

May 19th, 2011
4:17 pm

lets face facts, betteman is the biggest douche there is in pro sports. how he manages to hang onto his job is beyond belief. sure almost 16 years he thought since wpg wasnt making any money with the team he would ship it into the dessert and watch slowly die while people would $70 or more for ticket and which you cant take your whole family too. fast forward that time. canada’s dollar is worth more than the US greenback and canada didnt have a disaster in the finacial world. places like wpg seem like a good idea. you cant tell me if you live in a southern state where you live next to the ocean or get plenty of sun that you wanna sit in a seat for almost 3 hours watching guys skate on ice thats barely skateable? betteman does everything in his power to put teams where dont belong and owners lose lots of money because of it. fans get frustrated because they lose a team and all the money they spent on it to begin with. if you cant pay the bills you should shut down and be foreclosed. you shouldnt have to move or w/e to put fans the mess of not knowing whats going to happen. im sure atlanta is a nice city. ive never been there. but im sure some people havent been to wpg. so dont knock a city you havent been to. guess what. that loveable winnie the pooh was named after winnipeg. and theres alot of good things about wpg, atlanta doesnt know about. also im sure there are good things about atlanta that winnipeg doesnt know about. but until you actually visit either city. you shouldnt say negative things. remember what mom said, “if you have nothing nice to say to someone, then you shouldnt say anything at all.”

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
4:18 pm

Go Yotes!

Thanks all he knows how to say.

David F

May 19th, 2011
4:20 pm

G52, also poses under several different names here bashing everything about Wpg and its people. A very sad individual indeed. Its amazing how IP addresses can confirm the truth of this moron.

Anti-G52

May 19th, 2011
4:21 pm

You know its bad when even Thrasher fans know the Phoenix Coyotes are a waste of space.

I may want a team in Winnipeg, but I’ll will be the first to admit that the good fans of hockey in Atlanta are getting shafted. After what the NHL has done in Phoenix, its sad to see them do nothing in Atlanta.

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
4:21 pm

“betteman is the biggest douche there is in pro sports. how he manages to hang onto his job is beyond belief.”

Probably has a lot to do with revenues growing from 400 million to 3 billiom on his watch, eh..

Thrashers27

May 19th, 2011
4:22 pm

Can’t help it. After reading the article, htis was stuck in my head:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX5jNnDMfxA

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
4:23 pm

“Its amazing how IP addresses can confirm the truth of this moron.”

My name being the SAME in every form I participate in was not a big enough clue, Sherlock..

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
4:24 pm

“poses under several different names”

No aliasing is for Darren Fraud’s brainwashed teen zealots, that think blasting internet forms with their presence will make some kind of difference to the NHL BoG..

PMC

May 19th, 2011
4:25 pm

The AS haven’t lost any money whatsoever. They will recoup any seasonal losses and make a profit with the sales of the teams and the building.

Operating costs. It costs money to own sports franchises. Just like a car or a boat on a grand scale.

They didn’t lose money. It’s disingenuous. I have no problem with Winnepeg, they just want a team. I get it. Losing the team there was similar to the loss of the Hornets in Charlotte. Being wealthy doesn’t make a sports owner a good owner or knowledgeable about what they are doing.

We were never going to be in the top 15 in interest or attendance…. but seriously, they haven’t even competed at a reasonable level. This is an AHL franchise masquerading as an NHL team. Embarassingly bad hockey.

audette28

May 19th, 2011
4:26 pm

Heard on CBC last week that because WPG has everything in place & NHL is working on 2 different schedules, that the sale/relocation can take place AS LATE as July 15. We’re not even close to being out of the woods. For the local fools HOPING for relocation: drunk & stupid is no way to go through life, sons.

glovesave29

May 19th, 2011
4:26 pm

Look Bob – no one disputes the passion in Winnipeg. You do need to understand two things however…

1. In those days 16 out of 21 teams made the playoffs. The Jets made it 11 out of 17 years. In today’s format, you would have likely made it twice. That would certainly have affected attendance.

2. The days of the loonie outpacing the dollar are not going to be long lived. Your money will ease its way back to the typical level of about $0.75 CDN on the USD. That is where trouble will likely happen in WPG. The TNSE guys are loaded – because they make sound business decisions. Would they accept losses “for the public good”? Who knows. Buy it is highly unlikely. Until the NHLPA allows teams to pay salaries in the same monetary unit that income is derrived in, there is always that chance that you can lose ANOTHER team. And I don’t wish that on anyone….

Bob

May 19th, 2011
4:29 pm

There’s no way that the NHL can wait for Jul 15th to roll around in either Atlanta or Winnipeg markets… tickets need to be sold and without solid ownership and franchise location 100% confirmed that would slow the flow…

Gwinnett Fred

May 19th, 2011
4:31 pm

Would have to imagine Waddell is truly trying his damnest to keep the team here – because can he really think he would still have a job if they moved to Winnipeg?????

Ugh

May 19th, 2011
4:32 pm

There is only a 75% chance the team is moving, and just a 20% chance of that. ;)

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
4:33 pm

“TNSE guys are loaded – because they make sound business decisions. ”

I do not think David Thompson being born rich was a “sound business decision”.. Besides if they are so “loaded” why are they begging the province to free up money to move the team with..

G52PIM228

May 19th, 2011
4:34 pm

“Winnipeg markets… tickets need to be sold”

I’m pretty sure you can go buy Moose tickets..

Bob

May 19th, 2011
4:35 pm

glovesave29, Thanks for the feedback… there’s a lot of what if’s and what-a-bout’s to ponder. Hopefully Winnipeg will be given the chance along with the new ownership group. It’s too bad that it may come at the cost of another passionate fan base, and no I don’t wish that on anyone either – especially if you lose something that is a way of life for many people and their families and not just as entertainment value based on W’s or L’s or the state of a dollar…

RK in MB

May 19th, 2011
4:37 pm

@G52PIM228 – You sir, are an idiot. Not because you bash Winnipeg, just because you are stupid enough to think you count! You don’t. AS will do whatever they want to do with the Thrashers. You don’t count, I don’t count, no one posting here will make a difference in this. No matter how loud you speak, monay always talks over you. Winnipeg collected $13 million dollars trying to save the Jets. That’s from kids piggy banks and people’s savings. Tell us, what have you done to save either the Coyotes or the Thrashers besides posting comments behind some gibberish name? SFA, that’s what. Winnipeggers know what the fans in Atlanta are going through, we’ve been there ourselves. This won’t be pretty no matter what happens. Why don’t you try and take up a collection to offset the $25M Glendale is going to throw away at the end of next season. Hell, I’ll even give you a Canadian dollar to start you off.