Given this state’s flirtation with forking out hundreds of millions of dollars for a spare football stadium, and the Glendale, Ariz., City Council’s decision to pay another $25 million ransom to keep the Coyotes NHL team in Phoenix for another season, it is reassuring to hear that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed isn’t interested in having his cash-strapped city pay millions to prevent the Thrashers from migrating to Canada.
From the AJC:
Reese McCranie, spokesman for Reed, said Atlanta has not been approached by the NHL about making a financial deal such as Glendale’s. Even if approached, the city — in the midst of pension reform and possible layoffs in 2012 — would not consider it, McCranie said.
“We are aware that the ownership of the Thrashers is having difficulty and they may leave,” McCranie said. “The mayor has had robust discussions with business leaders in the metro region [who might] potentially buy or join a team of buyers to keep the Thrashers here.
“He has gone through extraordinary lengths to ensure that the Thrashers can stay in Atlanta, but at this moment there is not a deal on the table that we can present.”
Let’s hope the reality “at this moment” doesn’t change. If a private investor or group of investors would like to step up and buy the Thrashers so that they stay in town, great. But that hasn’t happened yet, even though the team apparently has been for sale for several years, and there’s little reason to think that a city-financed deal to keep the team here for one more season would buy the necessary time.
– By Kyle Wingfield