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tk13
06-20-2005, 03:20 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/11937803.htm

Baldwin announces interest in swinging the Blues for KC

By RANDY COVITZ

Kansas City Star


Howard Baldwin, former owner of two NHL franchises, said he plans to investigate the possibility of buying the St. Louis Blues with the intention of moving the franchise to Kansas City.

“It’s something you have to look long and hard at, and I will,” Baldwin, a Hollywood producer, said from his home Sunday.

If the franchise relocated to Kansas City, it would eventually play at the new downtown Sprint Center.

Blues owners Bill and Nancy Laurie of Columbia announced Friday that they were putting the franchise on the market after six money-losing seasons. The Blues lost more than $60 million in operating the team and the Savvis Center during the last three seasons, including more than $20 million during the 2004-05 season that was not played because of a lockout.

Baldwin’s company, Baldwin Entertainment Group, has been in film partnerships with Anschutz Entertainment Group, which has invested $50 million in the Sprint Center and will manage the $250 million facility.

Baldwin stepped forward last summer by saying he would be interested in bringing an NHL franchise to Kansas City if the new arena were built.

Baldwin previously operated the NHL’s Hartford Whalers and Pittsburgh Penguins and has devoted much of his time recently to producing movies, including “Ray,” which earned an Oscar for Jamie Foxx.

Baldwin also owns the Des Moines franchise of the American Hockey League that will begin operations in a new arena starting with the 2005-06 season.

“We have a group that is able to buy a team at the right price if there is a solution with what to do with the team,” Baldwin said. “No question about it. … It could be a very interesting opportunity.”

Prying the Blues from St. Louis, which they have called home since entering the NHL as an expansion club in 1967, could be difficult.

Not only are St. Louis interests determined not to lose the franchise, but when the Lauries bought the club in 1998, they also acquired the lease with the Savvis Center. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Sunday that part of the lease, which runs through 2024, would make it costly to uproot the hockey team from the arena.

The Lauries bought the Blues and the long-term lease at the Savvis Center for $88 million, the team said, also paying off $30 million in debt that the hockey team had. Part of the purchase price was $62.4 million owed on bonds issued for building the arena, which opened in 1994. Forbes magazine estimated the value of the franchise and the lease at $140 million. Recently, teams in Ottawa and Buffalo were sold in the $90 million to $100 million range, and Anaheim for $75 million.

Paul McGannon, who heads NHL21, the local group trying to bring a franchise to Kansas City, was pleased to hear about Baldwin’s interest in the Blues but doesn’t expect the club to leave St. Louis. He cited franchises such as Pittsburgh, Carolina and Nashville as more viable candidates for relocation.

“The St. Louis community will rise to keep the Blues there,” McGannon said. “But it does show the beauty of how the Sprint Center is constructed here, that thanks to public support, you don’t have this business model the Blues had where $170 million of the debt was for the building.

“From day one, the NHL team in Kansas City will have a much better shot at thriving because you don’t have the debt service of the building.”

The Lauries have retained Game Plan LLC, a Boston-based firm, to conduct the search for potential buyers, and Baldwin said he has a good relationship with Robert Caporale of Game Plan.

“He has been my lawyer for 30 years,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin recently was a candidate to buy the Anaheim franchise, but the Walt Disney Co. sold it to Henry and Susan Samueli, whose company operates the Arrowhead Pond, home of the Mighty Ducks.

Baldwin believes a team could succeed at the Sprint Center, where it would be the only major-league tenant in the winter. Kemper Arena would serve as an interim facility before the 18,500-seat Sprint Center opened in time for the 2007-08 season.

“I’ve said it before, I like the Kansas City market,” Baldwin said. “And I think the world of the Anschutz group. I talk to them on a regular basis.”

McGannon doesn’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that the Lauries could retain the Blues and move them to Kansas City.

“I thought it was very important to note that their comment was they were no longer going to be involved in ‘St. Louis’ sports,” McGannon said.

“Bill Laurie is a Missouri guy … and I do know he’s well-aware of the Kansas City effort, and he’s well aware of how the Sprint Center is set up with AEG.”

ExtremeChief
06-20-2005, 06:02 AM
If it pisses off St. Louisans... I'm all for it.

KILLER_CLOWN
06-20-2005, 08:35 AM
No thanks, we need an NBA team. The Nhl would never make it here, of course i'm not biased.

patteeu
06-20-2005, 08:38 AM
That would really stoke the intrastate rivalry, although I fear that Kansas City is a place that hockey teams come to die.

Goapics1
06-20-2005, 08:40 AM
If it pisses off St. Louisans... I'm all for it.
ROFL

Dr. Facebook Fever
06-20-2005, 08:43 AM
If it pisses off St. Louisans... I'm all for it.
I live not too far from St. Louis....... and I agree whole-heartedly...

ROFL

HC_Chief
06-20-2005, 08:48 AM
Kick ass... I want NHL in KC!! :thumb:

ChiTown
06-20-2005, 09:00 AM
That would really stoke the intrastate rivalry, although I fear that Kansas City is a place that hockey teams come to die.

Agreed, but you can take it one step further. It's where Winter/Spring Sports franchises come to die (NHL & NBA).

KC will never be more than a great football town, and a very marginal baseball town. Sad, but true............

KChiefs1
06-20-2005, 09:01 AM
Stealing a team away from St Louis would be hilarious! I hate the NHL, but I would openly root for the KC Blues just to piss off the St Louis crowd!

BigRedChief
06-20-2005, 09:04 AM
Chit man I would have to learn the rules and WTF icing is? And WTF do those blue lines mean?:hmmm: I don't want to go back to school again. Not interested in the NBA either.

Now some Arena football in spring, Count me in.:clap:

beavis
06-20-2005, 09:14 AM
KC will never be more than a great football town, and a very marginal baseball town. Sad, but true............
I don't know how you can say we're a marginal baseball town. Before the state of baseball went to shit, things were a lot different. You could have said the same thing about football circa 1985.

jspchief
06-20-2005, 09:16 AM
Wow. How exciting. Bring in a team from a defunct league. Maybe you can bring in an XFL team too.

HC_Chief
06-20-2005, 09:18 AM
"Defunct"? :spock:
A bit melodramatic.
Just a bit.

Archie F. Swin
06-20-2005, 09:19 AM
Hockey is a lot more exciting/fun to watch in person than basketball. Save the NBA for TV

HC_Chief
06-20-2005, 09:19 AM
Check that, A LOT.

ChiTown
06-20-2005, 09:20 AM
I don't know how you can say we're a marginal baseball town. Before the state of baseball went to shit, things were a lot different. You could have said the same thing about football circa 1985.

Right, and the games have changed. Small market KC will not support a losing MLB team, and small market KC will support a losing NFL team. I'm not bagging on KC, it's just the way the makeup of the game has transpired over time.

morphius
06-20-2005, 09:21 AM
I don't know how you can say we're a marginal baseball town. Before the state of baseball went to shit, things were a lot different. You could have said the same thing about football circa 1985.
Exactly. The excitement is there for the Royals, but KC doesn't throw money at a team that doesn't even have a hope, no matter the number of prayers.

DaWolf
06-20-2005, 09:23 AM
If it pisses off St. Louisans... I'm all for it.

:toast:

Although i'd rather get an NBA franchise and shove that in St Loser's face. I don't see the NHL as in the same realm as the NBA, especially since the NHL stoppage...

KChiefs1
06-20-2005, 09:27 AM
KC is still a great baseball town. You put a "competitive" team at the K or a downtown ballpark & I guarantee you that at least 2 million people will attend the games.

I've heard that hockey is better in person than on TV...of course I've never pictured me actually paying to see a hockey game or is it called a match?

No matter what happens, the new Sprint Center will bring a NHL or NBA team to KC. Let's hope they are better run than the Scouts or Kings were...

HC_Chief
06-20-2005, 09:35 AM
Hockey doesn't play well on TV. Even the most hardcore hockey fans will admit that.

Hockey is meant to be seen in-person. Trust me, get glass-side seats some time and you'll be hooked!! :)

jspchief
06-20-2005, 09:40 AM
So will fans fill the stands to look at the ice that the players would have been skating on had the NHL not shut down?

I think I'd probably wait until there actually is an NHL before I start buying teams.

HC_Chief
06-20-2005, 09:46 AM
Guess you haven't heard,
It was reported last week that the NHL and the NHLPA had reached an agreement on a formula for a salary-cap system based on team-by-team revenue. However, it still is unclear as to how close the two sides are to announcing a new CBA.

Hockey's coming back... with a new CBA; including a salary cap. Appears NHL & the NHLPA are getting smart... modeling the NFL.
<a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slug=nhllabor&prov=st&type=lgns">Link</a>

ChiTown
06-20-2005, 09:47 AM
KC is still a great baseball town. You put a "competitive" team at the K or a downtown ballpark & I guarantee you that at least 2 million people will attend the games.



The last year the Royals drew over 2MM was 1991. They probably should have done better in 2003 (1.78MM), given they had one of their best, most competitive teams in the last decade.

I agree though, if they start to win more games (not just being competitive), they'll get close to 2MM again. I also agree that they should build an intimate 32K seat stadium somewhere downtown. In my opinion, that's what's need to draw more revenue......

Cochise
06-20-2005, 09:48 AM
Sweet. I'd rather have the NHL 10 times over the NBA. If nothing else, because our streets will be so much safer without NBA athletes roaming them.

beavis
06-20-2005, 09:49 AM
Guess you haven't heard,


Hockey's coming back... with a new CBA; including a salary cap. Appears NHL & the NHLPA are getting smart... modeling the NFL.
<a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slug=nhllabor&prov=st&type=lgns">Link</a>
Wow, I hadn't heard that. Good news.

HC_Chief
06-20-2005, 09:49 AM
Sweet. I'd rather have the NHL 10 times over the NBA. If nothing else, because our streets will be so much safer without NBA athletes roaming them.

HA! True, that. Of course, with the NHL, the number of mullets you will see on the streets of KC will increase significantly ;)

BigChiefFan
06-20-2005, 10:07 AM
Agreed, but you can take it one step further. It's where Winter/Spring Sports franchises come to die (NHL & NBA).

KC will never be more than a great football town, and a very marginal baseball town. Sad, but true............
I don't buy that one bit. There's 1.8 million people in the metro area. That's plenty of people to support any sports franchise. If the fans can fill Arrowhead with 80,000 people, I don't see why we couldn't easily support another franchise. You are basing your arguments on things that transpired 20 plus years ago. Times have changed.

keg in kc
06-20-2005, 10:09 AM
I think KC would support any team that wins.

And no way the Blues come here. But we will have an NHL team.

KChiefs1
06-20-2005, 10:22 AM
The NHL is doing what MLB will eventually have to do to survive.

chiefs4me
06-20-2005, 10:31 AM
Guess you haven't heard,


Hockey's coming back... with a new CBA; including a salary cap. Appears NHL & the NHLPA are getting smart... modeling the NFL.
Link (http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slug=nhllabor&prov=st&type=lgns)






yes it is baby.....2 months and counting.....PBJ

HC_Chief
06-20-2005, 10:32 AM
NHL Draft will be on August 6 (caveat being CBA must be in place by then)

chiefs4me
06-20-2005, 10:37 AM
Chit man I would have to learn the rules and WTF icing is? And WTF do those blue lines mean?:hmmm: I don't want to go back to school again. Not interested in the NBA either.

Now some Arena football in spring, Count me in.:clap:





I will be glad to teach you the game of hockey.....;)




K C Blues.......has a nice ring to it.

KChiefs1
06-20-2005, 10:59 AM
K C Blues.......has a nice ring to it.

I can see them moving to KC & keeping the musical note on the jersey, but changing the team name to KC Jazz, since KC is more known for jazz than the blues correct?

HC_Chief
06-20-2005, 11:00 AM
I can see them moving to KC & keeping the musical note on the jersey, but changing the team name to KC Jazz, since KC is more known for jazz than the blues correct?

Yep.

redbrian
06-20-2005, 11:31 AM
I can see them moving to KC & keeping the musical note on the jersey, but changing the team name to KC Jazz, since KC is more known for jazz than the blues correct?

Many moons ago when the St. Louis Blues started KC was the farm club for the Blues and was called the KC Blues.

BigChiefFan
06-20-2005, 11:43 AM
Take that, Enterprise! I'm stoked the arena passed.

patteeu
06-20-2005, 12:40 PM
I think KC would support any team that wins.

And no way the Blues come here. But we will have an NHL team.

I agree on all counts.

MOhillbilly
06-20-2005, 12:51 PM
Stlouis sucks,hockey sucks and the blues suck.