'Still waiting in the wings…the investment team headed up by Tom Golisano. Hormoz Mansouri, Potential Sabres investor: “We have left the door open for the league to come back to us.” A bid he says, that does not hinge on public money.'
Archives for January 2, 2003
'Hamister received good news Thursday when Erie County executive Joel Giambra supported a plan for the county to finance construction of a $7 million, 770-space parking facility next to the Arena. But Giambra did not back Hamister's request for a $1 million annual capital improvement grant.'
'Of course the real problem the Sabres have to take care of is to somehow coordinate the good goaltending nights with some goal scoring. In more recent times Buffalo have had nights where they score goals, but the goalies have let them down. On other nights the netminding has been outstanding, but the Sabres couldn't bury their scoring chances.'
Instead of asking taxpayers to give him $25 million to spend on HSBC Arena, why doesn’t Hamister understand the real problem facing concert promoters at HSBC? It’s simple, the deal at HSBC sucks for promoters. The rental rates are higher than almost anywhere else; the union costs are among the highest in the nation, almost what they are in New York City; and there are NO opportunities for promoters to make a dime from merchandising or concessions. Jeremy Jacobs takes all the revenue from food and beverages.'
'The public-sector money would cover a number of facets including installing a new sound system, the construction of 1,100-space parking lot near the arena, the right to install revenue-generating billboards and kiosks near the arena and low-cost replacement power. Also subject to negotiation is determining who is responsible for the $23 million that remains on the arena's original construction loan with Fleet Bank.'
'Hamister declined to elaborate on what headway has been made, but state officials Wednesday disputed an earlier report that Gov. George E. Pataki is reviewing a financial assistance package involving the proposed purchase. "The story is wrong. There is no package," said Suzanne Morris, a spokeswoman for Pataki. "(Empire State Development Corp.) has had some very preliminary discussions, and we're certainly willing to continue discussions to see if we can help."'
'Sabres coach Lindy Ruff lost all confidence in Noronen’s ability to win games, and his confidence in Martin Biron is also waning.'
Mark Hamister was supposed to be the white knight, riding in to valiantly save the team. But Hamister now says he wants $25 million in government assistance to save the damsel in distress. This may be nothing more than a bluff on his part. Or it may be that he has realized that if he goes through with his proposed purchase, he will be throwing away his money. Bankruptcy remains the most likely option, and once that occurs, the folding of the team might not be far behind.
'Donner said the Amerks are going to be as patient as they can be in waiting to see how the situation in Buffalo is resolved. And he is confident it will be resolved with the Sabres remaining in Buffalo. "We're going to be as supportive as we can be, but we're going to have to make some tough decisions on our own about the future depending on how the ownership situation pans out," said Donner. "I'm assuming now that there has to be a way to keep that team in Buffalo. The city has to have that team there and they're going to find a way to work it out."'