The negotiations are complete: True North Sports and Entertainment is buying the Atlanta Thrashers and is moving the team to Winnipeg‘s MTS Centre for the 2011-2012 season, subject to approval from the NHL’s Board of Governors.
Approval of the sale by the Board of Governors is contingent on TNSE proving the market will support an NHL team; to that end TSNE is committed selling 13,000 season tickets for the team before the board meets on June 21.
The price: $170 million, including a $60-million relocation fee to the NHL. In the end, said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, there was no serious buyer in Atlanta for the team, making a sale to TNSE somewhat inevitable.
The team will play in the Southeast Division for the 2011-2012 season, keeping Atlanta’s place in the division.
No word on a team name, although previously TNSE officials said it would be a Manitoba-based moniker. Jets apparently is not in the running.
Sidelined by the sale: Thrashers President Don Waddell, who will not be accompanying the team to Winnipeg.
As reported, it looks like the Manitoba Moose (AHL) will end up in St. John’s.
RELATED STORIES: Will Winnipeg make most of second shot at NHL?; Thrashers not out of Atlanta — yet; Atlanta-to-Winnipeg rumors gaining steam; Spirit finally faces inevitable: Thrashers may need new home
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