Dave Checketts stepping to the plate and making a solid offer to buy the Blues and, just as importantly, Savvis Center is great news for fans of the Note. While a home-grown buyer like Shanahan Jr or the Sansone group would have offered the comfort of knowing that the team will not move, this is almost as good. As the Savvis Center and the Blues were being offered seperately, there was the chance that someone would buy the team only and move them.
Yes, there was a $60 million penalty involved with breaking the Savvis lease, but really, if you can afford $140 million plus for a freakin' hockey team, is $60 million more really that much of a barrier? If you can spare $140 mil and you're from Seattle and you LOVE hockey and you LOVE Seattle, why wouldn't you buck up and move 'em? Spend the $60 mill that you didn't spend on buying the rights to the arena and it doesn't seem that far out of line.
When you're talking these kind of dollars, you've moved into funny-money land and numbers don't really mean much anymore. So you've overspent on your toy hockey team by $20-$30 million. Who really cares?
But back to Checketts. I wish this had taken place before all the free agency zaniness, but this is still pretty good. With a whole season and a low payroll, the franchise can start putting together a real squad almost immediately. Granted, there isn't much of value left to trade (I think Weight and Tkachuk should stay around), but there will be teams out there that need to make moves. New Jersey comes to mind as a team that needs to dump some salary. Also next summer, despite a weak free agent crop, the Blues will have cash available.
Another interesting side note is Checketts history with the NBA. A GM of the Utrah Jazz and CEO of the NY Knicks, the guy has better NBA bloodlines than NHL lines. Even if he can't personally afford it, as the owner of the Savvis Center and plenty of money to be made as such, he could lure an NBA franchise to the Gateway City as landlord, if not as owner. An interesting proposition, I've often wondered how a basketball team would do here. I imagine that if there was at least one personable face-of-the-franchise type of player on the roster, STL fans would rally around him and his team, just like every other sport here. Build from there.
Anyway, exciting times for Blues fans.
In Game Time news, spoke to a printer guy and made more progress on the actual magazine. I hope to have a viable paper ready for the home opener. Then I plan to test my ability to turn this thing out for a few games. If all goes well, we'll roll out in time for Nov 2. That's a pretty big week for the boys in blue as the Blackhawks, Chris Pronger and the Oil and the hated Wings all show up that week. The following week may even see the first Game Time for football, as Kurt Warner and the crappy Cardinals show up for their re-match. I'm only a little less crazy for football, so I'd like to see if there's any interest in a game day magazine over at the Ed.