Sale of Sabres to Hamister falls through

ESPN, via TSN, has reported that the sale of the Buffalo Sabres to Mark Hamister has fallen through. The article:
Mark Hamister’s bid to buy the financially troubled Buffalo franchise fell through after his failure to meet Monday’s NHL-set deadline, The Sports Network of Canada reported on its Web site.Mark Hamister’s bid to buy the financially troubled Buffalo franchise fell through after his failure to meet Monday’s NHL-set deadline, The Sports Network of Canada reported on its Web site.

Now, the forum is open for anyone to submit a bid for the team.

According to the report, the NHL will make a formal announcement later on Monday.

Hamister and majority partner Todd Berman will still be free to continue pursuing the Sabres. Rochester billionaire and failed gubernatorial candidate B. Thomas Golisano has continued to express interest in purchasing the Sabres, even though his initial bid was rejected by the NHL last November.

Hormoz Mansouri, a member of Golisano’s ownership group, said Golisano is prepared to jump back into the running on Tuesday morning.

“Our position has been as long as he’d had negotiations going on with the NHL, we would not entertain anything because, contractually, the NHL is obligated to talk to him,” said Mansouri. “After that, we will definitely sit down and talk.”

Golisano was on vacation and unavailable for immediate comment.

Since the league conditionally approved their bid, Hamister and Berman have spent three months trying to complete the deal on two fronts in a complex sale process. Along with seeking up to $40 million in public assistance from state, county and city governments, the prospective owners also needed approval from Adelphia Communications.

Adelphia, one of the nation’s largest cable television companies, is the Sabres’ largest creditor. The company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last summer, is owed between $130 million and $160 million in money former Sabres owner and former Adelphia CEO John Rigas used to buy and run the team in the 1990s.

On Saturday, Bettman expressed concern over whether Hamister and Berman will receive the public assistance package they say is needed for their purchase.

Bettman has previously said he would have “grave concerns” over the Sabres future in Buffalo beyond this season if Hamister and Berman failed to complete the deal.

4 Responses to Sale of Sabres to Hamister falls through

  1. caniacpack04 says:

    This really scares me. As a former resident of the greater Niagara region, I hate the fact that this team looks like it is going to move. Portland, you are getting a great franchise.

  2. SabresFanB says:

    The Sabres aren’t going anywhere. Erie County has just hired some hot shot lawyer to keep the Sabres right where they are. The NHL signed some pact with the Sabres after the HSBC Arena was built, guaranteeing that the Sabres stay in Buffalo for 25-30 years. I guess it’s pretty locked up too, so there is no way around it.

  3. adambuffalo says:

    I’m not sure what the original details were, but i believe the sabres have an agreement from when the arena was built saying that they cannot be moved until after the 2006 season. either way, there obviously are two groups trying to keep the sabres in buffalo and i doubt they will move anywhere. heck, why don’t hamister and golisan just join forces and purchase the sabres together. golisano is upset with nyc and i think he would put big bucks into the sabres to make sure they are better than the rangers and the isles (not that would take too much). regardless, the sabres aren’t going anywhere.

  4. dadancincowz says:

    The “agreement” is voided when adelphia, and the sabres declared bankruptcy.When the team is sold a new “agreement” must be signed.

    Golisano I think will buy the team. As he is the only other guy to look at it.

    If he doesn’t buy it,the team most likely won’t move as it’ll just fold.

    Allen hasn’t said much of anything. Why would he pay 70 mil+ for damaged goods when he could have (had) the Senators for just a little more?

    The league wanted this all along as a bargaining chip for the CBA. They don’t care about buffalo.

    ps. The Lawyer was hired by erie county to watch the bankruptcy procedings, not keep the sabres.

    pps. The 2006 you’re thinking of is when the buffalo bills can buy out of their “20 year lease.”

    Oh what fun that’ll be when ralph kicks the bucket.

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