Statement on Copps Coliseum NHL Lease Option



    HAMILTON, May 14 /CNW/ - There are several points regarding the Copps
Coliseum lease option arrangement that the Hamilton NHL bid team wishes to
clarify with media:
    "I am investing nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in buying an NHL
team to bring to Hamilton, and then will invest even more getting the team up
and running and making it an eventual Stanley Cup winner," said Jim Balsillie.
    "That's my dream and the dream of a lot of fans in southern Ontario.
Yesterday we took a big step towards that dream because we got approval for a
lease option of up to 32 years to rent space and play in the arena owned by
the City of Hamilton, locking in our commitment to that city" he added.

    
      -  At no time will Jim Balsillie request government infrastructure
         funds for Copps Coliseum or an NHL franchise.

      -  Copps Coliseum remains a city owned facility and as such the City of
         Hamilton is responsible for upkeep.

      -  Mr. Balsillie is not going to ask for nor accept any tax dollars
         whatsoever in operating subsidies.

      -  Mr. Balsillie does not have a "lease but no NHL team." Mr. Balsillie
         has agreed with the City on an exclusive "lease option." Should his
         bid to purchase the Coyotes succeed, he would exercise the lease
         option and only at that point would the actual lease be in place.

      -  Should Mr. Balsillie exercise the lease option he would fund the
         immediate Phase I renovations required to prepare Copps Coliseum as
         home to an NHL franchise.
    





For further information:

For further information: Bill Walker, Senior Vice President, Veritas
Communications Inc., walker@veritascanada.com, O (416) 482-2710, C (416)
558-8766

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JIM BALSILLIE

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