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  • Tuesday, May 30, 2000

    Canucks continue to lose money

     VANCOUVER (CP) -- The Vancouver Canucks continue to lose money.
     
     Northwest Sports Enterprises Ltd, which owns the NHL club, announced Tuesday it had lost $34.4 million, before financing costs, for the nine months ended March 31, 2000, compared to a loss of $21.7 million for the same period in fiscal 1999.
     
     The company, however, will receive expansion dues of approximately $9.1 million next month from the Columbus and Minnesota franchises that will be entering the NHL next season. Northwest also expects to receive about $3.4 million through the NHL's Canadian Currency Assistance Program for the 1999-2000 season.
     
     These amounts will reduce the operating loss for the fiscal year to well below current levels.
     
     After financing costs, the loss was $42.8 million or $42.51 per share, compared to $27.3 million or $27.06 per share a year ago.
     
     The financing costs consist mostly of dividends payable on $118 million in preferred shares that Northwest majority owner John McCaw has bought to keep the team afloat since he acquired it in 1995.
     
     The dividends are not actually paid but are shown as an expense on the income sheeet.
     
     "The continued emergence of our younger players points towards a very promising future for the team," said Brian Burke, president and GM of the Canucks. "We remain focused on our long-term goal, which is to continue building this franchise into a Stanley Cup contender using the entry draft, player development, trades and acquisitions, while at the same time striving for financial stability."
     
     On the plus side, the Canucks' parent company, Orca Bay Sports & Entertainment, gains $160 million US from the sale of the NBA Vancouver Grizzlies.



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