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Report: Possible Pistons sale accelerating search for Lightning buyer



The plan by Karen Davidson, widow of former Lightning owner Bill Davidson, to explore a sale of the NBA's Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) has accelerated efforts by Lightning owners and the NHL to find a buyer for the Tampa Bay franchise, sources told Sports Business Daily.

Oren Koules and Len Barrie borrowed $100-million to buy the Lightning from PS&E and Galatioto Sports Partners in 2008. Multiple sources said that they have defaulted on that loan. Currently, Koules and Barrie are looking to put together separate groups to buy the team, and the league is searching for a third potential bidder, sources told Sports Business Daily.

To help the Lightning cover their January payroll obligations, the NHL has advanced the club revenue-sharing money for the '09-10 season, multiple sources said. The advances are the second the Lightning have received to cover payroll, according to the story. In April '09, the club got an advance of $2-million from broadcaster SunSports to help make its last payroll of the season, sources said.

[Last modified: Saturday, February 20, 2010 12:15am]


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