Cincinnati courts Bandits no deal, Caggiano says

Cincy Gardens owner says he has 'deal in principle'

February 22, 1997|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Jerry Robinson, owner and operator of the Cincinnati Gardens, says he has a "deal in principle" to purchase the Bandits and move them to the Ohio city to play in the American Hockey League next season.

Bandits owner Mike Caggiano denies that a deal has been struck or is in the works, and says that he plans to have the Bandits begin their third season in Baltimore come October.

Reportedly, the only reason Robinson uses the term "deal in principle" at this point is AHL owners would have to approve three things: the sale of the franchise, the group of Cincinnati investors involved and the 10,500-seat Gardens arena as a home site.

The story broke in the Cincinnati Enquirer yesterday, quoting AHL sources.

"Yes, I've been contacted by Cincinnati and a couple of other cities, too," Caggiano said yesterday. "But what was said couldn't even be considered preliminary discussions."

Robinson said: "I can't say anything definite about the situation until the middle of March."

While speculation about a possible move has increased, Caggiano has been awaiting approval of his bid for an expansion franchise in the East Coast Hockey League, which would play its games in Upper Marlboro.

"I'm in the process of working out a lease arrangement for the Show Place Arena and all this business has delayed me," Caggiano said. "I probably won't have this wrapped up until next Tuesday. The ECHL is well-satisfied with my financial condition, believe me."

Pub Date: 2/22/97

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