This morning, the Toronto Star finds an economics prof who specializes in moneyball tomes to speculate that Your Dallas Stars may well wind up in Chapter 11. Because, after all, it was but one month ago that Tom Hicks willingly defaulted on $525 million in loans related to the Texas Rangers and Stars while he looks for takers interested in partnering up. But as would-be owners tussle over the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes, there's concern that the Stars could follow suit, as Hicks is also burdened with heavy debt -- not only in Arlington and Dallas, but also, of course, England, where the British government said recently that Hicks and Liverpool FC co-owner George Gillett engaged in "ludicrous levels of borrowing."
There's been little word from Hicks since the news broke, and the LeMaster Group tells the Toronto paper there's "nothing" new to report. Which is why Andrew Zimbalist -- author of such books as May the Best Team Win: Baseball Economics and Public Policy and The Bottom Line: Observations and Arguments on the Sports Business -- tells the Star to keep an eye on the Stars:
It could be the second team in Chapter 11. When Hicks put himself in that circumstance, he's creating a lot of difficulty for himself. He's going to squirm a little bit. Whatever leverage he had, he loses some of it. ... You go to your creditors and try to re-organize your loans. [If] they say no deal, you can declare bankruptcy or sell the franchise or go to other banks and borrow more money."
Update: Sports Illustrated today lists Tom Hicks as the second-worst owner ... in Major League Baseball. As an NHL owner, he doesn't rank in the top or bottom five.
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