Blues Sold For $100M

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Former college basketball star Bill Laurie and his wife, Wal-Mart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie, bought the St. Louis Blues and Kiel Center for $100 million.

"We've been searching for the right professional sports program for a number of months," Bill Laurie said Tuesday. "It's incredible that the opportunity was literally in our back yard."

The Lauries unsuccessfully bid $400 million for the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, the NBA's Denver Nuggets, and their new home, the Pepsi Center. The deal fell deal fell through when shareholders of Ascent Entertainment Group, which owned the sports properties, filed suit, claiming the sale price was as much as $150 million too low.

The Kiel center cost $135 million and the Blues is valued at $100 million, but the former owner, Clark Enterprises were hampered by debt and some bad signings. They claim to have pumped $70 million into the team in recent years. The Lauries will take on the $96 million debt on Kiel Center.

Bill Laurie admits that he has never attended a hockey game and knows next to nothing of the sport.

"Although I am new to the hockey world, I enjoy all kinds of sports." Laurie said.

Laurie wasn't ruling out pursuing an NBA franchise for the city.

"Let's go one thing at a time," he said. "I guess if an NBA possibility came along, we would take a look at it. But I can honestly tell you today our focus is on hockey."

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