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Slay says city will help Lauries find local buyer

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says the city will help in the effort to find a local buyer for the Blues hockey franchise.

Bill and Nancy Laurie-the Wal Mart heirs who own the Blues-said Friday they want to sell.

The team has lost $60 million over the past two years. That's due in part to the NHL player's strike and lockout.

But Mayor Slay says the high ticket taxes don't help, either. At 12.6%, they're the highest of any pro sports team in the country.

"What we don't want to do is tax these teams out of existence," Slay said Friday. "Because apart from the direct taxes we get from the earnings tax, they pay a lot of other taxes."

The mayor says the city needs to get the Savvis Center's finances in order before trying to attract a new buyer.