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The Hamilton Spectator
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Monday May 11, 2009
The mayor expects Hamilton to lock up an arena deal with Jim Balsillie this week, saying the BlackBerry billionaire is the only one with a "bona fide proposal" before the city.

Fred Eisenberger said he is communicating with an anonymous second suitor, but he doesn't expect those talks will deter the city from reaching an agreement with Balsillie.

"Our main focus is and continues to be Mr. Balsillie. We intend to follow through and create an agreement with him that services his interest and the City of Hamilton. Any other discussions are, at this point, content," said Eisenberger.

"As far as I'm concerned there is nothing as real as Mr. Balsillie's proposal and that's the basis we're moving forward on."

Balsillie's spokesperson, Bill Walker, said his client, who is trying to bring the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton, treats his talks with the city as confidential, but looks "forward to continuing those discussions this week."

The Spectator reported on Saturday that a Vancouver-based hockey group is also interested in relocating the financially strapped Atlanta Thrashers to Hamilton.

An inside hockey source stated the group is led by Vancouver developer Tom Gaglardi. Source.

City, Balsillie close to deal
Center lower