MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) _ Cobb County officials have approved $16 million for a possible arena site in an effort to try to lure an NHL team.

Both the Cobb County Commission and the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority voted Tuesday to purchase the 11.3-acre site.

County officials have been working with Richard Adler, who earlier this year moved the International Hockey League's Atlanta Knights to Quebec City.

Adler has been talking to troubled NHL franchises about relocating to Cobb County, but a $150 million, 20,000-seat arena still would have to be built by the county, the team or a joint venture.

But most observers consider the effort a long shot because Turner Broadcasting System Inc. is hoping to finalize a $215 million arena deal in downtown Atlanta by the end of this month.

Turner hopes the arena will house both its Atlanta Hawks basketball team and an NHL expansion team it would own.

Turner Sports president Harvey Schiller said that once the downtown deal is completed, Turner will formally apply for an expansion team. The NHL has said it generally prefers to enter new markets with an expansion franchise rather than a team relocation.

Cobb County Commission Chairman Bill Byrne said he thinks the chances are slim of the county landing a franchise, but he thinks the land purchase is worth it.

``I don't think it's ever going to happen, but I think (the land purchase is) a sound business investment,'' Byrne said Tuesday. ``This will be the most sought-after site in Cobb County.''

If the site does not become home to an arena, the county hopes to use it for a performing arts center or amphitheater, or sell it later at a profit.