Soooooo, that headline isn't accurate to what I'm aiming to write about here. In fact, Edmonton megagajillionaire Daryl Katz is probably wringing his golden hands together in a swivelly leather chair as we speak, but this headline rhymed and my other options didn't.
Monday, January 28
It looks like the deal is done here. The Edmonton Journal reported that after some of the mini-bosses on the EIG agreed to sell their shares at a suddenly inflated price Katz has over 60% ownership, which is what he said he'd close at, though he wants more. I just hope he doesn't get it, then freak out while trying to resign both Tom Gilbert and Joni "Revenge Offer Sheet" Pitkanen and pull a Hudsucker out his 90th floor window. But that's all fine and good. He's got what he wants (basically) and so we don't have to worry about the sad remaining semi-millionaires left to stand in his way. What I'm confused about is the fact that every EIG member that hasn't agreed to sign has given the same reasons, they are concerned about his desire to keep the team in Edmonton. And not one person in the media has even mentioned how ridiculous a notion that is. Here's why that concern no longer makes sense in today's world.
1st. The $. At this point the Canadian dollar is on par if not slightly stronger than the American one, there is no longer money to be made shifting the team to a US market, nor is there money to be saved by not having to pay the difference. Add to that the fact that Alberta is the richest province in Canada and that leads to...
2nd. The fans. You show me one other place in all professional sports where a team can have the year it had last year PLUS the year it is having this year and still sell out every game, making a profit in the process. And that's with one of the smallest arena's in the league. You add on another two thousand people and the average $5000 that a season of their ticket buying gets you and you tell me that Winnipeg or North Carolina is a better market.
3rd. The competition. Well I know the Oil Kings are doing well in ticket sales... and um, do the Trappers still play? No, they were sold and the Cracker Cats moved in. Right? How are they doing? Doesn't matter. There are no other entertainment options in Edmonton other than live theater that is pulling in up to 200 people a night, and watching people get stabbed with actual kitana swords on Whyte Avenue after 10pm on a wednesday. They may have added another time to that show, yeah, just looked it up, stabbings at 10 and midnight. Even then though!
4th. Katz is from Edmonton, lives in Edmonton, and has a mansion made of old Canadian $2 bills and pure laughter built in Edmonton. Why would he even want to move?
5th. The selling price. So if there's no benefit to moving the team, maybe selling the team is his angle. This is probably the biggest since Katz is supposed to a money grubbing jerk, right? The Penguins, with the best young team in hockey since the original Oilers, were willing to sell for $175 million last year. Katz is now offering $200 million for a crappy team doing crappily. What's he gonna make selling to some other billionaire?
Soooo, its not like back when Peter Puck was trying to sell the team and could use moving the team out of Edmonton as leverage. There is no other place that is a better fit for the Oil, no other city that gives a damn about hockey, and no other locale that is a guaranteed money maker. Maybe that's why the EIG wants to hang on, huh?
Posted by Washingtron at 11:06 AM