A Few Ownership Updates
photo © 2011 Matt Emerson | more info (via: Wylio)
After several pretty quiet months surrounding the state of the St. Louis Blues ownership, a few notes have come out over the past few days that are worth pointing out. First, it was reported by The Globe and Mail that businessman Matthew Hulsizer might be interested in purchasing the Blues after withdrawing his interest in the Phoenix Coyotes. Once that report came out, fans and and media alike began heavily speculating about the possible would-be owner. However, today Andy Strickland reports that the two sides might still be pretty far off financially.
Chalk this one up under the “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”.
News of a potential interested buyer is extremely exciting for fans that have been sitting, waiting for any (and I mean any) news regarding this situation. Following the reports that Hulsizer has moved on from the Phoenix organization, it really comes as no surprise that he would be interested in the Blues. After all, the Blues have a much larger fan base and have a better attendance record to go with it.
Due to the lack of news, the reports of Hulzier’s interest might have caused some of us to get ahead of ourselves. First, it has been reported that Checketts is seeking an offer somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million. Considering that the NHL was seeking a number well below $200 million for Phoenix, and Hulsizer couldn’t come to terms there, it really should come as no surprise that he isn’t desiring to pay anywhere close to $200 million – especially with the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire.
I’m not saying this isn’t a very exciting development but it is worth keeping the whole situation in perspective. The current group (TowerBrook Capital Partners) is driving a pretty hard bargain and asking a price that’s pretty tough to envision any savvy business person to agree to – hence he seemingly complete lack of interest the past few months. Clearly, Hulsizer is at the very least interested, as evidenced by him recently touring the Scottrade Center, but we shouldn’t jump the gun assuming that a deal will be reached based purely on his interest.
For starters, the current group will have to settle on a more realistic number if they want a serious buyer. There’s a very small group of people that will plunk down that type of money without seriously looking long and hard at the investment, and most of those people already own teams. Hulszier is a businessman and is looking to make a solid return on his investment (ROI). If he thinks he will have a tough time turning a profit, he won’t commit himself. He isn’t about to rush in and throw money around without carefully analyzing the situation from all angles.
Follow this one closely fans. Hulsizer may indeed be the next owner of our beloved Blues – just don’t expect him to agree to all the terms and conditions the sellers are looking for.