Report: Blues Could be Sold Before 2011-12
The Blues could be sold sometime in the coming weeks before the 2011-12 season, as reported by CBC.ca. This news comes on the heels of several reports stating that interest in buying the Blues has picked up in the last few weeks which has caused Checketts to believe a sale will be completed before the puck drops on 2011-12.
This isn’t exactly major news, but any news regarding potential movement in the hunt for a new owner is worth dissecting - especially when there isn’t much else going on.
As we get closer to the season, naturally interest in ownership is going to heat up. The organization went on the open market at arguably the worst time of the year – Spring. Attention was turning away from hockey and to baseball and the summer that lay ahead. Realistically, few people were turning their attention to hockey in the fall except for us writers and the die hard fan.
With free agency opening on July1st, suddenly interest in purchasing the Blues is on the rise as reportedly more investors have expressed interest. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise as the Blues are one of the best available commodities in the NHL world. They did (whether we believe it or not) sell out every home game last season. They do have a friendly payroll for a prospective investor to “buy low” on. They do have a wealth of young potential stars. What’s not to love?
Still, the price TowerBrook Capital is supposedly after (some $200 million) may be a bit too steep for most investors to swallow, especially considering Forbes valued the organization at $165 million last season. Of course, we imagine TowerBrook Capital is looking to up the ante by having the Blues, the Scottrade Center and Peoria all in one packaged deal.
Personally, I believe the Blues would benefit quite a bit from having their off-ice issues sorted well before the 2011-12 season gets going. The last thing this team needs is an issue away from the game itself interfering with their goal to return to the playoffs.
If the team is right on the bubble of being a buyer or seller when the trade deadline approaches, we want the ownership situation to be a distant memory that won’t come into play and tilt the management’s decision on whether they should make any moves.
I also believe the current group is driving a tough bargain by asking for $200 million, though I accept why they are starting so high. Like any sale, you start well above the number you expect to get so that you do eventually end on a number you are comfortable with with the price ultimately falls.
The increased interest in the Blues is welcome, but it remains to be seen how this situation will pan out. While I’m eager for a new owner, I think I speak for all of us when I say I’m content waiting until the right fit is found.
Dave Checketts. I’m torn here. I think he did well during his stay here, but now that he has taken on a fairly prominent role in the NBA, I’d like to see his time in the NHL come to an end. Whatever new ownership group takes over would be wise to not include Checketts in their plans. I really have no fault for what he has done here, but clearly by taking a deal to work in the NBA, the man has priorities and devotions elsewhere and shouldn’t be included in any new agreements.
And now, as has been said numerous times … we sit back, and wait.