Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Still think the Oilers don't turn much of a profit?

Edmonton's billionaire, Daryl "Money money money money -- MON-EY" Katz, has just offered $170 million for the Edmonton Oilers, according to this here Journal story.

The relevant info: this is up $25 million from his last official bid (and $20 million up from a second, "unofficial" bid he made, which I guess means he hid behind a potted plant and whispered it into Larry M. Makelki's ear while Makelki was eating the Lobster Bisque at the Hotel Macdonald one day or something). It's also up $56 million from what the team originally cost (if you add together the $100 million dollar asking price and the $14 million dollar cash call), a pretty tidy profit for seven years' work.

That kind of money makes me think Katz has quite the hard-on for the team, and I assume it's at least partially an economic one: you assume a man does not get to be a billionaire by indulgently pissing away millions on boyhood whimsical dreams, or something. With that kind of devotion, I hope Katz actually gets it, if only so we can wave goodbye to Cal Nichols. And Katz' first statement as team owner better have nothing to do with anyone's wife other than his own.

14 comments:

James L. said...

I hope Katz gets it, too.

Let Cal Nichols go back to keeping his hands out of the Edmonton taxpayer's cookie jar.

Mattstro Disastro said...

Worst case scenario, he challenges Balsillie to a race to see who can move a team into the arena in Hamilton first. This results in a tie, creating the talented-yet-terrible Predatoil.

I wish the sports world were as ridiculous as the inside of my head. By that I mean less so.

Lord Bob said...

You assume a man does not get to be a billionaire by indulgently pissing away millions on boyhood whimsical dreams, or something.

Let Cal Nichols go back to keeping his hands out of the Edmonton taxpayer's cookie jar.

Pleasure Motors and James are, in fact, two different people. However, I think it worthwhile to let these statements sit next to each other, if only to provoke thought on just how much of a white knight Katz is likely to be.

Pleasure Motors said...

To be fair, after this last season, I might be intrigued if Peter Pocklington expressed interest in buying the team.

Let us have some hope, if only for just a little while.

Devin said...

a man does not get to be a billionaire

That's the key right there - Billions. The guy doesn't care about a few mil/yr that the Oil could drag in. He has his eyes on a major downtown development that (I can only assume) he'll get significant tax dollars to fund. All the while Mandel will claim it's an "investment" to revitalize the core or some such.

Look at what Balsille had up his sleeve with Hamilton - he had them basically giving him the keys to the city when he offered to bring a hockey team. These guys know the teams make $, but the real dollars come with owning (the rights to) a major sports/concert/convention venue, hotel, and all the rest of it.

Lord Bob said...

That's the key right there - Billions. The guy doesn't care about a few mil/yr that the Oil could drag in. He has his eyes on a major downtown development that (I can only assume) he'll get significant tax dollars to fund. All the while Mandel will claim it's an "investment" to revitalize the core or some such.

Now, that might be true. But let's look at it this way. Let's say that there are three possibilities: Mandel is willing to fund an entire complex, a significant fraction of a complex, or nothing.

If the answer is 'an entire complex', Katz will not be stupid enough to volunteer $500 million he doesn't have to spend just because he can.

If the answer is 'a significant fraction', then maybe the EIG wouldn't be willing to spend money that Katz would be willing to spend. Katz and the government pay for half (or whatever) each, and we're still out as much as we would be before.

If none, we're happy with Katz ownership if he decides to go this road. But does anybody really believe the answer is "none"?

Andy Grabia said...

Mandel is willing to fund an entire complex, a significant fraction of a complex, or nothing.

Mandel is willing? Is this money coming out of his piggy bank? If not, I'd appreciate it if he and everyone else acknowledged that it is OUR money, and that WE may not be so WILLING.

Carry on.

Steve said...

It's quite possible that Katz plans on using the Oilers as the centrepiece of a new economic empire, with whatever public money the various levels of government are willing to provide. I'm certainly not discounting the possibility.

But it's also possible that Daryl Katz is a hockey fan who's willing to overpay a (for him) insignificant amount to acquire a non-money-losing asset that will satisfy his hockey kingpin fantasies.

I mean, he's done very well off of drugstores, but not a lot of Canadian kids grow up dreaming of running a pharmacy empire.

Baroque said...

Apparently the Oilers are now number seven in revenue, too. They should be profitable with that much money coming in.

http://www.canuckscorner.com/weblog/nhllog/
(post title is "Gushing Money")

mike w said...

I wouldn't necessarily count on Katz to shake up the old boys club if the team truly goes tits up - apparently he's pretty good buddies with Lowe and LaForge.

Devin said...

Steve- you're right, it could be that simple. But if Lord bob's #1 (yikes) or #2 were correct, I can't see how he would balk at buying up what will become the newest, most modern portion of downtown Edmonton at a discount. If Mandel is going to drop public money on such a beast it would be a no-brainer for him. He's too rich not to start holding some infrastructure - most guys in his snack bracket start branching out.

Oh, and let's be honest here- his big margins have been made in online drug sales to the US...

epi said...

In other news: Conklin signs with Pittsburgh for a year ($500,000). Is their defense good enough to make him look good?

Silly question.

uni said...

I mean, he's done very well off of drugstores, but not a lot of Canadian kids grow up dreaming of running a pharmacy empire.

Speak for yourself bub. I want my pharmaceutical empire, and I want it now dammit.

Doogie said...

Speak for yourself bub. I want my pharmaceutical empire, and I want it now dammit.

I don't think he meant recreational.