Hockey: Balsillie is not the only Canadian in search of a team

By Vincent Brousseau-Pouliot
Lapresseaffaires.cyberpresse.ca
Published: June 23, 2009

There is not only Jim Balsillie in Canada that is attempting to buy a team of the national hockey League (NHL).

Several other Canadian millionaires currently watch books of American teams, according to a financial evaluator in the middle of professional sport.

According to Michael Rapkoch, President of the Sports Value Consulting firm ‘at least two or three Canadians’ watched NHL teams books lately. However, they did not contemplate moving a team in Canada without the endorsement of the NHL, as attempts to Jim Balsillie with the Phoenix Coyotes.

“People I know want to play under NHL rules”, said Michael Rapkoch, whose firm located in Texas has evaluated professional sports teams for 60 customers in the past 10 years. George Gillett particularly appealed to its services for the purchase of the 2001 Canadian.

Michael Rapkoch is expected to see several professional sports teams change hands within two years.

“The market will be very active in the next two years, he says.” I expect the sale of certain teams of the NHL, a team of football, basketball team and perhaps even of a major baseball team. Owners whose core businesses are not well will have to take a decision. What will do with their toys in professional sport? “Are they still able to fund their sports teams lost?”.

According to Forbes, the Nashville Predators Magazine sports blog, the St. Louis Blues and the Florida Panthers are more likely to have new owners in the coming months the NHL teams. In other professional sports leagues, owners of the L.a. Dodgers (baseball), the St. Louis Cardinals (baseball), the Memphis Grizzlies (basketball) (basketball) Indiana Pacers are also in a precarious situation.

According to Michael Rapkoch, potential buyers are reluctant to acquire an NHL team that loses money. According to Forbes, 12 of the 30 teams Bettman circuit made a deficit in 2007-2008. I spoke to people in Canada who want to buy a team, and’ the most important that they want to know is if team gains or loses money, said Michael Rapkoch. “Profits are the most important factor even if the selling price of a team is generally based on income.

There is also a difference between the price demanded by the owners and the prices offered by buyers. “This is the greatest divergence (market) currently, said Michael Rapkoch.” But there are at least two or three interested (Canadian) buyers. ‘Despite economic difficulties, hockey is always a sport too exciting to see in person and interesting to watch on television due to high definition.

Hockey fans hoping a seventh Canadian franchise – Winnipeg, Ontario or Quebec, the three markets likely-, Michael Rapkoch is not to give false hope. A Canadian owner more does not necessarily mean a Canadian team more. The evidence: Barrie Len, B.c., real estate magnate has bought half of the actions of the Lightning last
year while keeping the team in Tampa Bay.

“Many people want to buy an American team and move it to Canada, but teams have a long-term lease, and you cannot break a lease like that!”. You must also comply with the rules of the NHL, said Michael Rapkoch. It is as if you bought a McDonald’s at Hamilton and you want to move to Toronto City Centre because you would be more money. McDonald ‘s will not let you do. “It’s the same thing for an NHL franchise.”

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