Oilers' Owner Thinkin' CFL?

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I'm not sure what to make of this:

Oilers talking Copps, stadium with the city

http://www.thespec.com/News/BreakingNews/article/798487

[i]Edmonton Oilers billionaire owner Daryl Katz and entertainment giant AEG are looking at taking control of Hamilton’s Copps Coliseum and the future Pan Am stadium.

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He said he had not talked to the Ticats but fully intended to.

He said he loves the West Harbour site and would also be interested in a soccer team for the facility.[/i]

Katz looks to take control of Hamilton arena

[url=http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100629/edm_katz_100629/20100629/?hub=EdmontonHome]http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local ... montonHome[/url]

[i]CTV News has learned AEG, an American consultant group helping the Katz Group put together the arena district design here in Edmonton, also spoke with councillors Tuesday. The group has also commissioned a survey in Hamilton on the viability of an NHL team in that city.

Reports say the goal for the Katz Group right now seems to be taking control of the potential arrival of a relocated or expanded NHL team. There are suggestions this might also be an attempt to put pressure on the Alberta government to support a new arena in Edmonton's downtown core.

"This is not about Edmonton, this is not about the Oilers, this is about Hamilton," he told media Tuesday afternoon.[/i]

Oilers owner should sign location agreement with city

[url=http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2010/06/29/14561216.html]http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey ... 61216.html[/url]

[i]On Tuesday, Katz received the unanimous approval of Hamilton City Council to enter into a non-binding memorandum of understanding toward obtaining lease control of the Copps Coliseum and other venues.

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I believe that Katz Entertainment Holding Corporation (as in holding hands with AEG out of Los Angeles?) has targeted the Southern Ontario market — “the Copps Coliseum, possibly the Convention Centre, Hamilton Place and a number of parking lots and a yet to be built Pan-Am Games stadium? in the words of LaForge, to do major sports and entertainment business.

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It may even position Katz to buy the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from Bob Young, who doesn’t like the proposed location of the new Pan-Am Stadium which LaForge said he loved, and/or buy a soccer team to move into the Pan-Am stadium.

The suggestion was also that Copps was an old building that needed to be replaced with a big new one and it’s not such a big jump to identify the proposed Pan-Am stadium site with an AEG L.A. Live type development like Katz is trying to put together for Edmonton. [/i]

Could it be that an NHL owner has decided he wants to diversify into the CFL? What might Bob Young think of a partnership with this group?

Discuss! Discuss!

Clearly Katz is a billion times shrewder than all of us put together (in terms of $, that is), so he may have some insight that the NHL is close to moving a second team into southern Ontario - maybe a few NHL shaky teams on the horizon he knows about?

Being a toasted NHL Owner with a lot of clout, he could very well be permitted to claim that territory, much like franchisees do for restaurant chains. He isn't an outsider like Balsillie. Of course MLSE will have something to say about that.

Of course, it could very well be a ploy...the city pulled out a lot of stops when the Oilers were so close to packing their bags for Houston.

I really doubt the Oilers would ever move - unless the city starts to bleed population like Detroit or Buffalo.

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Here's my take:

Are the oilers moving to Hamilton? The answer is no. The NHL doesn't want them there, the city of Edmonton would fight it, and there's no reason to think that the oilers could get a more valuable long-term deal in Hamilton than they could in Edmonton.

The maple leafs don't want and NHL team in Hamilton. Therefore, the NHL doesn't want an NHL team in Hamilton. What better way to keep one out than to have someone "in the club" become the operator of the only appropriate venue? Not only that, the operation agreement would probably include a non-compete clause where the city would agree not to build a second arena that could draw business away from Copps. So the NHL would be very happy with this arrangement.

Katz Entertainment Corp wants to expand its holdings. They're not allowed to operate a second NHL team, but I'm sure they wouldn't mind operating an AHL team in a building they control. I believe their current farm team is somewhere in the states, and Hamilton would represent an improvement. The Bulldogs are Montreal's farm team, a poster in the Ticat forum suggested they might be more successful in Quebec City. Also, if they were the operator of the building they'd receive the revenues from all the other events that are held at Copps and probably do a better job than the current operators. Controling the stadium would give them entertainment events to operate year-round. CFL and NASL games alone would add 30 events, and outdoor concerts and international matches would be the icing on the cake. They'd be able to spread their fixed costs over more time and more events. So Katz could make a pile of money on this deal.

Unless Bob Young can become part of this partnership, he's the big loser here. He's been losing money on the Cats for years, my guess is in the hope of eventually getting a new venue that could make some money. If the city of hamilton decides to do business with Katz, Bob will have no choice but to swallow those losses and either sell the team to Katz or fold it for lack of a proper venue. So Bob needs to be on his toes and ensure that he's not muscled out.

Doin's are a transpirin' in Hamilton. With this July 8th Pan Am deadline looming, I have no idea how this is going to play out.

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Holy Smokes, Lefko sees this as a big powerplay:

Lefko: Katz, Hamilton mayor make big play

[url=http://www.sportsnet.ca/football/cfl/2010/06/29/lefko_katz_hamilton/]http://www.sportsnet.ca/football/cfl/20 ... _hamilton/[/url]

BY PERRY LEFKO

[i]Edmonton Oilers' owner Daryl Katz is looking to become a major player in Hamilton by buying Copps Coliseum and committing to a stadium complex for the 2015 Pan American Games while developing a multi-purpose business/retail infrastructure around it. Sources told sportsnet.ca he's also looking to purchase the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, even though the CFL club isn't for sale.

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According to a source, Young only learned of Katz's plan on Monday night and may feel undermined by what has happened behind his back.

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Katz is believed to be primarily concerned about developing a business/entertainment complex at the West Harbour site and owning the Ticats is a secondary interest. If he was successful in developing the West Harbour area, the stadium could be an add-on facility for events besides just football.[/i]

I like Katz and like what he's trying to do for the Oilers in Edmonton, but I hope Bob Young continues to own the Tiger Cats. He was the saviour of the team and has been losing money on them for a while, I hope they get a new stadium and we get to see him turn the bottom line around.

This is purely a negotiating ploy by Katz to extract the $400 million he wants from the City of Edmonton for his new Oilers arena. It is beyond laughable that he, or anyone else, would want to invest hundreds of millions to redevelop the decrepit waterfront in downtown Hamilton...so he can operate minor league soccer and hockey franchises? In Hamilton?? :lol:

Nobody can muscle out Bob Young. He owns the Ticats and if Hamilton won't build him a proper CFL stadium he could move the team to London, Quebec City or Moncton. Neither Katz or the city council can force him to sell the Ticats unless he chooses to.

I could see Katz wanting to put Edmonton's AHL team in Hamilton, it would probably end up being closer to Edmonton and not cost as much to run as someone obscure down south. I don't think there's any real intention to move or put an NHL team there.

I disagree.

This doesn't work as leverage against the city of Edmonton. The city is smart enough to know that the NHL was willing to lose millions instead of letting a team move to Hamilton. If Katz were threatening to relocate, the LAST place he would pick would be Hamilton.

I don't think it's such a crazy idea to put a little money into a sports/retail/entertainment hub in Hamilton. Most notably, there's already been $100M in public money contributed to a multiuse stadium facility. Copps is already built and would likely be more profitable with an experienced sports firm operating it. If one company became the operator of both entertainment venues (arena and stadium) plus a whole bunch of parking lots in the area, PLUS retail and other entertainment components between the two venues, they could probably make a sweet return on thier investment.

If Hamilton won't build bob a stadium, you can bet that London and Quebec won't either. Besides, I think Bob has a pretty deep commitment to his Hamilton roots and wouldn't be so interested in operating a team anywhere else. If this powerplay is for real, I think we'll see Bob's mettle put to the test.

From the Edmonton Sun:

Late Tuesday afternoon, Oilers president Patrick LaForge addressed the media from Hamilton’s airport and assured reporters that this is strictly a business decision that doesn’t affect the hockey club.

LaForge said he and representatives from global entertainment group AEG met with Hamilton city council Tuesday to request a “non-binding memorandum of understanding? for an option to lease and operate a number of sports facilities for a period of time.

Those facilities include the Copps Coliseum hockey arena and the yet-to-be-built Pan Am sports stadium, the future home of the Tiger Cats CFL team. The agreement is not yet set in stone, LaForge added.

While he agreed that this meeting was “optically not perfect,? LaForge made it clear that the Oilers are not going anywhere.

“This is not about the NHL, this is not about the Oilers relocating, this is not about Edmonton,? he said.

“It is purely a business strategy.?


http://www.edmontonsun.com/news/edmonton/2010/06/29/14558956.html

AEG owns a number of buildings including the Staples Centre in LA and the Sprint Centre in Kansas City.

This is going to get interesting and test Bob Young no question. Katz could be given the keys to the city's entertainment development as long as he endorses west harbour for the PanAm Stadium which he has done. A desperation move by the city here as they see potentially Bob Young being able to convince the facilitator to not have the stadium at WH where the city wants it. Interesting Katz says he thinks Copps is too old to be worth renovating for the NHL, something to that effect so yes looking for his AHL team here, or maybe even an OHL team, both with some sort of scaled down Copps perhaps to make it more intimate. Not sure.

You would think the mayor would have learned a thing or two after dealing with Balsilie.

I don't think Bob will mind selling if he can get a fair price, however it will get ugly if Katz tries to rob Young. Its pretty clear that Bob is looking for 30 million for the team.

Bob Young can kiss his $30 million goodbye. There is no scenario where he can get his money back. The Ticats will lose at least another $10 million before the new stadium is completed. That is the reality, so the team has little financial value to anyone. But as long as Mr. Young sees some light at the end of the tunnel, that the Ticats could become a viable franchise with their new stadium, he might hang on. But take away that ray of hope and the Ticats can no longer exist in Hamilton.

people are clearly making a much bigger deal out of this than what it really is.

I new immediately that he wants to expand his business and make more money.

the Media blew this way out of proportion.

Go to the ticats forum and read Bob youngs latest thread, and tell me this isn't a big deal to him!

With only 9 days left to make a decision on the stadium, this just got way more complicated.

Katz wants to discuss the matter further in August, but the deadline on the pan-am stadium in 9 days away....

I don't expect bob young to be the ticats owner this time next year.

I was talking about Edmonton Oiler fans, not Hamilton

Here is my take reposted from the Ti-Cat forum.

I don't think this is about leveraging his position in Edmonton. He's outright saying there isn't plans to move the team, and he knows it will be a lot of time and work to get an expansion team for Hamilton in the eyes of the NHL, nevermind relocating a franchise with over 30 years of history. I think this is a case of Katz just wanting to get on the ground floor on the renewal of downtown.

I think he knows that a commercial or residential plaza build close to the Pan-Am stadium that he can run can make him cash, and knows how to properly market it, especially given his expertise in sports franchises. I think he knows Soccer is starting to get more and more popular in Canada and if he can replicate the success of TFC, the Whitecaps or the Impact he stands to increase his own popularity (assuming Bob doesn't beat him to the punch and is still considering a USL team) and base.

That and the Oilers' farm team has been jumping from city to city quite a bit in recent years. They've found a new home in Oklahoma, but if it doesn't take off he may be considering on working out another deal with Montreal to make the Bulldogs, Edmonton's farm team again. Especially considering there are whispers of moving to Laval. That and if somewhere 5 or 10 years down the road, Gary finally realizes the southern experiment is a failure, being inside the NHL already and possibly getting a team that would benefit his stake wouldn't hurt either.

We'll have to see how this plays out, as nothing is written in stone yet, but no matter what happens, it is still good news that someone with his wealth is interested in Hamilton.

Let me also add to it, that perhaps Katz does have some inside information about NHL expansion/relocation plans. Perhaps 5 or 10 years down the road, if Hamilton once again becomes a possibility Katz would not mind being on the ground floor of things. I mean, if he can break even with an AHL team, it would be a worthwhile potential investment. I think Katz knows if Hamilton will ever get a team, it will have to whisper it's way to success behind closed doors and not in public court battles, that adds to Gary's bad reputation here in Canada.