KATZ TAKES HAMILTON

 

File this under "there has to be something more to this than we know." According to numerous media outlets, Daryl "Kay-Z" Katz "is working on a deal to take control of Copps Coliseum and Pan Am Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario."

According to a CTV report:

"The owner of the Edmonton Oilers Daryl Katz is working on a deal to take control of Copps Coliseum and Pan Am Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario.

Katz is in Hamilton Tuesday to discuss a non-binding memorandum of agreement with council. This deal could potentially lead to a licence to operate both Copps Coliseum and the yet to be built Pan Am Sports Stadium.

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

Reports say the goal for Katz 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.

There have been previous reports of Waterloo billionaire Jim Balsillie’s quest to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes and relocate them to Hamilton. It’s not clear what kind of impact this new memorandum of understanding will have on those negotiations. Hamilton city council has scheduled a press conference for later Tuesday afternoon. It’s expected that the Katz Group will speak publicly about the possible agreement as well."

ANALYSIS

Now before we get our collective underwear in a giant knot and think Katz is positioning the team to potentially leave the City let’s just put that bag of worry down for the moment.

The Oilers are among the least likely teams to move in the NHL. 200 plus sellouts in a row – with many last minute ticket sales going to a "Mr. D Katz" – coupled with about 10 NHL teams that actually SHOULD be moving but can’t, pretty much rules this out.

Phoenix has no business being in Phoenix and they can’t leave. The Oilers? Never.

Was this a Billionaire cock block Katz (1) v Balsillie (0)?

Is it a way for Katz to get a new arena without having to get one built? Imagine a series of Apache helicopters flying it into Downton Edmonton with Katz standing on the roof of the Greyhound bus terminal and nodding with approval.

Or is Katz following in the steps of American Ballerpreneur Phillip Anschutz who owns numerous sports teams around the world including the LA Kings in addition to directly and indirectly owning dozens of sporting facilities around the world?

Watching a rich guy from a far is sort of like staring at one of those magic eyes. At first you think you see something, but upon closer inspection- POOF! – it’s something different altogether.

UPDATE: ARTICLE 2

With a januty tip of the cap to our boy Crooked, there is another take on Katz money moves, courtesy of the Hamilton Spectator:

"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. The group is at city hall today, asking council for time to come up with a business plan and proposal for the sports and concert facilities.

Patrick Laforge from theOilers’ group first approached council shortly after the Balsillie deal locking up Copps expired last fall. By April, he had a general agreement in place with HECFI to hold Copps for the group while they assembled a pitch.

That deal expires on July 1, and today’s meetings are an effort to extend that arrangement to give the group more time to develop a business case. LaForge said that after watching the Balsillie-NHL fight over an NHL team, they decided to move in and take a ”more professional and more strategic” approach to the city’s professional sports prospects.

He stressed this is not about moving the Oilers to Hamilton and there is no proposal  for an NHL team on the table. He said their involvement is about creating a facility that could support an NHL team. LaForge also suggested that Copps may be too old for an NHL team and that a new arena may have to be built."

Did Patrick Laforge just diss Jim Balsilie in an article that incorrectly identifies him as Cal Nichols in the photo? Who does this guy think he is exactly?

*cocks head back and laughs heartily at Laforge having the sack to diss Balsillie*

In any event this second take on things should dispel any concerns that Katz is doing anything beyond expanding his sports empire. If we had to bet – and bet we often do – we would say that Hamilton is going to get an NHL Team sooner or later, Katz knows this from his Uber-balling Owner meetings and is taking control of the arenas to later flip them to the evential owner of the Hamilton team at a profit.

And that is the story of how Katz made million #3,466.

*CUE DEEP OIL INSANITY*

  • Cosmo

    I’ll give DK the benefit of the doubt. Still it is curious. Does anyone know the length of the agreement for the farm team in Oklahoma?

    My consipricy theory would be that OK is pushing hard for one of the 5 failing NHL franchises. They have an 18,000 seat stadium, so maybe the baby oil need to move??

    Yeah, yeah…I’ll just go back to bed now…

    This is a pretty nice place to play if you’re on the Oilers Farm Team:

    http://www.okfordcenter.com/improvements/

  • The newspaper article provided by comment #7 (Crooked) states that both Katz and AEG are looking to take control of Copps in what looks to be a joint venture. I doubt that we’ll hear much discussion from fans of the Los Angeles Kings about any concern of their team moving to Hamilton.

    If AEG is involved as a joint venturer, of course Katz would want in, because AEG’s ownership of arenas is oftentimes a licence to print money.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I can see how the writing may be on the wall, with the US economy mired in a rather severe debt situation for the next couple decades the NHL would be wise to bring 3 stuggling US based franchises back into the Canadian market and a much more profitable scenario. If the NHL is not having to bankroll franchises on a regular bases this is a more viable league as a whole. With all the whispering of activity in Winnipeg and Quebec City. Mr.Katz must see some benifit to controlling that building before there’s a second NHL club in that southern Ontario hockey market

  • R.A. Slapshotzky

    If he gets anything of substance done in Hamilton, he gets Eastern press, raising his profile of trying to get an arena built in Edmonton.
    I think Katz will always be one step ahead of his opposition, and he will take the council to school if he has to… all day, everyday.

  • If he builds a palace overlooking Niagra Falls then the world is over here. His corporate offices & a big part of his business is in Ontario.

    A non story – a rich guy trying to get richer…

  • Dyckster

    How ’bout them Oilers?

    I heard we got Taylor Hall.

    I was gonna say ball_ _ but thought it inappropriate considering the circumstances.

    Wanye, where art thou?

  • R.A. Slapshotzky

    Win-win for Katz. No such thing as bad press.

    Katz will show city council how serious he is no matter what it takes. He wants to build an arena real bad, and this is just another fine tactic from the brilliant businessman to get his point across.

  • This sounds like a pretty text book “dick move” to me.

    “Oh hey Edmonton city council, so are you guys going to build me my new arena or what? Cause I’ve got this other place in Hamilton, and I mean, the Oilers can just play there instead, or whatever”.

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if this little venture is a means of raising capital to fund the Edmonton revitalization. I suspect that he may not even sell the building in a package, bur rather use annual revenues as a means of leveraging payments to the City of Edmonton.

    The guy is smarter than we know. It’s very odd that people think he’s going to black mail City Counsil into ensuring a new arena is built.

    I think this is just him putting his talk into action. Since we don’t have much commerce in Edmonton he had to look into another market… this is awesome

  • R.A. Slapshotzky

    Edmonton has no problem funded crap like a giant baseball bat, concrete view blocking walls beside shaw, wasted money for liberal arts splattered around with no qualms from tops dawgs in E -Town. You got a local billionaire (from Edmonton) that wants to improve the city genuinely and he has to jump through hoops to do so. Cheering for Katz on this one.

  • JohnQPublic

    If you’re building a sports entertainment empire it only makes sense that you have multiple properties to help you spread the overhead costs and gain bargaining leverage on contracts.

    Since the Oil is Darryl’s first love (and there’s no way he’s pulling a Peter Pocklington here – remember he was a fan and watched what happened to Peter and the Oil), you may think of this as a way to subsidize the Oiler team and to get a great window on Northlands’ financials.

    Sooner or later, Northlands has to negotiate on the new arena. Mr. Katz et al, will be able to call BS when Northlands starts padding the ledger.

    I don’t think this is bad news at all.

  • R.A. Slapshotzky

    Katz’s vision for downtown arena will probably not fly with voters if it is not an Omniplex idea /facility . If he incorporated existing Commonwealth facilities (as an Omniplex) and area , i’m sure this time it would pass . No to downtown , yes to Commonwealth . LOCATION, LOCATION , LOCATION . It may benefit Katz more than the consumer who buys into present project .

    I don’t like having to go downtown anymore than i have to now . I’d prefer it slightly outside the inner core so as public and private transportation are both viable options , if you catch the drift .

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    I will just say this for the record. I never liked the idea of a single businessman owning our team after the Edmonton Investor’s Group had to take it over and save it from extinction. The benefits from a group of local businesses owning the owners is far better than the potential negatives from having a single owner.

    No one would have ever believed that Peter Pocklington would ever sell Gretzky, and now he admits that he sold Messier, as well. NEVER would we have believed, until the day it happened, that our team’s owner would sell its superstars for cash. Let’s also remember that the same owner threatened to move our beloved team to a richer market at one point in time, too. We were ever so close to losing our team when things weren’t too rosy in the economic market for Canadian NHL teams at that time.

    I know Daryl Katz is not Peter Pocklington, but I just liked the security of knowing that there was no chance in hell the team would be moving. No matter how bad it got, or how much money they lost at that time there was no way they ever considered moving the team because it would be more profitable. (Kind of like the Green Bay Packers – if the team ever moved you would have to move the entire city/state then too, because it is owned by everyone – locally!) I, for the record, do not like having the Oilers’ owner pursuing an arena that can support an NHL team in another market – what would be a top-5 hockey market, financially speaking. On one hand he states that this is not about moving the Oilers (gee, thanks for clearing that up!) and that there is no proposal for bringing in an NHL team on the table. Then we learn that he is funding a study into the viability of an NHL team in that city…so they are talking out of both sides of their mouths there. Unless I am missing something it is not allowed for an owner to either own or be involved with two NHL franchises at the same time.

    This is leverage, plain and simple, and I don’t like the fact that we are being threatened, however subtly, that our Oilers might be moved if we don’t cave in to certain demands.

    Leave the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton – and don’t ever threaten us with that again.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    Be careful this could be the next Baltimore colts where the team just picks up and leaves Katz owns the team doesn’t have a lease agreement for how long the team has to be in edmonton, either build an arena now with co-operation from Katz or we will be in Quebec City’s shoes doing it ourselves trying to entice the lighting owner to set up shop here