Tag: Blues ownership situation

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More big news for St. Louis sports: Hulsizer agrees to buy Blues


The St. Louis Blues are on the verge of playing one of the most ignored games in their rich franchise history tonight, but their MLB neighbors won’t be the only big news makers on Oct. 28. Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Matthew Hulsizer agreed to buy the Blues today.

Hulsizer’s exact stake in the team isn’t clear yet, but Rutherford reports that he’ll be the majority owner.

The NHL’s Board of Governors still needs to put its rubber stamp on the deal, but Rutherford points out that Hulsizer already passed the sniff test when he was campaigning to own the Phoenix Coyotes. In other words, that shouldn’t be an issue.

With all due respect to the desert dogs, owning the Blues is a lower-risk endeavor for the Chicago businessman. The team is showing some solid promise with a roster heavy on young players, but it would be great to see Hulsizer bump up their budget much like Terry Pegula has done with the Buffalo Sabres.

We’ll keep tabs on the sale being made official. Much like a horror movie villain, a done deal can turn into a big headache at the drop of a hat. Still, it seems pretty safe to say that Hulsizer will be the new owner of the Blues.

Dave Checkett expects St. Louis Blues to have new owners by beginning of 2011-12 season

Dave Checketts

When it comes to ownership changes in the NHL, it seems like the St. Louis Blues are experiencing a relatively smooth transition. Obviously, it’s early in the game, but the Blues’ alteration seems more like the peaceful change in power seen by the Buffalo Sabres instead of more tumultuous dealings for the Dallas Stars (or even worse, the Phoenix Coyotes).

(Of course, it’s important to reiterate that someone can throw a curveball at anytime before this is over.)

As Joe discussed in a post earlier this month, the Blues franchise itself is on solid footing so it seems like they won’t have much trouble when it comes to finding a new owner. In fact, the situation seems sound enough that current owner Dave Checketts agreed with the earlier reports, saying that the team will probably be in new hands by the beginning of the 2011-12 season.

The Canadian Press gathered Checketts’ thoughts on the matter and provided some behind the scenes information on the situation.

“We expect to have something done by the start of the season. … We expect to have an orderly sale process. It’ll be done by the start of the season,” Checketts told reporters on Wednesday evening.

Boston-based Game Plan LLC is conducting the sale of the franchise, just as it did when Checketts and his group SCP Worldwide along with majority investor TowerBrook Capital Partners, L.P. purchased the team for US $153 million in 2006.

“There’s a lot of interest and I really think Game Plan is really doing a great job with the people we’re working with. There will be a successful conclusion,” said Checketts, who also owns Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer and its stadium.

Forbes Magazine valued the Blues at $165 million in their annual report last year. The Blues, the lease to Scottrade Center and the team’s AHL affiliate in Peoria, Ill. are all up for sale and could fetch up to $200 million or more.

It’s unclear how much value the Peoria Rivermen would add to the overall package, but either way, Checketts could earn a nice amount of money if the deal goes for $200 million (considering his initial investment of $153 million). Of course, those numbers don’t take into account how much money Checketts put into the team during his run as the owner, either. Even with the team about to change hands, Checketts allowed the team to re-sign key players such as T.J. Oshie and also OK’d the addition of free agents including Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott.

Those players won’t break the bank, but they’re not exactly shopping in the clearance aisle like the Stars and other cash-strapped teams either. We’ll keep you up to date about the Blues’ ownership situation; hopefully it remains as stable as Checketts indicates.