This is a post for the douchbages, assholes, scumbags and jerkoffs who think I’m too hard on Joshua Harris and the Sixers. It’s also a post for a crowbarred Kanye reference.
Before you go believing all that passionate. intense. proud. nonsense from J-Har and his legion of rich people, here’s yet another example that he buys sports teams much more so for the bottom line than the hey, cool, I’m a billionaire and want to experiment with a valuable toy thing.
Speaking to Bloomberg (because, silly fan, all sports owners give their exclusive interviews to Bloomberg) about owning the Devils, he admitted that he was more interested in the arena than the, you know, hockey team:
Harris and David Blitzer, a New Jersey native and senior managing director of Blackstone Group LP, purchased the National Hockey League franchise last month in an agreement that also gave the partnership control of the Prudential Center.
Located three blocks from Newark’s main transportation hub, the $385 million Prudential Center was opened in 2007. Harris called it “one of the most modern arenas in the country.”
“And we think that with the new capital structure and the new ownership group and the new management that we put in, that we’ll be able to make this arena really realize its potential financially,” Harris said in a Bloomberg Television interview.
Harris, who bought the National Basketball Association’s Philadelphia 76ers in 2011, acquired the NHL team in a deal valued at about $300 million.
Harris has already made changes to the Devils’ business personnel, hiring Scott O’Neil as chief executive officer. The former president of Madison Square Garden Sports, O’Neil is also the chief executive of the 76ers.
I’m sure all 665 Devils fans (and the one fiery guy who keeps pursuing a copyright claim on their name) are thrilled that the new owner was more interested in the packaging and than the product. You know, he didn’t buy an iPhone… he bought a hockey franchise.
What can you do with their building, Josh?
“If you’re a big concert event and you stop in New York, you’re probably going to play one of MSG and Barclays, and this arena,” Harris said of the Devils’ home.
Located about 11 miles (18 kilometers) from New York City, the Prudential Center has been a one-tenant building since the Nets moved to Brooklyn prior to the 2012-13 season. Harris said the venue’s concerts and special events would be enough to sustain the building without a second professional team.
“Having a basketball team, an NBA team, in this arena is not in the business plan right now,” Harris said. “We don’t think it’s necessary.”
Can’t imagine where he would find one though if he ever decides to start looking when Jay Z tells him that he’d rather play The Rock three nights in a row instead of moving his stage over to Newark and Josh gets stuck with a half-filled arena for Kanye’s concert.*
And boy, wouldn’t it be convenient if O’Neil could have just one office, in one profitable building. For two teams.
*I went a really long way to make that horribly-conceived Jay-Z-is-better-than-Kanye reference. I’m not even sure what I was trying to do there. I should get points just for showing my work, no?
H/T to (@robshipley)