Roger Communications of Canada apparently has watched Mike Ilitch in Detroit and thought, “we should do that.”
The company is trying to create a monopoly by owning every major sporting team in Toronto (the way, once the Pistons sale is complete, Ilitch will own every sporting team in Detroit except the Lions, and if you’ve watched a Lions game you understand why we don’t consider them a major league sports team anymore).
Rogers is looking to buy two-thirds ownership in Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, at a price of about $1.3 billion, according to the Toronto Star (via CBS Facts and Rumors). That would be the ownership stake currently in the hands of the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan. Yes, a bunch of teachers currently own the team.
With this move Rogers would own the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and a bunch of teams that people in Toronto care less about — the Raptors, Toronto FC soccer club and the Marlies, the Maple Leaf’s minor league affiliate. Rogers already owns the Toronto Blue Jays.
You may not know what Rogers is, but if you lived in Canada they would be your phone company. They are a major wireless telephone and home phone/internet company on the order of AT&T here in the states.
What this means is a deep pocketed and very stable ownership group for the Raptors. They have a passionate fan base but not one that has been rewarded with quality teams often, Rogers ownership stability could be a first step to changing that.