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Report: Devils sale could be approved Thursday

Aug 14, 2013, 9:58 AM EDT

Florida Panthers v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

A group led by billionaire Josh Harris’ efforts to purchase the New Jersey Devils from Jeff Vanderbeek for about $240 million seems to be going very well. In fact, it looks like the NHL’s Board of Governors might approve the sale tomorrow, according to a Bergen Record source.

There are also a pair of Star-Ledger sources who spoke on the issue, with one saying the deal would be finalized Thursday and the other calling it the “target” date.

As of last night, there were still issues to be ironed out, but nothing that was anticipated to hold up the deal. Harris will assume the Devils’ debt, which is reportedly $161 million owed to banks, $30 million to Philadelphia attorney Andrew Barroway, and $34 million to the league. Vanderbeek is also expected to keep a minority stake in the team.

Harris helped found Apollo Global Management, which is a private equity firm, and is the current owner of the Philadelphia 76ers.


Prospective Devils owner may see turnaround opportunity in New Jersey

  1. 950003cups - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    This guys grandparents immigrated from Russia to Newark and raised his parents there. He has (small) roots in this city. This guys has the same cash as Marc Cuban but not as press hungry. He has the ability to move the Sixers here with loopholes in his lease at Wells Fargo. He won’t be moving the Devils cause he gets the lease for the whole building including concerts, shows, circus etc…

    It’s highly unlikely he’ll move the Sixers. He’d probably wanna sell them with the increased value he created and buy and move a different NBA team.


    • idun215 - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:02 PM

      you gotta be kidding me right. A team just left New Jersey. The Sixers won’t be going nowhere. The NBA won’t allow you to leave a top10 market.

  2. stinkpretty1 - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Should be promising. They’re up their for best travel team next year. Also, its nice to see a story not about Kovalchuk and the Coyotes sale. Hope this goes quick.

  3. 950003cups - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Now I’m really starting to wonder if the Kovy move was orchestrated by Ilya and Lou. Devils were close to being taken over by the league we recently found out, and now there are guys fighting to buy the team. Harris pulled ahead of Burrows and will likely win. Nothing was happening with Kovy on the payroll.

    Can you help but think Ilya did what was best for the team and himself with Lou’s blessing? Hmmmmmm.

  4. valoisvipers - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Compare this sale(days) to the sale of the Yotes(years).

  5. pone27 - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Whats crazy is that Harris still has to give $34 bucks to the league.

    Come on Vanderbeek, its $34 dollars!!

    Sorry, someone had to do it.

    Seriously though, always good to see a team being able to remain where they started, especially the Devils. One of the least hated teams in the NHL, IMO.

  6. multiplemiggs - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Amazing how things turn in an instant. The Islanders fans have taken so much crap from everyone about the Kansas city thing, to DiPietro to Milbury….and now the Devils are cash strapped without an owner, and the Rangers are getting kicked out of their newly renovated building in 10 years and might even have to play a year in Nassau County. I’ve talked to many Devils fans at Isles/Devils games and they all rooted for the Isles to stay in NY. I feel the same towards them in this situation. Glad to see theyre getting the ownership problem squared away and I cant wait to see the classless Rags fans faces when their building full of elephant feces is torn down. :-)

    • treebeard - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      Hey now, we’re not all classless… I want the Devils to stay in Jersey.

    • nyrangers230 - Aug 14, 2013 at 7:08 PM

      Yea well we have a perfectly good space to build an incredible arena across the street at the abandoned post office. The New York Rangers has one of the most dedicated fan bases in Hockey even since they started as part of the Original Six. You are going to see classy and hopeful faces because there has been various MSG’S throughout the course of their history. What an ignorant stereotype predicting that we are classless fans and assuming to know how we will react when MSG gets knocked down. I guarantee we will have a world class new arena by the time those 10 years are up. That was a stupid and false comment also because The Islanders are not even going to be in Nassau County in 10 years. They are going to be playing in the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. The Nassau Mausoleum is not even going to be a hockey Arena anymore. That place is going down. So before you go spouting out out information try doing your research because you just sound like an idiot now.

      • nyrangers230 - Aug 14, 2013 at 7:15 PM

        So before you go spouting out false information, try doing your research because you just sound like an idiot.*

      • 950003cups - Aug 14, 2013 at 7:35 PM

        Maybe you didn’t get the memo.


  7. quizguy66 - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Assuming these deal does get closed tomorrow it’s quite the contrast with how long it took the league to get the Coyotes situation settled, and with multiple bidders involved no less. I think it’s a good thing – as long as he’s smart enough not to mess with Lou’s end of the operation.

    I also think the ghost of a chance of an NBA return to New Jersey has now become a sliver of hope. It definitely won’t be the 76ers – I can’t fathom the NBA moving from that market at all but as mentioned above this is the kind of guy that can flip to another team and possibly market with Newark-native Shaq – he’s too big a fish not to at least be listened to.

    Random question (and I’ll ask this on PBT as well assuming there’s an appropriate thread): is it possible that the 76ers end up doing some sort of split schedule where they play say 6 regular season games a year in Newark? It would help him fill dates for the building while helping to expand his other team’s fan base. I know about a million years ago the Kings split their time b/w Kansas City and Omaha.


    • 950003cups - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      I doubt the Sixers will ever set foot in the Prudential Center as a home team. Harris could capitalize on the fear of moving a Philly team to NJ and get Philly people to show up to Sixers games.

      I think a preseason game here with a different NBA team here would be more likely. There are NBA teams that need to move because of poor turnout. Memphis Grizzlies are a struggling team, and the LA Clippers are hurting as well. LA is a WC team, so its less likely they’ll move. But Memphis has its possibilities.

      • 950003cups - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        forgot to mention, that in order to get memphis, a buyer would be breaking the 17 year lease at the FedEx Forum which will cost about $100,000,000 (give or take $1,000,000) . So, you gotta factor that in too.

      • treebeard - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        An NBA team moving to tha Dirty Jerz would be strange to me, considering how poor attendance was for the Nets during their time there.

      • 950003cups - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:14 PM

        Nets attendance dropped by mismanagement. As soon as Jason Kidd had enough of waiting for the owners to put together a team able to compete for a championship, he left. Almost instantly the attendance fell at a daily rate. As did tickets on the resale market. If Prokhorov kept the team in Newark, and did the same with the team, he would see a spike in attendance, but obviously not at the level it is in Brooklyn.

        Oh, and as a Knicks fan myself, maybe you forgot the attendance in MSG during the Isiah Thomas days. It was just as bad as the Nets. I remember buying 2 tickets on the street for $100 each for 4th row! And hey were real! Fastforward to Linsanity days, and $100 got you a nice parking spot on 33rd St. Where guys park there and you pay them to move and take the spot from them. (AKA Puerto Rican Parking) Same in Yankee Stadium

  8. chrisk61 - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    i think right now josh harris is more focused on purchasing individual assets and isn’t thinking about how to integrate them, such as under one roof. he has a lot of money. he sees the value in professional sports ownership. he has had success in turning around distressed companies, but i don’t think he is focusing on distressed teams per se. the reality is distressed teams are the only ones available. but his earlier success in turnarounds gives him confidence that he can have the same success with teams. and most of all harris clearly sees the GEOGRAPHIC value of owning sports teams in the heavily populated, wealthy, hard core fan NORTHEAST.

    • 950003cups - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      You’re leaving out one HUGE detail in the purchase of the Devils.


      That means when Taylor Swift comes to town, $$$$$$.
      When The Beibmeister comes, $$$$$$.
      When NY Liberty plays, uhh nevermind that one. But yo uget the idea…..

      Plus why not leave open the chance for moving in another NBA team in the future?

  9. 950003cups - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    In other news:

    NFL on ESPN ‏@ESPNNFL 13m
    DEVELOPING: Tom Brady leaves Patriots practice with an injured knee. Doctors are examining him now. (via @MikeReiss)

  10. multiplemiggs - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    basketball is for black folks. There are plenty of black folks in Newark.

  11. multiplemiggs - Aug 14, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    good luck at your post office

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