News

NHL’s Devils set to announce sale to new owner

NHL’s Devils set to announce sale to new owner

Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris has agreed to purchase a controlling interest in the New Jersey Devils franchise. Photo: Reuters

NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) – The New Jersey Devils hockey team was expected to announce on Thursday that Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris has agreed to purchase a controlling interest in the franchise and its arena, pending league approval, media reports said on Wednesday.

The Devils announced late Wednesday that the team would hold a major news conference at 11 a.m. eastern time on Thursday. Sources told Reuters that there have been negotiations to sell the team in recent weeks.

The Record newspaper of New Jersey reported in a story on its website that Harris has agreed to buy a majority stake in the team and Prudential Center for $320 million, following a vote from the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors.

ESPN also reported that the team will announce the sale on Thursday.

A spokesman for the Devils could be reached for comment on Wednesday night. A spokesman for the 76ers said he could not comment on the matter.

Harris, a billionaire managing director at Apollo Global management and David Blitzer, a senior managing director at Blackstone, led a group that acquired the 76ers in 2011 for about $280 million.

The Devils have played out of the Newark-based Prudential Center since 2007, when they relocated from East Rutherford, N.J.

The arena, championed by former Newark mayor Sharpe James, has struggled to turn a profit due at least in part to a large number of competing sports and entertainment venues in the New York area.

Forbes magazine reported that the Devils have accumulated $230 million in debt and that team owner Jeff Vanderbeek missed the first payment on a recently restructured bank loan.

Billboard magazine rated the arena as the eighth highest grossing worldwide for the first half of 2013, however the venue, known as ‘The Rock’ has struggled to generate enough revenue since the departure of the Nets to Brooklyn and amid heavy competition for concerts at New York area venues.

Recent Headlines

53 minutes ago in Entertainment

‘The Other Woman’ serves up revenge in comic female fantasy

Fresh
other

"The Other Woman" is a somewhat rare species - a comedy by women, about women and for women.

today in Entertainment

Judd Apatow’s ‘Simpsons’ episode to air after 24 years

simpsons

The "Knocked Up" writer/director submitted a script in the 90s. Now it's finally being made.

25 minutes ago in Local Sports

NFL players talk about race with Harvard students

Fresh
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald gestures as he answers a question during a panel discussion at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Fitzgerald was a featured speaker in a panel that spoke on topics of race and aspects of social media. From left are Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, former NFL Players Association President Domonique Foxworth, Fitzgerald and Houston Texans running back Arian Foster.

Richard Sherman says he refuses to back down from his raging rant after the NFC championship game because he wants to "educate the uneducated."

38 minutes ago in Sports

Case of 49ers’ Aldon Smith sent to city attorney

Fresh
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith (99) against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013.

According to ESPN.com Smith has a court appearance Tuesday on felony gun charges and a drunken driving charge in Santa Clara County in California.

54 minutes ago in Local Sports

Marcus Trufant retires as member of the Seahawks

Fresh
Seattle Seahawks' Marcus Trufant, left, holds up a team jersey as he stands with his wife Jessica and brothers Isaiah, second right, and Desmond to start a news conference announcing his retirement from football after signing with the team a day earlier, Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Renton, Wash. Trufant started 125 games in a Seattle career that lasted from 2003 to 2012. The cornerback was a first-round pick in 2003 out of Washington State and immediately moved into the starting lineup, playing a key role on the 2005 team that advanced to the franchise’s first Super Bowl.

Trufant was a first-round pick by the Seahawks in 2003.