The Toronto Star ran a Chloé Fedio story this morning on Darren Thompson, a 35-year old Alberta resident, and his dream of owning a piece of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The plan isn’t quite as far-fetched as one might think.
Thompson is modelling his plan after the Green Bay Packers, who are publicly owned and run by a stockholder elected board of directors. To help make his dream a reality, Thompson is looking for some help in the form of $1,000 investments from one million Canadians. So if you’ve ever wanted to own a piece of an NHL team, “Canada’s team” more specifically, then this may be your chance. According to the Toronto Star, Thompson has already raised $1 million through his website (which appears to be crashing on Wednesday afternoon).
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment’s majority shareholder, confirmed intentions to sell their 66% stake in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ parent company earlier this month. Cable companies like Bell (crooks) and Rogers Communications (bigger crooks) have been rumoured to be potential suitors for the MLSE family of teams, but Thompson would like to see ownership go to a group with a far more genuine interest in running a sports franchise.
Thompson via the Toronto Sun:
“Why couldn’t every single Canadian have an ownership in that fund?,” Thompson told the newspaper Leduc Representative. “My thought was I’ve always wanted to own my own professional sports team and when I talk to sports fans, it’s always one of the dreams that comes up. Haven’t you always wanted to say you own part of an NHL team?”
So, is it just a pipe dream? Perhaps, but it’s safe to say that a Toronto Maple Leafs team run by fans would be one with a lot less Ron Wilson.