No, not that dream. We're not gonna win the Stanley Cup this year, so don't plan the parade. Of course that's a bigger problem for me than the average person as I don't know what to do with the 6000 cartons of Eggos Waffles I have bought.I mean a dream I had growing up.
See, I never had the illusion that I would ever be a hockey player in the NHL. Don't get me wrong, even with all the concussions today, I doubt I would turn it down. However, I cannot even skate. So my dreams were relegated to owning, managing, or coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs. In the end, I decided to own them would be a better dream (I am a finance guy after all).
So how would I get the $1.3 billion to buy them? I don't intend to, but if this crazy fellow, by the name of Darren Thompson has his way, my dream will still be fulfilled. He envisions an idea that one million investors will each put up $1000 and he will pay for the remaining $300 million to buy the Leafs. The model is similar to the Green Bay Packers' community the team.
Now, it seems like this dream is impossible because Thompson has stated that he wants to get a million investors to invest, and I doubt I qualify as part of the league's sniff test to own part of a team. I am however, ranked ahead of Jim Balsillie.
So how would I buy the team? Through my expert knowledge of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Companies are not allowed to have more than 100 investors unless they are publicly traded. Seriously, look it up. So with one million investors, you have to make it public, thus giving everyone a chance to buy the team.
Do you want the Toronto Maple Leafs to go public?
To be fair the price at that point will be significantly higher than $1000 per share. The reason is essentially that most people will want to buy a team, and also the team is the Leafs. They are a franchise that everyone knows makes money, win or lose.
So this will be similar to the Packers structure. I would like to point out that at that point it would be run by the fans. And no individual fan as I fully expect there to be a maximum limit on how many shares one person can own. So unless you're Gordon Gekko and have a bunch of offshore accounts, you won't be able to control the team. That's just fine for me, at least I would have my dream.
To be fair, for all this to happen, Gary Bettman and his crew of merry men will have to approve it. That is fine because after all, the Packers have this structure and it has worked wonders in their small town. It would be huge for a city like Toronto which lives and breathes hockey.