| Sharks sale out of this
Plattner throws in the towel
So it appears that Sharks owner Hasso Plattner had
a plan all along. LetsGoSharks.com has learned that the software tycoon has
sold the team for a reported $410 million to a group of investors, headed by
David Miscavige, the Chairman of the Religious Technology Center based in
Riverside, California. Terms of the deal are still pending, but it's believed
that Plattner intends to motivate the NHL Board of Directors to approve the
deal before the start of the 2015-16 season.
Miscavige is believed to
be the front man of a broader investment group that will assume control of the
Sharks as well as the SAP Center. The purchase will be conducted in two parts,
with the $410 million being applied to the transaction that pertains to the
team. A separate deal will turn over operational control of Sharks
Entertainment, which is the arm that oversees control of SAP Center, Sharks Ice
and an assortment of miscellaneous holdings under the Sharks umbrella.
It was a short but profitable tenure for Plattner, who assumed majority control
of the Sharks in 2013. He will reportedly have turned his initial investment
into a cool 41% return after three years.
Little is known about
Miscavige and the rest of the investment group. In a brief press release, the
new ownership group thanked Plattner for his distinguished service to the Bay
Area community, and is looking forward to the completion of the sale.
Miscavige holds the highest ranking position with the Religious Technology
Center, the controlling arm of the Church of Scientology (CSI), and added in
his press release, that CSI hopes to meld the hockey world with the CSI gospel.
Some sweeping changes will include the immediate halt of alcohol sales at SAP
Center and the Sharks Ice facilities based across the Bay Area.
Sharks new boss isn't wasting any time rolling up his sleeves. The new owner
indicated that the year long question of who will lead the team on the ice will
also be addressed. Mirco Mueller's grandfather Zolton is a high ranking
official in the church, so the young defensemen will be named captain once the
sale is finalized. In a show of respect, the defenseman will pay homage to his
families patriarch by wearing a "Z" on his sweater, rather than a captain's
"C", as is more customary in the NHL.
It is believed that CSI will
demand that the league honor the organization's Sabbath and refrain from
scheduling Saturday games. It's not clear how this will impact scheduling with
the league, but it's likely that Monday afternoon games would become a norm.
Clues to the deal were evident earlier in the season when both Tom
Cruise and John Travolta were seen hobnobbing in the team's luxury suite. While
the two did not openly participate in any on-ice festivities, the team rolled
out a purple carpet for the opening faceoff the night the two were in
CSI has long desired to establish a stronger base in
the Bay Area, which is a heaven for deep pockets. Many of Silicon Valley's tech
elite have long desired to re-write religion, so buying their way into CSI
would allow for more hands on innovation at a secular level. The combination of
CSI and Silicon Valley money is a match made in heaven. Or in this case, a
match made in the Galaxy of Voltar.
SAP Center could easily serve as a
new West Coast pulpit by day and hockey cathedral at night.
accordance with CSI's no-idol worship policy, it is widely believed that SJ
Sharkie would be removed as team mascot. It's believed that the new ownership
group could go one step further and eliminate the Shark altogether and re-brand
the team with something more belief based, like Galaxy or Freewind. The LA
Galaxy soccer team of the MLS holds the branding rights to the Galaxy moniker.
Marketing deals are also rumored to be in the works. SpaceX, the space
exploration company started by Tesla Chairman Elon Musk and Virgin Galactic,
the Richard Branson space flight enterprise are likely partners once CSI gains
control of the Sharks operation.
The deal also raises questions on the
job security of GM Doug Wilson and head coach Todd McLellan. As is customary,
CSI always promotes from within the church. It is a possibility that CSI could
replace the two with organizational representatives with little to no hockey
experience. Wilson is known to be a Star Trek fan, which may not sit well with
CSI's leadership. The organization has long held that the show was blasphemous
and misrepresented what life outside the Milky Way is actually like.
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