The New Jersey Devils are owned by the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment group. Most people associate our ownership with Josh Harris and sometimes David Blitzer. The partners started buying up teams back in 2011 when Harris built the group to buy the Philadelphia 76ers. That became the crown jewel of what the group would become. They then had investors buy into “the group” instead of specific teams, which brings us to today’s topic.
Fanatics owner Michael Rubin announced he is selling his stake in the group. He said his new ventures in sports cards and sports betting make it impossible to own sports teams. Rubin called it a dream to own sports teams like this. Here’s his full statement:
As you can see… wait. This is only a message to Philadelphia 76ers fans? What about New Jersey Devils fans?
That leads us to this realization; half the ownership group doesn’t even realize that they own the Devils or a hockey team in general.
We always joke that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith own the Devils, as well. They definitely have no idea they are part of the ownership group. They wanted to invest in the 76ers, Smith’s favorite sports team. He let a money manager deal with the rest. They just cash a check at this point and get free tickets whenever they want them.
Rubin isn’t one of these minority owners that barely has any stake in the company. ESPN reports he owns 10% of the company that owns the Devils. That’s huge. Someone who owns that big of a stake can actually push for certain decisions to be made. We’re not saying he would have a say if the Devils went after Johnny Gaudreau, but a 10% owner could push for higher profits if he absolutely wanted to.
We expect Harris to swallow up the rest of that stake pretty easily. He didn’t get the approval he needed to buy the Denver Broncos, so he has some money lying around. Even if he doesn’t, there will be a laundry list of people looking to buy a stake in not just a team, but a stake in multiple teams. However, it was telling with the statement from Harris that he didn’t even mention the Devils but went out of his way to mention the Sixers.
"“Michael will always be a member of our HBSE and Sixers family, continue to be a presence courtside and a key partner in our collective commitment to be a force for good in Philadelphia.” –Josh Harris, owner of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment"
David Blitzer sent his own comments when it came to the Devils, which is weird enough in itself that the two main owners sent two different comments. Blitzer called him an “incredible friend and business partner” who “helped grow the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center.”
Now, Rubin moves along while another owner could come in. This likely won’t change anything, except a big name is leaving the ownership page of the Devils.