Boots owes Anschutz money
When I'd linked to Boots Del Biaggio's bankruptcy documents late last week, I should have taken a closer look at the creditors section.
For one, it tells us that he owes American Express $85.
More importantly, there's a $7-million "business debt" from AEG, Anschutz Entertainment Group, the parent company that (a) owns the Los Angeles Kings and (b) had been the driving force financing Mr. Del Biaggio's pursuit of a team in Kansas City, where AEG has an empty building:
The AEG connection is puzzling given we'd heard they had cut ties with Boots and that the Nashville buy was not connected to a relocation to Missouri:
Del Biaggio, along with partner Warren Woo, owns almost 32 percent of the Predators, making him the second-largest investor in the franchise. When the club was for sale last summer, Del Biaggio severed his ties with AEG and joined a consortium of Nashville-area businessmen and bought the Predators.The San Jose Mercury News, which has been following the saga with almost daily updates, broke down the list of Boots's creditors, saying of AEG: "It is unclear why Del Biaggio owes the company money."
The obvious question to ask is if one red cent of that $7-million was used in the purchase of the Predators. If so, it's an apparent case of the owner of one franchise buying into another in the hopes of relocating it to a building operated by the first franchise's ownership group.
And that's tricky business indeed.
Tom Benjamin called similar dealings with Boots, AEG and the Penguins "incestuous" in January, 2007, but his money quote with regards to Del Biaggio came a little later in the post.
"According to the Pittsburgh papers he has deep pockets, but I've got doubts."