Rogers Communications Inc, the media giant that owns the Toronto Blue Jays, is considering selling the team along with other company assets, such as Cogeco Inc, to "free up capital for other investments," Rogers Chief Financial Officer Tony Staffieri said in a news conference in New York City on Tuesday.
No deal is imminent regarding the sale of either asset.
Attempting to get more value for their assets, Rogers plans on increasing their investments in its wireless network, Natalie Wong of Bloomberg News writes. Rogers, for the record, is performing well on the stock market — this year, shares in the company have risen 26 percent. Both customer retention and wireless revenue improved.
This rumour comes amid further speculation that Rogers may be nearing the end of its tenure as the team's owner. Earlier this offseason, a rumour indicated that Rogers was considering selling the naming rights to the Rogers Centre, although nothing further has come forth regarding the topic.
Rogers would still like to maintain the television rights to the team, Staffieri said.
The most recent sale of a team in Major League Baseball, of the Miami Marlins, was finalized in early October. Jeffrey Loria sold the team to a group headlined by Derek Jeter for an extremely high value of $1.2 billion, much higher than what others predicted of the team.
Perhaps, seeing the soaring values of Major League Baseball teams and the recent $800 million deal that Scotiabank paid for the naming rights for the former Air Canada Centre, Rogers is attempting to cash in on the Blue Jays while they can. The team’s improved recent performance may contribute to the increased interest, as well.
Initial reactions to the rumour seemed to fluctuate from joyous to depressive. One person I spoke to regarded the potential sale of the team as an obvious movement. “Of course,” they said with disdain. From an ownership that doesn’t care about the Blue Jays’ on-field production at all, they inflected, this next step was all but inevitable. Of course Rogers would stoop to this level.
Others expressed, in all caps, “PLEASE SELL.” Another Instagram user wrote, “Change the name back to SkyDome and I don’t care who buys [the Blue Jays].”
This article, written by Mark Colley, was also published in part on 360bluejaynews, an account owned and managed by the author of this article.