Not So Fast: Vanderbeek Isn’t Selling Devils

Updated: 2/2/11, 7:25 a.m.

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Jeff Vanderbeek isn’t looking to sell the New Jersey Devils, unlike some of his partners.

Vanderbeek, the managing partner of the Devils, announced Tuesday that he has no desire to sell the NHL team and expects to maintain a controlling interest.

Vanderbeek acknowledged he and his partners have different visions for the franchise, and the minority owners Brick City are exploring a sale.

Brick City LLC is the legal name for the Devils share owned by Ray Chambers and Mike Gilfillan, his son-in-law.

Gilfillan said the Brick City has exercised its contractual rights under its partnership agreement with Vanderbeek to cause a sale of the entire team and arena rights, subject to certain terms and conditions.

“Our goal was to use professional sports as a catalyst for economic development in Newark by constructing a state of the art arena for the teams as well as for concerts and family shows,” Gilfillan said in a statement. “Brick City feels we have accomplished that objective with our partner Jeff Vanderbeek.”

In his release, Vanderbeek says Brick City has a right under its partnership agreement to explore a sale and that it has hired Moag & Co., a Baltimore-based investment bank, to assist in its attempt to sell its share of the team.

Bloomberg reported earlier Tuesday that Vanderbeek was possibly selling the team.

“NHL’s Devils for sale – person familiar tells Bberg News Devils owner Vanderbeek has hired Moag & Co to oversee sale,” Bloomberg Television sports business reporter Michele Steele tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

A former Devils season ticket holder since the 1980s, Vanderbeek became a minority owner of the Devils in 2000, and he purchased the team and became its majority owner in 2004.

Vanderbeek was one of the leading proponents behind the building of the Prudential Center in Newark, which opened as the Devils’ home in 2007. The New Jersey Nets are playing their home games at the arena this season and next before a planned move to a new arena in New York.

“The arena and the teams playing here have also attracted more people to come back to the city in an ongoing effort to restore pride, sports, arts, culture and business to this beautiful city,” Gilfillan said.

Forbes valued the Devils at $218 million in 2010.

Statement from Jeff Vanderbeek:

“As Managing Member of the New Jersey Devils, it is not my desire to sell the team. My partner, Brick City, and I have different visions for the franchise. While Brick City has a right, under our partnership agreement, to explore a sale and Moag and Co. has been retained to assist in these effort, I anticipate maintaining a controlling interest.”

Will a partial sale be good for the Devils? Sound off in the comments below!

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

pixy Not So Fast: Vanderbeek Isnt Selling Devils
  • John Hoboken, NJ

    The facts are the Devils are top 10 in attendence, attendence is up this year and the Pru Center is top 25 in the World in tickets sold for indoor venues.

    They aren’t leaving Newark, it won’t make good business for Brick City to sell the team to someone who would remove them because it would leesen the value of the rest of their holdings in Newark.

  • Peter

    The New Jersey Devils are a great franchise and you should do whatever you can to keep them in Newark. If not, the 1.875 million people in Hartford/Springfield would welcome them with open arms and build a new arena to replace the XL Center. Go Whale!

  • steve

    Yeah I’ll give you the fan base. Rangers have been in town a long time. What would you expext. It certainly is not because of there on ice performance over the last 50 years. You could put a girls team in MSG and they would draw well.

    I would rather be the perpetual winner, than a bunch of over paid losers.

  • steve

    Hey mer10
    If it wasn’t for the suits buying up all the seats there would be no one in that arena. Yeh the place sells out, but how many people are actually in the seats. What a joke
    Try going on Craigs list or any other ticket site and you can buy all the tickets you want-any seat any level. Some loyalty
    You are just another jeoleous Ranger fan. No team (in any sport) in the tri-state area has won more playoffs or championships in the last 11 years than the NJ Devils.

    • mer10

      i’ll give ya the wins/titles…. no ever taking that away… but i’ll never give ya the fan base, ever….worst i the league, period….look at tonight even, maybe 8k, and have of them are freebies as well… switch over and look at the ranger game tonight, you will see people, and many of them…
      the devils are, and have been since 1992 one of the best teams in hockey, andyone who knws the game understands that….. thats not the argument…
      the fan base sucks, always has, period…. also, you dont look to sell if anythings good…

  • Rich

    the Devils are tied into the Arena project in Newark. Vanderbeek help finance that as well. I don’t see how they could be sold and moved out of Newark. Vanderbeek is a good owner… but he and the rest of the NHL owners have got to lower ticket prices. Don’t forget, MSG is paying the Devils 25 million smackers a year for TV rights.

  • Zorin

    BOOM. TY TG!

    Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek is not looking to sell the team.

    The team is expected to release a statement shortly refuting a report that Vandebeek has begun the process of looking for potential buyers.

    Citing “a person familiar with the potential sale”, Bloomberg News reported today that Vanderbeek has hired investment bank Moag & Co. in Baltimore to oversee the sale of the team and sent out letters to prospective buyers.

    Vanderbeek, a former member of the executive committee at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, bought the team in 2004 for $125 million, according to Forbes Magazine. Since then, with the building of Prudential Center, the Devils’ value has increased to $218 million, according to a Forbes’ report on Dec. 1.

  • Zorin

    Mer10…ur a fool. ppl go dummy…hartford, LOL…NO ONE WILL GO IF THEY MOVE TO THAT dump.

    • mer10

      PEOPLE GO? dude… i live here, been watching the lowest attendence in hockey for years….. even a playoff game is like going to the movies…. you walk right up to the window and say “2 ADULTS PLEASE”, and your in…..try doing that at MSG, where people actually support the team and spend money, EVERY GAME, no matter who they are playing…

      • Zorin

        I go too…season tix holder here….and IDK why attendance is so low. go be a ranger fan then. I know the attendance is low, but don’t make such a statement as ppl don’t go. U sound foolish.

  • mer10

    i hope they are sold, and move the hell out of our area….. no one goes to the games anyway…

  • devlzfan

    This is just kick below the belt in what has been already a gut-wrenching season. Hopefully a new owner will be as down to earth with the fans as Mr. Vanderbeek was and a “fan” of the team, not just a businessman.

  • john

    bring the devils to hartford!

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