Chuck Greenberg, the former co-owner and CEO of the Texas Rangers, is close to purchasing the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes for about $500 million, according to multiple reports.
Bloomberg News, which reported the sales price, also said that Greenberg intends to keep the team in North Carolina.
Hurricanes spokesman Mike Sundheim said in a statement that owner Peter Karmanos Jr. is deciding whether to accept an offer for the franchise or remain the owner, but he declined to say who made the offer.
Karmanos bought the Hartford Whalers franchise in 1994 and moved it to North Carolina three years later. He had been publicly seeking a local buyer for at least three years.
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Greenberg is the Rangers’ former managing partner who spent seven months as their CEO before leaving in 2011. He also owns three minor-league baseball teams, including one in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and the Frisco RoughRiders.
In its most recent franchise valuations, Forbes magazine ranked the Hurricanes last in the NHL at $230 million. Bill Foley paid a $500 million expansion fee to the league to bring the Golden Knights to Las Vegas.
The team also ranked last in the league in attendance for the second year in a row in 2016-17, drawing an average of 11,776 fans to their 18,680-seat home arena and filling it to just 63 percent capacity – their lowest per-game average since they moved into the building for the 1999-2000 season. They averaged 12,204 at home the year before.
The best way to improve those numbers, of course, is with a winning team – and it’s been a while since Carolina had one.
Stanley Cup champions in 2006, the Hurricanes have made the postseason only once (2009) since their lone title. Their eight-year playoff drought is the longest in the NHL.