By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Snoop Dogg, the hip-hop legend and business mogul, has joined entrepreneur Neko Sparks in a bid to buy the National Hockey League’s Ottawa Senators.
In an Instagram post, Snoop announced his involvement.
Snoop wrote to his 80 million fans, “It’s crazy what Neko Sparks is trying to do in Ottawa.” “I’m excited about being a part of that business team. “I WANT TO BRING HOCKEY BACK TO OUR AREA.”
According to The Athletic, the legend counts among more than a dozen investors — including numerous persons of color — in Sparks’ consortium, which is making a significant push at owning the Senators.
The final price for the Ottawa club could be more than $1 billion, making it the most expensive sale in NHL history.
If their bid is successful, the idea of Snoop being an NHL owner could be appealing.
Unquestionably one of the most popular entertainers today, Snoop’s presence could lead to unprecedented interest from African Americans, who have mostly shied away from hockey.
Sports analysts believe that if the Senators construct a new arena, Snoop could increase fans and media coverage.
Such a move would lead to massive revenue generation for the team.
The Senators play in a rink far beyond the city’s borders.
Moving the team downtown is essential for the team’s future owner.
ESPN said Sparks does have competition.
The investment of star Ryan Reynolds in The Remington Group, which is also interested, makes it a front-runner that isn’t scared off by Ottawa’s possible $1 billion offer.
There has yet to be an official date for when the sale of the Senators will finish, as the process of talking with and vetting the most qualified buyers is still going on.
“I’ve been watching hockey for about 25 years now. I’ll watch it more and more when kids that look like me play the game. But I’m not seeing it being offered to the kids over here in America. I know how big it is in Canada,” Snoop told ESPN.
“I’ve been down with the NHL for a long time. Going to games, announcing games, and being a part of the society.
“This opportunity came for me to be a part of the ownership of the Ottawa Senators, so I jumped on it. The plan that we have is to also go and build a Snoop Youth Hockey League outside of Canada, so kids in urban communities can learn about hockey, play the sport, and find ways to get into this great thing that’s called hockey.”
“Right now the NBA and the NHL is having some great playoff games and the kids need to know that there is an option to play hockey if you look like me.”
Snoop also explained how his Snoop Youth Football League has helped inner-city kids and families live better lives.
He said that C.J. Stroud, who was just picked second in the NFL Draft for 2023, got his start in his football league.
He hopes to do the same thing for the Black community through hockey.
“I’m saying if we were to bring another sport, such as hockey—which is on TV, and they could see it—now these kids can learn how to play the sport, they can understand that this is another way out,” he said.
“You don’t have to play football, basketball, and baseball. Here’s another option. And at the same time, we will grow the sport, and it will grow as a Black owner being part of a big organization with majority ownership. Never done before, so it can be the first.”