Christine SheltonESPN NHL Reporter3 minutes to read
Hip-hop artist and businessman Snoop Dogg has joined businessman Nico Sparks’ bid for the Ottawa Senators.
Snoop confirmed his involvement in an Instagram post on Monday.
“Amazing what (Nico Sparks) is trying to do in Ottawa,” Snoop wrote to his 80 million followers. “I’m looking forward to being separate (sic) from this ownership team. I want to bring hockey back into our community.”
The Athletic reports that the musician is one of more than a dozen investors — including several people of color — in the Sparks consortium that’s making a big push toward buying the Senators.
Sparks will be the first black owner in NHL history.
The final price for the Ottawa franchise could reach north of $1 billion, making it the richest sale in NHL history.
This also wouldn’t be Snoop’s first foray into the world of sports. In 2005, the rapper launched his own Snoop Football League, with a focus on “providing young people, regardless of race, color, creed or economic background, the opportunity to learn the values of character, integrity, discipline and teamwork through football and cheer up”.
From the content of his social media post, Snoop aims to bring the same mission to the world of hockey and make the game more accessible to minority communities who may not feel there is a place for it.
Snoop on the Sparks property ballot could be a tempting prospect if their bid is successful. An entertainer’s star power could draw more fans and media attention to the Senators and help monetize a potential new arena that any group buying the team would be interested in. The Senators play at a rink just outside the city limits, and seeing the club move downtown is an important piece of the puzzle for its future owner.
Sparks has competition in the celebrity category, too. Another interested party—the Remington Group—is backed by an investment from actor Ryan Reynolds; It is also considered an early front-runner who is not afraid of the potential $1 billion figure for Ottawa.
There is no official completion date for the sale of the Senators, as the process of meeting and vetting the most qualified buyers continues.