Who Owns Who? Zoom on NHL owners and their portfolios: Seattle Kraken

Seattle Kraken. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Seattle Kraken. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

It is time to expand the “Who Owns Who? Zoom on NHL owners and their portfolios” series. If you missed the first article, it focused on the Buffalo Sabres. Today’s franchise is the Seattle Kraken.

The Seattle Kraken is the newest NHL franchise, established in 2021 with a current value of $1.05 billion, making it the 10th most valuable organization in the league. Its value has increased by 20% from last year’s $875 million, and its ranking has improved from 13th place.

The team is owned by David Bonderman, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Tod Leiweke, whose net worth is $6.5 billion, $1 billion, and $5 million, respectively. The Kraken was purchased in 2018 for $650 million.

Let’s take a closer look at the Seattle Kraken ownership group.

The reason why the Kraken is already one of the most valuable teams is straightforward: Seattle is the 13th largest city on the NHL map and has been waiting for an NHL team for a long time.

Not only is the city of Seattle large, but also the surrounding states of Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and about half of Wyoming now have a closer connection to NHL hockey than ever before.

The statistics show that teams in the northern United States are much more popular than those in the south, with Florida being the least popular among fans.

The organization’s value is also boosted by a newly reconstructed arena and the fact that fans had not previously owned any Kraken merchandise, significantly increasing the team’s revenue.

As for owners, let’s begin with Leiweke, who, for real, has a fortune in the millions, not billions. That’s because he has not been involved in any business but has held managerial positions in top sports leagues (and teams) across the United States for most of his life.

He worked initially for the Minnesota Wild, PGA Tour, Vancouver Canucks, and Golden State Warriors. Between 2003 and 2007, he was the CEO of the Seattle Seahawks and then acted as the president of the Portland Trail Blazers for three years.

Since 2010, he has served as CEO and minority owner of Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment, including the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Tampa Bay Storm, and the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

In July 2015, he became the COO of the NFL, a position he held until April 2018, when he became the CEO of the Kraken. He and his wife Tina are co-owners of the Seattle Sounders FC, an MLS team.

Jerry Bruckheimer’s name is familiar to everyone. The film producer has left his mark on movies like Top Gun, Pearl Harbor, and the Pirates of the Caribbean film series and TV shows like CSI.

Bonderman is a lawyer who started as a law professor, then worked as an assistant attorney general before moving on to various private firms. Later, he became involved in investment firms, which he still enjoys.

This 80-year-old man has an impressive career. In addition to the Kraken, he owns a minority stake in the NBA team, the Boston Celtics (since 2002).

The Kraken ownership group, Seattle Hockey Partners, also owns the Coachella Valley Firebirds of AHL.

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The trio is believed to be quietly working on an NBA team to return to Seattle with the SuperSonics reincarnation.