According to a report in the National Post, Ed Snider would be an integral part in managing and operating the proposed 20,000 seat arena in Markham, a northern suburb of Toronto. Global Spectrum, Snider's former company that he later sold to Comcast-Spectacor, a corporation he now chairs, has agreed to a partnership with the arena.
For some time now - at least since 2008 - rumors have pointed to the NHL adding a second franchise to the Toronto area. Now, with plans to build an arena progressing, the group has announced business partnerships with two of the most influential owners in the NHL - Ed Snider and Jeremy Jacobs.
While Graeme Roustan, former head of Bauer, denies that the partnerships are designed to curry favor with the NHL, the pieces are all there to suggest a strong push for another NHL franchise in the Toronto area is on the horizon. With the Chairman of the NHL's Board of Governors - Bruins' owner Jeremy Jacobs - as well as Ed Snider signed on, there are considerable ties between the Markham arena and the NHL's decision makers.
From the Post's story:
Snider is chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, and a subsidiary, Global Spectrum, has been enlisted as an adviser for planning the arena in Markham. If the building is approved by city council, Global Spectrum will manage and operate it.
At least two Markham councillors have claimed local representatives have met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, though. One of them, regional councillor Joe Li, told the National Post in April: "Spending that kind of money just for culture and entertainment? Come on. We won't even break even."
For pretty obvious reasons, any intention to bring another NHL team to Toronto will not be served by publicly lobbying for one before ground is even broken. But at this point, a second team in Toronto just makes far too much sense.