Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
A bird's-eye-view of MLSE headquarters in the tower next to the Air Canada Centre from the CN Tower
|Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd. (until 1998)|
|Industry||Professional sports, property management|
|Founded||Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1931)|
|Headquarters||Air Canada Centre, 50 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Larry Tanenbaum, Chairman
Tim Leiweke, President and CEO (until June 30, 2015 at the latest)
|Products||Professional sports teams, sports venues, sports channels, commercial real estate|
|Total equity||$1.66 billion CAD (2011)|
|Owner||Rogers Communications (37.5%)
BCE Inc. (28%)
BCE Master Trust Fund (9.5%)
Kilmer Sports (25%)
|Slogan||Bringing the World to Its Feet|
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE) is a professional sports and commercial real estate company based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. With assets that include franchises in three of the six major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, it is the largest sports and entertainment company in Canada, and one of the largest in North America.
The primary holdings of the company are its major sports franchises, the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League, Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association and Toronto FC of Major League Soccer, as well as their minor league farm teams, the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League (AHL), Raptors 905 of the NBA D-League and Toronto FC II of the United Soccer League, respectively. In addition, it owns the Air Canada Centre, the home arena of the Maple Leafs and Raptors. MLSE also manages or has invested in several other sports facilities including BMO Field, home of Toronto FC and beginning in 2016 the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL), Ricoh Coliseum, home of the Marlies, MasterCard Centre, the practice facility of the Maple Leafs and Marlies, a new practice facility for the Raptors scheduled to open in 2016, KIA Training Ground, practice facility for Toronto FC and Toronto FC II and home of the TFC Academy, and Lamport Stadium.
MLSE was founded by Conn Smythe in 1931 as Maple Leaf Gardens Limited (MLGL) to act as a holding company for the Maple Leafs and their planned new arena Maple Leaf Gardens, from which the company got its name. Smythe transferred his ownership of the Leafs to the company in exchange for shares in MLGL, and sold shares in the holding company to the public to help fund construction of the arena. While initially primarily a hockey company, with ownership stakes in a number of minor and junior hockey clubs including the Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey Association, the company later branched out to own the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL from the late 1970s to late 1980s, before merging with the Raptors, who were constructing the Air Canada Centre at the time, and adopting their current name in 1998. Most recently the company launched Toronto FC in 2007.
Over most of its 80 plus years of existence MLSE was a public company. Following the death of majority owner Harold Ballard in 1990, Steve Stavro led a controversial bid to buy the company and take it private. Most recently, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan sold their 79.53% share of the company for $1.32 billion to a joint venture between Rogers Communications and Bell Canada, two of Canada's largest media companies, giving the company an equity value of $1.66 billion and an enterprise value of $2 billion. (All figures are in Canadian dollars (CAD) unless otherwise specified.) Although the company has proven to be very profitable, they have had much less success at producing winning teams. Of the three major franchises they currently own (Maple Leafs, Raptors and Toronto FC), only the Maple Leafs have ever won a championship, but not since their 1967 Stanley Cup. The only other major championship the company has won was the 74th Grey Cup in 1986 by the Tiger-Cats.
- 1 Corporate history
- 2 Proposed projects
- 3 Ownership
- 4 Assets
- 5 Staff
- 6 References
The corporation's roots can be traced back to 1927, when Conn Smythe organized a group of investors to purchase Toronto's premier hockey franchise, the Toronto St. Patricks of the National Hockey League (NHL), which had won Stanley Cup championships in 1918 (as the Toronto Arenas) and 1922, from a group headed by Charles Querrie. The club was playing poorly and minority partner Jack Bickell contacted Smythe about becoming coach of the team. However, Smythe told Bickell that he was more interested in buying a stake in the team. Not long after, with the team in trouble financially due to majority owner Querrie having lost a lawsuit to former Toronto Blueshirts owner Eddie Livingstone, Querrie put the St. Pats up for sale and agreed in principle to sell them for $200,000 to a group that would move the team to Philadelphia. After Bickell contacted Smythe to inform him of the sale, Smythe persuaded Querrie that civic pride was more important than money and put together a syndicate that bought the St. Pats. Smythe himself invested $10,000 of his own money and his group contributed $75,000 up front and a further $75,000 due 30 days later, with Bickell retaining his $40,000 share in the team. The deal was finalized on Valentine's Day, and the new owners quickly renamed the team the Toronto Maple Leafs.:85–86 Later that year, Smythe bought the junior hockey Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey Association to serve as a developmental team for Maple Leafs.
In 1929, Smythe decided, in the midst of the Great Depression, that the Maple Leafs needed a new arena. Their then home, the Arena Gardens, which they shared with the Marlboros, had been built in 1912 and seated just 8,000, which the Maple Leafs were regularly filling. After considering various locations, the site at the corner of Carlton and Church was purchased from The T. Eaton Co. Ltd. for $350,000,:104 a price said to be $150,000 below market value. A new 12,473 seat (14,550 including standing room) arena was designed by the architectural firm of Ross and Macdonald. To finance construction, Smythe got backing from Sun Life for half of the expected $1 million cost:103 and launched Maple Leaf Gardens Limited (MLGL), a management company that would own both the Maple Leafs and the new arena, which was named Maple Leaf Gardens (MLG).:102 A public offering of shares in MLGL was made at $10 each ($155.00 in 2015 dollars), with a free common share for each five preferred shares purchased. Ownership of the hockey team was transferred to MLGL in return for shares. To fund construction of the building, workers were paid 20% of their salary in MLG stock.:104–106 Construction started on June 1, 1931, and MLG was opened five months and two weeks later, on November 12, 1931, at a cost of $1.5 million ($23.3 million in 2015 dollars). The Marlboros also moved to the new arena.
To help fill dates at the new arena, Smythe acquired an expansion franchise in the professional International Lacrosse League on behalf of MLGL for the 1932 season, which was also given the name the Toronto Maple Leafs. A team named the Toronto Maple Leafs had competed in the first season of the ILL at the Arena Gardens, but was renamed the Tecumsehs with the arrival of Smythe's team. Both teams played at MLG. Smythe pulled out following the season due to financial losses, and the league did not play the following year.
Minor hockey expansion
The company has owned numerous minor league hockey teams over the years, which have served as developmental farm teams for the Maple Leafs. A group backed by Smythe and Frank Selke of the Montreal Canadiens was awarded an American Hockey League (AHL) franchise for Rochester, New York in July 1956, after a local group could not come up with the $150,000 USD in capital required by the league. The Leafs and Canadiens would each own 27.5% of the team, with the balance sold to Rochester interests. The team was named the Rochester Americans. The Amerks were a joint affiliate of both the Canadiens and the Maple Leafs, though the club was operated by the Canadiens. In the summer of 1959 the Maple Leafs bought out the Canadiens' ownership share of the club, giving them a 55% controlling interest, due to concerns that with Montreal operating the club they were giving their prospects priority over those of the Leafs. They purchased most of the remaining 45% in 1963, boosting their ownership share to 98% by November 1964. In July 1966 the Maple Leafs sold the team to a group which included their then General Manager Punch Imlach for a reported $400,000.
In June 1963 the Spokane Comets Western Hockey League franchise was purchased by a group led by the Maple Leafs, who relocated them to become the Denver Invaders and act as the Leaf's farm team. Though the league did not acknowledge that the Maple Leafs had an ownership stake in the team, they held a majority position with the Denver partners only owning roughly 36%. Following reported losses of $150,000 in their first season, Smythe announced that the team would be relocated after the team failed to reach a 2,000 season ticket target by a league-imposed deadline. The team became the Victoria Maple Leafs for the following season. In June 1967 MLGL sold the team for $500,000 to a group from Phoenix, which relocated it to become the Phoenix Roadrunners.
In 1964 MLGL the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Professional Hockey League were launched. The team was owned and operated by MLGL as a developmental club for the Maple Leafs. In the spring of 1973 it was announced that the Oilers would relocate to become the Oklahoma City Blazers. Prior to the 1976–77 season the Maple Leafs decided to share an affiliate with the Chicago Black Hawks in an attempt to reduce costs, and pulled out of the Blazers. In 1978 the New Brunswick Hawks of the AHL were established, and were jointly operated by the Chicago Black Hawks and the Toronto Maple Leafs as their farm team. MLGL and the Black Hawks each owned half of the franchise. However, by 1980 MLGL had decided that the Leafs needed a team of their own, with a spokesperson citing the limited number of roster spots as the rationale for the move. In 1981 the Cincinnati Tigers of the old Central Hockey League were established under the ownership of MLGL, but the team averaged only 1,500 fans and lost $750,000 in their first season and folded the following spring. Shortly thereafter, with Chicago having pulled out of New Brunswick in favour of affiliating with the Springfield Indians on their own, the Leafs relocated the New Brunswick Hawks to St. Catharines, Ontario to establish the St. Catharines Saints as their farm team. The team played in St. Catharines until 1986, and after stops in Newmarket, Ontario as the Newmarket Saints (1986–1991) and St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador as the St. John's Maple Leafs (1991–2005), the team moved to Toronto as the Toronto Marlies (named after the company's former junior team) where they have been playing ever since.
The Toronto Marlboros served as a junior farm team for the Maple Leafs for 40 years until direct NHL sponsorship of junior clubs ended in 1967 when the NHL made the Entry Draft universal. In October 1988, with the team losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, MLGL reached an agreement to sell the Marlboros for a reported $500,000, severing their ties with the Maple Leafs. However, the Leafs retained the rights to the Marlies name. The OHL team moved to Hamilton for the 1989–90 season, becoming the Dukes of Hamilton.
Growth beyond hockey
In 1967 MLGL entered into negotiations to purchase the financially struggling Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team of the minor AAA International League. The asking price was $60,000. The deal ultimately fell apart due to concerns about the team's stadium, Maple Leaf Stadium, which needed up to $250,000 in repairs and whose owner wanted $4 million to purchase it, and the team was sold and relocated to become the Louisville Colonels for the following season. MLGL owner Harold Ballard said that the company's interest was due in part to help position itself to go after a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise for Toronto. In early 1974 MLGL announced plans to build a new baseball stadium in Toronto, but the city ultimately decided to renovate Exhibition Stadium to make it suitable for baseball. At the time, the MLGL group, led by Lorne Duguid, vice-president of Hiram Walker Distillers and MLGL executive, was one of at least four bidding for a Toronto MLB team, including competing groups led by Labatt Brewing Company, Robert Hunter, the former President of the International League Maple Leafs, and Canadian Baseball Co, led by Sydney Cooper. After negotiating with the owners of the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics in their attempt to acquire a team for Toronto, MLGL offered $15 million for the San Francisco Giants but the team's owner decided in early 1976 to sell the club to the Labatt group for $13.25 million USD. While the Giant's relocation was ultimately rejected by a U.S. court, Labatt was awarded an expansion team in the American League that became the Toronto Blue Jays for $7 million USD later that year.
A team named the Toronto Maple Leafs competed in the inaugural season of the National Lacrosse Association, a professional box lacrosse league, in 1968 at MLG. MLGL owners Ballard and Stafford Smythe were two of the five founding partners of the club, but financial difficulties forced MLGL to take over ownership midway though the season. The NLA suspended operations prior to the following season.
In the early 1970s MLGL announced plans to apply for a second Toronto based Canadian Football League team, in addition to the Toronto Argonauts, which would play at Varsity Stadium, but the proposal never went anywhere. In 1974, when his former partner John Bassett put the Argonauts up for sale for $3.3 million, Ballard expressed interest in buying the team, but it was ultimately sold to William R. Hodgson. Shortly thereafter Ballard tried to buy the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL from owner Michael DeGroote, but this offer was also rejected. Three money-losing seasons later, in February 1978, DeGroote sold the team to MLGL for $1.3 million. During his tenure as owner of the Tiger-Cats, Ballard repeatedly threatened to move the franchise to Toronto's Varsity Stadium, which was vetoed by the Argos, and claimed to have lost roughly $20 million over 11 seasons. MLGL sold the team in March 1989 to David Braley for $2.
Ruby Richman, the former coach of Canada men's national basketball team, working with Ballard pursued a number of existing National Basketball Association (NBA) and American Basketball Association (ABA) teams to relocate to Toronto to play at MLG in the 1970s. Richman had a tentative agreement to purchase both the Miami Floridians and Pittsburgh Condors of the ABA with a plan to merge them into a single Toronto based team, but the deal fell through. Later, Richman held negotiations with the Detroit Pistons, which were seeking $5 million for the franchise, but pulled out when the price was raised to $8.25 million. MLGL attempted to purchase and relocate the Buffalo Braves, which had played a number of regular season games at MLG over the years, to Toronto in 1974 for $8.5 million, and again several times later, but the owners eventually chose to move the team to San Diego. When Toronto was awarded an expansion NBA franchise in 1974 for the 1975–76 season MLGL was one of three groups to bid for the rights to the team, but the club never materialized as no group was able to secure funding for the expansion fee of $6.8 million. MLGL attempted to purchase and relocate the Houston Rockets in 1975, which were seeking $8 million for the team, but the team's lease ultimately prevented a relocation. In 1976 MLGL attempted to buy the Atlanta Hawks. In 1979 a Toronto group which included Ballard again pushed for an expansion franchise, but lost out to the Dallas Mavericks. A Toronto group, which included Bill Ballard, son of Harold, and Basketball Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain submitted an application and $100,000 USD deposit for an NBA expansion franchise for MLG in 1986, but of the six cities to apply Toronto was not one of the four which were successful. It was not until the NBA awarded an expansion franchise to John Bitove, over a group led by future MLSE minority partner Larry Tanenbaum which had partnered with the Maple Leafs, and the Toronto Raptors joined the NBA for the 1995–96 season that the city would get an NBA team.
Merger with the Raptors and rebranding
In 1997 it was reported that the Maple Leafs were in negotiations to purchase the Toronto Shooting Stars of the National Professional Soccer League. The team had been suspended following their inaugural season playing at MLG during which the club lost nearly $1 million and the league was forced to take over operations after only three games when ownership pulled out. However, the team never returned to play. Following the inaugural season of the Hamilton, Ontario based Ontario Raiders of the National Lacrosse League in 1998, in which they lost $250,000 playing at Copps Coliseum, owner Chris Fritz was forced to look for partners. MLSE engaged in negotiations to purchase the team and have it play at MLG. However, a group which included Bill Watters, the then Assistant General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, ultimately bought the team for $250,000 and promptly moved it to MLG where they rebranded the team the Toronto Rock. MLSE held negotiations with the Arena Football League in 1998 on acquiring a $4–7 million USD expansion franchise for the following season to coincide with the opening of the ACC. The company also submitted an application for a Women's National Basketball Association franchise, but was rejected by the league due to concerns about their readiness.
With MLG aging, MLGL began planning for a new home for the Maple Leafs in the 1990s. Following years of acrimonious negotiations with the Toronto Raptors on a shared a new arena, MLGL purchased 100% of the basketball club and the arena they had begun constructing, the Air Canada Centre (ACC), from Allan Slaight and the Bank of Nova Scotia on February 12, 1998. MLGL paid a reported $467 million, made up of $179 million for the team and $288 million for the arena. Richard Peddie, who had been President of the Toronto Raptors, was retained in the merger and became MLSE's President and CEO. That July the company adopted a new name, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), to reflect its broader holdings. MLSE subsequently ordered major modifications to the original design of the ACC, which was basketball-specific, to make it more suitable for hockey. Originally planned to cost $217 million, the budget was increased to $265 million after MLSE took control. MLG was subsequently sold to Loblaw Companies, Canada's largest food retailer, in 2004 for $12 million under the condition that it not be used as a sports and entertainment facility, though MLSE eventually consented to allowing a small arena to be restored in the building to house Ryerson University's Rams.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granted MLSE two category 2 digital specialty channel licenses in 2000 for Leafs TV and Raptors NBA TV, which launched on September 7, 2001. The channels were used by MLSE to broadcast live games involving their teams in an attempt to increase competition for their rights and drive up the fees paid by other broadcasters.
In August 2004 MLSE announced that they would relocate their AHL farm team from St. John's, Newfoundland to Toronto to play in the Ricoh Coliseum for the 2005–06 season, after the arena was left without a hockey tenant following the termination of their lease with the Toronto Roadrunners, the AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers, for defaulting on their rent. MLSE agreed to a 20-year lease for the Coliseum, which had undergone a $38 million renovation in 2003, that called for rent to cover debt financing charges, property taxes and generate a return to the arena investors, which exceeds $4 million annually.
MLSE announced in April 2005 that they would be working with Cadillac Fairview (a wholly owned subsidiary of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan) and Lanterra Developments to build Maple Leaf Square, a major entertainment complex situated next to the ACC. The $500 million 1,700,000 square feet (160,000 m2) complex, which was completed in 2010, is a mixed use facility which features the Hotel St. Germain, e11ven restaurant, Real Sports Apparel, Real Sports Bar and Grill, Longo's grocery store, office space and condominium residences. In conjunction with the construction of Maple Leaf Square was a two-year, $48 million renovation of the ACC to connect it with the square, which added a new atrium that includes a high-definition broadcast studio for Leafs TV, NBA TV Canada and GolTV Canada. The external wall of the atrium features a 30 by 50-foot (15 m) video screen which often broadcasts games to spectators gathered in the plaza in front of the arena.
Launch of Toronto FC
MLSE was awarded a Major League Soccer expansion team for Toronto, which would become known as Toronto FC, in 2005 for $10 million USD. The company also agreed to contribute $8 million towards the construction of Toronto FC's future home BMO Field, which was to cost $62.9 million total, and purchased the naming rights to the stadium for $10 million for 20 years, which they subsequently resold to the Bank of Montreal for $27 million over the first 10 years. MLSE also agreed to cover any construction cost overruns. The governments of Canada, Ontario and Toronto contributed $27 million, $8 million and $9.8 million respectively, with the City of Toronto also providing the land. In return, MLSE got the management rights for the stadium for 20 years. Prior to the 2010 MLS season, MLSE spent $3.5 million to convert the stadium from FieldTurf to natural grass, and a further $2 million to expand the north end by 1,400 seats. As part of the deal to convert the field to natural grass, MLSE spent $1.2 million adding a winter bubble to Lamport Stadium and $800,000 building a new artificial turf field to replace the community use hours lost at BMO Field.
MLSE partnered with Rogers Communications in 2005 to bid to host a regular season National Football League game in Toronto. On January 30, 2008 it was announced that Rogers and Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of MLSE, had reached an agreement with the Buffalo Bills to host an annual regular-season and three exhibition NFL games over five seasons at Toronto's Rogers Centre beginning in 2008, with the games branded the Bills Toronto Series. At the time MLSE was considering bringing a NFL team to Toronto permanently and building them a new stadium, but abandoned the idea when they concluded that the project would not generate sufficient financial return to justify the significant cost of the project. Subsequently, MLSE president Tim Leiweke said on a NFL team in Toronto: "We can't own a team (per NFL rules), but we do have more expertise on how to build (stadiums) than anyone ... MLSE can play a role." It has been reported that MLSE is interested in building and managing the proposed NFL stadium, which it has already begun designing. In 2013 MLSE minority owner Tanenbaum and board member Edward Rogers III partnered with musician Bon Jovi to purchase an NFL team. Following the death of Bills' owner Ralph Wilson in 2014 the group submitted an offer to purchase the franchise, with speculation that they would move the team to Toronto when their lease permitted it, but were outbid by the Pegulas.
The company contemplated purchasing the Argonauts of the CFL at least twice, with minority partner Tanenbaum keen to add the team to his list of franchises, but concluded that the cost and effort that would be required to make the team profitable was not worth the minimal financial upside. In 2013 it was reported that the company was again considering purchasing the team and having them play at a renovated BMO Field, with the asking price reportedly $20 million, but later coming down to $10 million. A vote by MLSE's board on purchasing the team was called in December 2013, but they were unable to come to an agreement on the issue. On May 20, 2015 it was announced that two of the three ownership partners of MLSE, Bell Canada and Tanenbaum's Kilmer Group, had acquired ownership of the Argos, with the deal to close at the end of the year, and would move the team to BMO Field for the 2016 season. It has been speculated that Rogers was not interested in investing in the team since Bell has exclusive rights to broadcast all CFL games. It is thought that control of the Argos by MLSE will enhance Toronto's chances of acquiring an NFL franchise, with Peddie saying "the NFL is telling them that if you want an NFL team, you better make sure the Argos are okay." Leiweke has said that moving into a renovated BMO field "will help turn [the Argos] around" and that "there's no way the NFL comes here without the CFL being unbelievably successful first."
When the nearby city of Oshawa built a new arena, known as General Motors Centre, MLSE was chosen to manage the building. However, disappointing results in the first year and a half of operations following the arena's opening in November 2006 led MLSE to request that its contract be terminated in March 2008. The company had been attempting to get into the business of managing facilities beyond those where their teams play but decided to withdraw, with Bob Hunter, MLSE's Vice President of venues and entertainment, saying that managing the arena was "no longer a strategic focus for us".
In 2008 MLSE launched the TFC Academy youth system to develop soccer players for Toronto FC by taking advantage of MLS's new homegrown player rule which allows clubs to retain the rights to players they develop without them being subject to the MLS SuperDraft. The senior academy team originally competed in the Canadian Soccer League until pulling out in early 2013 due to the CSL losing its sanctioning from the Canadian Soccer Association. The team played that year in the Ontario Soccer League before joining League1 Ontario for the 2014 season. In November 2014 MLSE announced the establishment of Toronto FC II, their own minor league professional soccer team to play in the United Soccer League which will serve as a reserve team for TFC and a bridge between the Academy. The team began play in 2015 at a newly renovated 2,000 seat stadium, with plans to expand it to 5,000 by 2017, constructed at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan, just north of Toronto. In March 2011 Downsview Park was selected as the site of Toronto FC's new state-of-the-art academy and training facility. Construction began on the KIA Training Ground in May 2011, and the facility opened in June 2012. It includes three grass fields, one domed turf field and a field house. MLSE spent more than $21 million building the facility and pays rent for the land, In July 2014 it was announced that MLSE would expand the training grounds to house a practice facility for the Argos, which would rent the facility from MLSE and practice on a nearby city owned field. The team moved in that September.
Then Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo said in 2008 that MLSE was considering launching an NBA Development League franchise in the Toronto area within a couple of years to serve as a developmental team for the Raptors. Hamilton's Copps Coliseum and Oshawa were reportedly under consideration to host the franchise. However, a Canadian-based franchise posed difficulties due to tax and visa complications, and Rochester, New York, which is just across the United States border, was considered as an alternative. In May 2015 it was announced that MLSE had purchased a D-League franchise, which would be named Raptors 905 and would begin play that fall at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto. The franchise reportedly cost $6 million.
It was announced on January 23, 2009 that MLSE would acquire the 80.1% interest in GolTV Canada, a digital cable soccer channel, held by MLSE owner Tanenbaum through Insight Sports. The channel operated as a localized version of GOL TV USA, which owned the remaining 19.9%, with focus on Toronto FC. MLSE informed the CRTC in 2015 that it had acquired full ownership of the channel, however later that year they announced that it would cease operations and the license be abandoned, effective August 31, 2015. In November 2009 MLSE applied to the CRTC for a Category 2 digital TV license for a general interest sports service provisionally named Mainstream Sports, which was granted in June 2010. MLSE planned to broadcast its teams' games on the channel, along the lines of team-owned regional sports networks in the United States such as YES Network and the New England Sports Network, with the tentative name "Real Sports" (in keeping with the branding of MLSE's sports bar and apparel store). It was never revealed whether the channel would have replaced, or supplemented, MLSE's existing digital channels. Peddie credited the threat of a Real Sports channel as a motivator for Rogers and Bell, owners of sports channels Sportsnet and TSN respectively, to purchase the company due to concerns about losing the rights to broadcast MLSE teams to the channel or having to pay huge fees for them. The acquisition of MLSE by Rogers and Bell in 2012, and associated agreements to divide the company's regional broadcast rights between the two, eliminated the need for the channel and its license expired after the three-year deadline for launch passed in 2013.
In September 2009 the Maple Leafs and Marlies opened their new hockey practice facility, the MasterCard Centre. The arena was a joint venture between MLSE, the City of Toronto and the Lakeshore Lions Club to replace the nearby Lakeshore Lions Arena, and was built at a cost of $44 million, after cost overruns drove up the cost from $33.65 million. The Lions Club contributed $40 million to the project, with the city providing a $35.5 million loan guarantee. The Toronto District School Board leased the land for the arena to the Lakeshore Lions for a 50-year term. MLSE spent a further $5 million on training and medical facilities, and pays $600,000 annually to rent the building. The arena was originally operated by the Lakeshore Lions Club, but in June 2011, with the arena on the verge of defaulting on its rising debt, the City of Toronto took control and assumed its $43.4 million debt with the intention to return it to private management within 2–3 years. A city councillor has suggested that MLSE, which operates BMO Field and Ricoh Coliseum on behalf of the city, would be "the logical party" to take over the arena, and a spokesperson for the company said "while we don't have any interest in purchasing the facility, we are open to discussing the possibility of managing the facility on behalf of the City". MLSE's executive vice president of venues and entertainment Bob Hunter confirmed that they would bid for the right to run the building.
At one point MLSE contemplated purchasing the Toronto Blue Jays of MLB and Sportsnet from Rogers Communications, but concerns about the viability of SkyDome as a baseball venue and the profitability of the team resulted in the company not pursuing either. The company also considered investing in an English soccer club, and in May 2012, after the Leeds United Supporters Trust put out a request for a takeover from majority shareholder Ken Bates, it was reported that MLSE were in talks to buy the Football League Championship team. However, the company later denied that it planned to purchase the club. In 2015 reports emerged that MLSE was investigating taking over the bankrupt Parma F.C. of Italy's Serie A.
Peddie retired as President and CEO of MLSE at the end of 2011 after fourteen years on the job, having tripled the value of the company. However, he was often criticized for his inability to end the company's long championship drought. Of the three major franchises the company currently owns (Maple Leafs, Raptors and Toronto FC), only the Maple Leafs have ever won a championship, and not since their 1967 Stanley Cup. The only other major championship MLSE has won was the 74th Grey Cup in 1986 by the Tiger-Cats. Though Tom Anselmi briefly took over as President, he was replaced in June 2013 by high profile executive Tim Leiweke who had previously run Anschutz Entertainment Group. On August 21, 2014 Leiweke announced that he was stepping down, but would remain in his position until June 30, 2015 or until a successor is appointed.
The financial success of Toronto FC led MLSE to undertake a major renovation of BMO Field. Under a two phase process, the stadium's capacity was increased from 21,566 to 30,000 in May 2015 for $65 million, and a canopy roof covering most permanent seating areas added by May 1, 2016 for $40 million. The City of Toronto, which owns the facility, insisted that any renovations allow for the Argonauts, who must vacate their current home Rogers Centre by the end of 2017 season, to move in. The plans call for retractable endzone seating so that the pitch can be lengthened to fit a Canadian football field with 25,000 seats, and the possibility to temporarily expand capacity to 40,000 for big events such as rugby sevens at the 2015 Pan-Am games, the 2018 NHL Winter Classic, Grey Cups, MLS Cups or a successful 2026 FIFA World Cup bid by Canada. MLSE sought $10 million in funding from each of the City, Provincial Government, and Federal Government to top up their $90 million contribution, plus any cost overruns, to the project. In exchange for the City's commitment of funding, they receive rent from MLSE, while their management and naming rights agreements for the stadium, which were set to expire in 2027, were extended by 10 years. However, with tight deadlines to start construction to ensure that the stadium would be ready for the 2015 Pan-Am games, and no commitment of funding from either the federal or provincial governments, MLSE decided to move forward with the first phase of renovations, costing $105 million, without first securing the remaining $20 million in funding. Lengthening of the field and the infrastructure to allow for temporarily increasing seating capacity was postponed to the second phase to be completed by 2016. The new ownership group of the Argos reportedly will contribute $10 million to the conversion of the field to make it CFL compatible, which would be matched by MLSE to fill the $20 million funding gap. Part of the agreement would see two Grey Cups played at the newly renovated BMO Field. In April 2015 it was reported that the renovations were $10 million over budget due to pressure to meet deadlines, which MLSE is obligated to fund.
Timeline of sports franchise ownership
Raptors practice facility
In November 2013 it was reported that MLSE had contracted an architect to design a new practice facility for the Raptors. The team has trained on a practice court located in the ACC since its opening in 1999, and a new facility would allow this space to be repurposed into a restaurant or nightclub. The facility, which is planned to be built at Exhibition Place, will feature two courts, one of which will be open to the public. Canada Basketball will also use the facility. MLSE will pay the entire $30 million construction cost and lease the property from the city for $205,000 annually, subject to reassessments for inflation, for a 20-year term, with two options to extend it by a further 10 years, following which the city would take ownership of the building. MLSE has requested that the city exempt the portion of the facility that is available to the public (32%) from city taxes. Construction is scheduled to begin in November 2014, to have the facility completed in time for the team's hosting of the NBA All-Star Game in February 2016. The proposal was approved by the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place on August 14, the Executive Committee of the City of Toronto on August 20, and the Toronto City Council on August 25.
In February 2015 MLSE confirmed that they were planning on launching a professional boxing series, featuring 3-4 major fights a year co-promoted with Groupe Yvon Michel. Originally planned to start with a World Boxing Council light heavyweight title fight in April at Ricoh Coliseum, this was delayed due to regulatory restrictions on the amount of gauze that can be used for wrist wraps in Ontario. MLSE's Vice President of Facilities and Entertainment Wayne Zronik said that efforts were underway to "work to try to get that rule changed".
Although Conn Smythe was the face of MLGL from its founding in 1931, he did not acquire majority ownership of the company until 1947, following a power struggle between directors who supported him as president and those who wanted him replaced with Frank J. Selke. With the help of a $300,000 loan from Toronto stockbroker and MLGL shareholder Percy Gardiner, and the support of minority partner Jack Bickell, Smythe was able to buy 30,000 shares in MLGL from Gardiner and installed himself as president on November 19, 1947, replacing Edward Bickle. The loan was paid off in 1960. In November 1961 Smythe sold 45,000 of his 50,000 shares to a three-person partnership formed by Stafford Smythe (Conn Smythe's son), Harold Ballard and John Bassett, who at the time owned part of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League and Toronto Telegram, for $2.3 million. When combined with their own holdings, this gave them 87,000 shares representing 60% of the company.:217 Ballard fronted Stafford most of the money for the purchase though a loan he obtained. According to several sources, Conn thought the sale was only to his son, and was furious when he learned that Ballard and Bassett were his partners. He had hoped that Stafford would keep MLGL for his son, Tommy.:217–218 However, it is unlikely that Stafford could have raised the millions needed for the deal on his own. Stafford became president of MLGL and governor of the Maple Leafs, with Ballard executive vice president and Bassett chairman of the board.
Harold Ballard, John Bassett and Stafford Smythe
In March 1966 Conn sold his remaining shares and resigned from the board of directors after a Muhammad Ali boxing match was scheduled for MLG. He found Ali's refusal to serve in the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War to be offensive,:232 and said that by accepting the fight, MLGL owners had "put cash ahead of class." Within three years under the new owners, profits at MLGL had tripled to just under $1 million. Ballard negotiated lucrative deals to place advertising throughout the building, and greatly increased the number of seats in the arena.
Following a Royal Canadian Mounted Police raid at MLG in 1968, Stafford was charged with income tax evasion, and he and Ballard were accused of illegally taking money from MLGL to pay for renovations of their houses and other personal expenses. Just before the charges were laid, Bassett argued to the board that Stafford and Ballard should be removed from their posts. Following an 8–7 vote of the board of directors on June 26, 1969, Stafford and Ballard were both fired, and Bassett was appointed president of MLGL. However, Bassett did not force Stafford and Ballard to sell their shares, and both men remained on the board. This proved to be a serious strategic blunder; Stafford was the largest single shareholder in MLGL, and he and Ballard controlled almost half the company's stock between them. They were thus able to regain control of the board in 1970 and Stafford was once again appointed president. Facing an untenable situation, Bassett sold the 196,200 shares he controlled in MLGL to Stafford and Ballard in September 1971 for $5.4 million, which he used to buy out his partners in the Argos. Combined with their 306,295 jointly controlled shares, the transaction gave the Stafford Smythe-Ballard partnership 78% of the stock. Ballard would be convicted of 47 charges and sentenced to three years in a federal penitentiary, but Stafford died in October 1971 of a bleeding ulcer at the age of only 50 just before his trial was scheduled to begin. Under the terms of Stafford's will, of which Ballard was an executor, each partner was allowed to buy the other's shares upon their death. Stafford's brother and son tried to keep the shares within the family, but in February 1972 Ballard bought all 251,545 of Stafford's shares for $7.5 million, valuing the company at $22 million. Stafford's brother Hugh also sold his shares to Ballard, ending the Smythe family's 45-year involvement in the company. Combined with Ballard's 262,162 shares, this gave him majority ownership of about 70%.
In 1966 Ballard set up a family holding company, named Harold E. Ballard Ltd. (HEBL), for his assets including his shares in MLGL as part of an estate freeze. Ballard distributed 103 common shares in HEBL, with his three children, Bill, Harold Jr., and Mary Elizabeth, each receiving 34 which were held in trust, and his wife Dorothy receiving 1, which Harold would inherit upon her death three years later. Harold retained 308,000 preferred shares in HEBL. While the equity of the company was vested in the common stock, both common and preferred shares each received a single vote, ensuring that Harold retained control of the company.
After getting into financial difficulty, Harold reached an agreement with Molson Brewery in November 1980, which at the time owned the Montreal Canadiens, for the company to cover his debt financing charges on a loan of $8.8 million for 10 years in exchange for an option to purchase a 19.9% block of shares in MLGL from HEBL and a right of first refusal on the rest of HEBL's shares. The NHL did not learn of the deal until the late 1980s. In 1982 he offered to sell the company for $50 million, with the arena alone reportedly valued at $11 million, though a stockholders' report the following year placed the value of MLGL at $23.5 million. When Harold transferred ownership of his personal real estate holdings, which were valued at $2.52 million, to HEBL in January 1989, he acquired 4 newly issued common shares in the company plus a promise of a further $896,472 rather than cash. Mary Elizabeth sold her stake in HEBL to her father for $15.5 million in January 1989, after originally having a deal to sell the stake to Don Giffin, while Harold Jr. sold his back to HEBL for $21 million in June of the same year. Harold secured a loan from Molson for the full amount of his buyout of Mary Elizabeth, using the 34 acquired shares in HEBL as security. Harold Jr.'s shares were subsequently retired. Bill sued his father for $170 million over HEBL's acquisition of Harold Jr.'s stake, claiming that he and partner Michael Cohl had acquired a right of first refusal to purchase the shares for $20 million that February. Shortly thereafter, HEBL issued Harold 32 common shares and $125,216 in exchange for ownership of his 350,200 personally held MLGL shares and $125,000. Two more new common shares would be granted to Harold to repay the $911,000 debt HEBL owed him from his two transactions with the company. This gave Harold, who feared that Bill was positioning himself to take over the holding company, control of HEBL. Harold did not want his bickering children to inherit MLGL because he feared they would destroy it.
Though Harold ran up significant amounts of personal debt during his ownership of MLGL, he made the company very profitable, so much so that MLG became known as the "Cashbox on Carlton Street", referring to the address of the arena. Upon Harold's death in April 1990, most of his estate, which was worth less than $50 million, was left to charitable organizations. The executors of Harold's will were supermarket tycoon Steve Stavro, Giffin and Donald Crump. In November 1990 Molson exercised their option on 19.9% of the company, paying $10,000 for 735,575 of HEBL's MLGL shares, which at the time were valued at $20 million. Due to restrictions against cross-ownership in the NHL, the company set up a trust to hold their stake, and the league instructed them to sell the shares within an "adequate amount of time". Shortly after the estate, which had limited income due to HEBL still owing TD Bank $15.8 million on its loan to acquire Harold Jr's HEBL stock, missed a January 1991 deadline to repay its $20 million loan (including interest) from Molson, Stavro personally loaned the estate the funds to pay off the debt. In exchange he received an option to purchase the estate's HEBL shares before January 1996. Bill challenged the transaction, but it was approved by the court. In early 1991 Molson offered to buy the estate's shares for $40 each. In September 1991 Bill sold his HEBL stock to his father's estate for $21 million, giving it ownership of the entire company. Shortly thereafter it was announced that Stavro had reached a deal with Molson on an option to purchase their MLGL shares until April 1994 and for Molson to waive their option on the estate's shares.
|Ownership structure prior to privatization in 1998|
Stavro founded MLG Ventures (MLGV) in March 1994 with partners Toronto-Dominion Bank and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. MLG Holdings Ltd. (MLGH), of which Stavro owned 80% and TD Bank controlled the remaining 20%, held a 51% ownership stake in MLGV, with the remaining 49% owned by Teachers'. The following month MLGV announced that they had reached an agreement to purchase the 60.3% of MLGL held by Harold's estate for $34 a share or $75 million total, valuing the company at $125 million. The estate still owned Stavro $23 million at the time. Molson also sold its 19.9% of MLGL to MLGV in April 1994 for $25 million. Larry Tanenbaum's company Kilmer Sports purchased a 25% share of MLGH from Stavro in 1996 for a reported $21 million.
MLGV subsequently purchased all the remaining shares and took MLGL private in 1998, after acquiring more than the 90% of stock necessary to force objecting shareholders out, and MLGL and MLGV amalgamated. The purchase was the subject of a Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) review, due to allegations that MLGV had engaged in insider trading by failing to disclose that broadcast revenue was expected to substantially increase, and a $50 million lawsuit from Bill who claimed that Stavro and others devalued MLGL and withheld information relevant to the value of the company prior to the sale of his stock. Ontario's Office of the Public Trustee, which was charged with representing the charities named by Harold's will as beneficiaries, argued that Stavro had a conflict of interest as both executor of the will and buyer and had not paid market value because there was no public bidding process for the shares. Several minority owners, including Harry Ornest, who held 3.5% of the company, and Jim Devellano also objected to MLGV's attempts to take the company private without an auction. Stavro and his partners in MLGV reached a settlement in 1996 to pay an additional $23.5 million plus interest to the charities as well as $2.5 million to the minority shareholders who had sued, clearing the way for them to become the majority owner of MLGL. They also settled with the OSC in 1999 for $1.6 million, which included a fine and costs. Teachers' invested $44.3 million and TD $9.75 million in the deal.
Following the merger, the ownership structure of the now defunct MLGV was retained by MLGL. MLGH was the majority owner of MLGL, holding 51% of the company. It in turn was controlled by Stavro (55%), with minority shareholders Tanenbaum (25%) and TD Capital Group (20%). The remaining 49% of MLGL was owned by Teachers'. This tiered ownership structure gave Stavro effective control of MLGL with only a net 29% stake of the company. Teachers' invested a further $50 million in the company in the form of a convertible bond in 1998 to finance the purchase of the Raptors and ACC and complete construction of the arena.
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan
In 2003 an agreement was reached to restructure the company with Stavro selling his stake to Bell Globemedia for a reported $120–150-million after debt repayments, the other partners converting their debts into equity, and each partner getting a direct ownership stake in the newly named MLSE, with MLGH being dissolved. This left Teachers' as the controlling majority owners of MLSE with 58.4%, and minority partners Bell Globemedia (15.4%), TD Capital with (13.5%) and Tanenbaum, who took over as non-executive chairman, with 13%. Each owner of MLSE had a right of first refusal on any shares sold, in proportion to their ownership share. The same year MLSE was internally valued at over $1 billion by Teachers' in its annual report. In 2008 the Toronto Star reported that a valuation commissioned by the company concluded that the company was worth $1.5 billion USD. On December 5, 2008 CTVglobemedia (the renamed Bell Globemedia) sold half of its 15.4% stake to Tanenbaum for $100 million, making Tanenbaum the second-largest stakeholder with 20.7%. The transaction valued the company at $1.2 billion. On August 20, 2009 Teachers' announced that it had agreed to purchase the remaining 7.7% stake in MLSE owned by CTVglobemedia, bumping their stake to 66%.
Bell and Rogers
In December 2010 it was reported that Rogers Communications, owner of the Toronto Blue Jays, was in negotiations to purchase the Teachers' 66% stake in MLSE, with the asking price set at $1.3 billion, and in March 2011 Teachers' confirmed that their share in the company was for up for sale. Tanenbaum's right of first refusal on the shares gave him control over any sale by Teachers'. In May 2011 Teachers' announced that they had reached an agreement to purchase TD Capital's 13.5% ownership share, giving them 79.5% of the company and leaving Tanenbaum as the only minority partner with 20.5%, simplifying a sale of their shares. In November 2011 Teachers' announced that they were taking the company off the market. However, only a couple of weeks later, on December 9, 2011, Teachers' announced the sale of its entire stake in MLSE to a partnership between Bell Canada and Rogers Communications, in a deal valued at $1.32 billion, giving the company an equity value of $1.66 billion and an enterprise value of $2 billion due to the assumption of their share of MLSE's $372 million in debt and $66 million in leases. As part of the deal, Tanenbaum increased his stake in the company by 5%, valued at $109 million, to 25% to secure his approval. The deal required the approval of Canada's Competition Bureau, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (with regards to MLSE's TV channels), as well as the NHL, the AHL, the NBA, and MLS (with regards to each of MLSE's main sports franchises).
The Competition Bureau announced in May 2012 that it would not challenge the transaction, but that it will "actively review" the situation in light of "serious concerns" expressed by various parties, reserving the right to take action at a later date. The NHL Board of Governors approved the sale at a meeting in Las Vegas on June 19, 2012. The final approval, that of the CRTC, was granted on August 16, with the commission noting that it only had jurisdiction over the TV channels owned by MLSE (the transfer of ownership from MLSE to Bell, Rogers and Kilmer directly, it decided, posed no major concerns), and not the broadcast rights associated with MLSE's teams. The transaction closed on August 22, 2012.
|Ownership structure since August 2012 under Rogers and Bell|
- 8047286 Canada Inc. (Rogers/Bell joint holding company) – 75%
- Kilmer Sports (holding company of Larry Tanenbaum) – 25%
This ownership structure ensures that, at the shareholder level, Rogers and Bell vote their overall 75% interest in the company together and thus decisions on the management of the company must be made by consensus of the two. (If Rogers and Bell owned their interests directly, either Rogers or Bell could be overruled by its competitor in combination with Tanenbaum.) As such, Rogers and Bell have agreed that their previously four of six (now six of eight) directors on the MLSE board will always vote together, and thus that any disagreements between the two companies will be settled privately without the involvement of Tanenbaum. Bell has indicated that the involvement of Bell's pension fund is, at least in part, intended to ensure Bell can retain its existing 18% interest in the Montreal Canadiens, as NHL rules prevent any shareholder that owns more than 30% of a team from holding an ownership position in any other team. As a result of Bell and Rogers having co-ownership in MLSE, the regional broadcasts of Maple Leafs, Raptors and Toronto FC games are split between Bell's TSN and Rogers' Sportsnet.
In 2015 MLSE initiated a corporate restructuring, with the plan to transfer most of its assets to another holding company, named "Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Partnership" (MLSEP), which would be wholly owned, directly and indirectly, by MLSE.
|Valuations of MLSE franchises
(in millions of US dollars)
|Year valuation reported|
- Toronto Maple Leafs (National Hockey League) – Valued at $1.30 billion USD in 2014, 1st in the NHL
- Toronto Raptors (National Basketball Association) – Valued at $920 million USD in 2015, 14th in the NBA
- Toronto FC (Major League Soccer) – Valued at $175 million USD in 2015, 5th in MLS
- Toronto Marlies (American Hockey League)
- Toronto FC II (United Soccer League)
- TFC Academy (League1 Ontario)
- Raptors 905 (NBA D-League)
Note that the valuations done by Forbes are estimates and are not based on numbers provided by MLSE.
Facilities and properties
- Air Canada Centre – a multi-purpose indoor arena in downtown Toronto home to the Maple Leafs and Raptors which was constructed at a cost of $265 million
- Maple Leaf Square (37.5%) – a real estate development adjacent to the Air Canada Centre, developed in partnership with fellow OTPP subsidiary Cadillac Fairview, which includes, among other tenants, the following businesses operated by MLSE:
- Real Sports Bar & Grill – a sports-themed restaurant
- Real Sports Apparel – a sports clothing store
- e11even – an upscale restaurant on the corner of Bremner and York streets
Invested in and operates (owned by the City of Toronto)
- BMO Field – home of Toronto FC and the Canadian men's national soccer team (CONCACAF)
- Ricoh Coliseum – home of the Marlies
- MasterCard Centre – practice facility for the Maple Leafs and Marlies
- KIA Training Ground – practice facility for Toronto FC and Toronto FC II, and home of the TFC Academy
- Lamport Stadium – former home of the TFC Academy
- Leafs TV – a specialty channel devoted to the Maple Leafs and Marlies (valued at $19 million on behalf of the CRTC in 2012)
- NBA TV Canada – a localized version of NBA TV, a US basketball channel, which also devotes part of its schedule to specific coverage of the Raptors (valued at $21 million on behalf of the CRTC in 2012)
Board of Directors
- Larry Tanenbaum – Kilmer Sports (Non-Executive Chairman of the Board)
- George A. Cope – BCE and Bell Canada
- Dale Lastman – Goodmans LLP
- Guy Laurence – Rogers Communications
- Edward Rogers III – Rogers Communications
- Anthony Staffieri – Rogers Communications
- Bernard Le Duc – Bell Canada
- Siim Vanaselja – Bell Canada
- Tim Leiweke – President and CEO
- Brendan Shanahan – President and Alternate Governor, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Masai Ujiri – President and General Manager, Basketball Operations
- Tim Bezbatchenko – General Manager, Toronto FC
- Robertson, Grant; Perkins, Tara (December 8, 2011). "Rogers, BCE on verge of deal for MLSE". Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved April 6, 2014.
- "Report: MLSE looking for Peddie successor". Sportsnet. November 10, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
- Sandler, Jeremy (December 1, 2010). "Maple Leafs' owners through the ages". National Post. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
- McParland, Kelly (2011). "The Lives of Conn Smythe: From the Battlefield to Maple Leaf Gardens: A Hockey Icon's Story". National Post. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- Smythe, Conn; Young, Scott (1981). Conn Smythe: If you can't beat 'em in the alley. Toronto, Ontario: McClelland and Stewart. ISBN 0-7710-9078-1.
- "Marlies history". Toronto Marlies. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- "Marlies timeline". Toronto Marlies. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada. "Consumer Price Index, historical summary". CANSIM, table (for fee) 326-0021 and Catalogue nos. 62-001-X, 62-010-X and 62-557-X. And Consumer Price Index, by province (monthly) (Canada) Last modified 2015-09-08. Retrieved September 22, 2015
- "Maple Leaf Gardens, Limited - Prospectus". The Globe. March 5, 1931.
- Patton, Paul (April 13, 1989). "Big money always part of Gardens story". Globe and Mail.
- "New Arena Work to Start on Saturday at Midnight". Toronto Star. May 30, 1931.
- "Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens gets C$60 million facelift". Reuters. December 1, 2009. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- Beamish, Mike (February 13, 1999). "Maple Leaf Gardens 1931 - Air Canada Centre 1999: History vs. high tech: No design marvel, Air Canada Centre struggles to graft Gardens' history into a high-tech package that bucks the retro trend". Vancouver Sun.
- "Maple Leaf Gardens granted franchise". Globe. December 10, 1931.
- Rodden, M.J. (January 29, 1932). "On The Highways of Sport: Local Seniors Will Test Olympic Team Tonight". Globe.
- "Two Toronto teams in lacrosse loop". Globe. January 29, 1932.
- Rodden, M.J. (June 29, 1931). "On the highway of sports: Maroons and Leafs in lacrosse opener tonight". Globe.
- Murray, jack (June 20, 1932). "Maple Leafs score decisive victory". Globe.
- Rodden, M.J. (May 9, 1932). "On The Highways of Sport: Tecumsehs' Victory Creates All-Round Tie". Globe.
- Rodden, M.J. (October 31, 1932). "On The Highways of Sport: Mustangs on Rampage at U. of T.'s Expense". Globe.
- Marcotte, Bob (March 7, 2011). "Eager fans embraced arrival of the Rochester Amerks". Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York). Gannett Company. pp. 1B,4B. Archived from the original on March 11, 2011.
- "Rochester makes it - Gains AHL franchise". Toronto Daily Star. July 3, 1956.
- MacCarl, Neil (July 7, 1966). "Sale of Rochester hockey team pads Maple Leaf coffers". Toronto Daily Star.
- "Give Rochester conditional OK on AHL franchise". Globe and Mail. June 20, 1956.
- "Maple Leafs Seek Farm Club in AHL". Globe and Mail. March 18, 1959.
- "Leafs Purchase Control Of AHL Squad From Habs". Globe and Mail. June 15, 1959. p. 22.
- "Rumors Have Pilous Going to Rochester". Globe and Mail. June 5, 1963. p. 15.
- Rimstead, Paul (July 7, 1966). "19 players go: AHL franchise at Rochester sold by Leafs". Globe and Mail.
- "Nothing Exceeds Like Success". Globe and Mail. November 13, 1964.
- Cox, Damien; Stellick, Gord (2009). '67: The Maple Leafs, Their Sensational Victory, and the End of an Empire. John Wiley & Sons. p. 31. ISBN 9780470739273.
- Beddoes, Dick (July 9, 1966). "Saturday sale on shorts". Globe and Mail.
- "Corporate reports: Maple Leaf Gardens notes drop in profit". Globe and Mail. November 7, 1966. p. 25.
- "Pilous Offered Job As Boss at Denver, Leafs New Farm Club". Globe and Mail. June 6, 1963.
- "Leafs buy coast club". Toronto Daily Star. June 5, 1963.
- Missildine, Harry (June 5, 1963). "Spokane's Western Hockey Franchise Moves to Denver; Toronto Maple Leafs Purchase Mel Smith's Comet Stock". The Spokesman-Review.
- Stott, Jon C (2008). Ice Warriors: The Pacific Coast/Western Hockey League 1948–1974. Heritage House Publishing. ISBN 9781927051047.
- "WHL Approves Leafs' Farm In Denver". Globe and Mail. June 21, 1963.
- "Invaders pulled out of Denver by Smythe". The Register-Guard. June 26, 1964.
- "Denver's Invaders Become Retreaters". Globe and Mail. June 26, 1964.
- "Denver loses club". The Spokesman-Review. June 26, 1964.
- Dunnell, Milt (June 30, 1964). "Leafs' Denver loses estimated at $150,000". Toronto Daily Star.
- "Invader Hockey club to quit Denver". Redlands Daily Facts. June 26, 1964.
- "Sports Briefs: Palmer Will Appear In Canadian Open". Globe and Mail. July 18, 1964. p. 21.
- "Phoenix club charges Leafs broke contract". Globe and Mail. May 22, 1968.
- Beddoes, Dick (September 8, 1967). "Hockey lawsuits out of style". Globe and Mail.
- "Victoria team to Phoenix". Montreal Gazette. May 17, 1967.
- "Minor pro leagues may soon merge". Globe and Mail. June 6, 1967.
- "At home in the desert". Times Colonist. November 29, 2005. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- "Leafs switch Tulsa team in CHL to Oklahoma City". Globe and Mail. April 20, 1973.
- "Leafs shift farm". Toronto Star. April 21, 1973.
- Ramsay, Don (January 31, 1976). "NHL clubs will cut 100 players in effort to combat rising costs". Globe and Mail. p. 43.
- Proudfoot, Jim (April 27, 1976). "Some NHL rules aren't enforced at playoff time". Toronto Star.
- "Sports roundup". Globe and Mail. June 24, 1978.
- "Leafs get new farm club in Central Hockey League". Globe and Mail. June 24, 1981.
- Campbell, Neil (June 17, 1981). "Cincinnati may get Leaf farm team". Globe and Mail.
- "Leaf team to leave Moncton". Toronto Star. June 2, 1982.
- Houston, William (February 9, 1982). "Hockey notebook Dull Sabres have pundits speculating". Globe and Mail.
- "Sports roundup". Globe and Mail. July 8, 1978.
- "Leafs, Hawks to Moncton". Toronto Star. June 20, 1978.
- Houston, William (March 31, 1982). "'Everything has price,' Ballard says; it's $50 million for Leafs. Gardens". Globe and Mail.
- "Ballard wants Leafs to have own farm club". Globe and Mail. March 21, 1980.
- "Across Canada: No liquor licence for Leafs-Hawks farm club". Globe and Mail. November 9, 1978.
- "AHL Hawks get Tessier". Globe and Mail. August 22, 1981.
- "Leafs place AHL team in St. Kitts". Globe and Mail. June 22, 1982.
- Campbell, Neil (June 11, 1982). "Salming wins Conacher award Niagara may get Leaf farm team". Globe and Mail.
- Campbell, Neil (May 28, 1982). "It's musical chairs on ice as CHL franchises switch". Globe and Mail.
- Kane, Mike (July 24, 1982). "Red Wings return to North as AHL swells to 13 teams". Schenectady Gazette.
- "AHL adds three teams in expansion". Globe and Mail. July 24, 1982.
- "AHL History". Toronto Marlies. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- Ballou, Bill (April 4, 2013). "AHL: Bracken Kearns easy Worcester Sharks MVP choice". Telegram & Gazette. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- Houston, William (October 20, 1988). "Hamilton lawyer, realtor purchase OHL Marlboros". Globe and Mail.
- Kalchman, Lois (October 20, 1988). "Hamilton new home as Marlies are bought". Toronto Star.
- Hunter, Paul (March 18, 1989). "Death of the Marlies: The cold, hard facts Rising costs and dwindling attendance have sunk once-proud Toronto Marlies, seven- time winners of Memorial Cup". Toronto Star.
- "Marlies fare well as end nears Club on a win streak before transformation to Dukes of Hamilton". Globe and Mail. March 13, 1989.
- Proudfoot, Jim (February 8, 1989). "Toronto should miss Marlies, but it won't". Toronto Star.
- Dechman, Phillip (August 28, 1967). "Hockey Leafs offer helping hand to struggling baseball namesakes". Globe and Mail.
- "Ballard lays Leafs' doom to apathy". Globe and Mail. October 18, 1967.
- Dechman, Phillip (September 7, 1967). "Game's not over yet for ball Leafs, support grows to keep team here". Globe and Mail.
- Dechman, Phillip (November 2, 1967). "Baseball club gives assurance stadium bill will be paid". Globe and Mail.
- Baker, Alden (January 16, 1974). "East of Yonge near expressway: Free stadium if Metro adopts Ballard's $190 million development". Globe and Mail.
- Simpson, Jeff (February 27, 1974). "Work could start this fall: Metro votes 23 to 6 to enlarge the CNE Stadium". Globe and Mail.
- Vipond, Jim (January 24, 1974). "Baseball franchise seekers may pool their resources to expedite stadium plan". Globe and Mail.
- "Gardens will seek baseball franchise". Globe and Mail. November 28, 1974.
- "Both major leagues will be approached". Globe and Mail. November 20, 1974.
- Parsons, Anne (October 11, 1974). "'Not a question of money': Godfrey leads Metro delegation seeking major-league franchise". Globe and Mail.
- Trueman, Mary (December 4, 1974). "Franchise consolidation not sighted: Toronto bids likely to fatten price". Globe and Mail.
- Trueman, Mary (November 29, 1974). "Fourth group pursues franchise: As among major baseball clubs sought for Toronto by Labatt". Globe and Mail.
- Proudfoot, Jim (March 16, 1972). "Big league baseball asks Ballard to buy team for Toronto". Toronto Star.
- Ramsay, Don (October 21, 1975). "Ballard confident Gardens group soon will buy Giants ballclub". Globe and Mail.
- Vipond, Jim (December 4, 1975). "2 Toronto-based groups seek franchise at winter baseball meetings in Florida". Globe and Mail.
- "Giants Moving: Toronto". St. Petersburg Times. January 9, 1976.
- Howden, Suzanne (April 4, 1976). "Will Toronto ever get a baseball franchise?". CBC News. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
- Patton, Paul (March 27, 1976). "Labatt's, Webster get ball franchise". Globe and Mail.
- "Toronto Is Given A.L. Franchise". New York Times. March 27, 1976.
- Perkins, Dave (March 22, 1976). "Expansion approved In Eastern Division: Toronto can join American League in 1977". Globe and Mail.
- Cauz, Louis (July 18, 1968). "Leafs respond with win for new coach Kapasky". Globe and Mail.
- Golla, James (April 9, 1968). "Big gamble by backers in lacrosse". Globe and Mail.
- Fraser, Terry (August 8, 1968). "TV key to lacrosse expansion". Toronto Daily Star.
- Fraser, Terry (August 14, 1969). "Kells loses faith in sports fans". Toronto Daily Star.
- "Pro lacrosse league suspends operations". Globe and Mail. March 18, 1969.
- Beddoes, Dick (April 18, 1973). "Bid to CFL for 2nd team in Toronto". Globe and Mail.
- Sokol, Al (April 28, 1973). "Jake Gauaur is waiting for Bill Ballard's cheque". Toronto Star.
- Sokol, Al (February 22, 1974). "Bassett offers to sell Argos for $3.3 million". Toronto Star.
- Cauz, Louis (February 23, 1974). "Bollard wants look at Argo balance sheet before bidding for team". Globe and Mail.
- MacLeod, Rex (February 26, 1974). "Barbara and Ballard agree, want to study Argo books". Globe and Mail.
- Sokol, Al (February 28, 1974). "Argo franchise sold to hotel chain owner". Toronto Star.
- Siggins, Maggie (2011). Bassett: John Bassett's forty years in politics, publishing, business and sports.
- Matsumoto, Rick (January 24, 1978). "Leafs' owner Ballard spends $1.3 million to buy the Tiger-Cats". Toronto Star. pp. B1.
- Goodman, Jeffrey (February 3, 1978). "Third group says Ticat bid likely if Ballard vetoed". Globe and Mail.
- Palango, Paul (February 17, 1978). "All we need are some players Fans 'choice' for Ticats gleefully takes over team". Globe and Mail.
- "Tiger-Cats History". Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- Starkman, Randy; Hunter, Paul (November 30, 1988). "Ticats talked with Varsity brass". Toronto Star.
- York, Marty (March 22, 1983). "Alternative to Tiger-Cats: Bassett sees Hamilton in USFL". Globe and Mail.
- "Ballard sells Tiger-Cats to Hamilton businessman". The Gazette. February 15, 1989.
- Van Alphen, Tony (November 21, 1989). "Ballard may get more out of $2 Ti-Cat sale". Toronto Star.
- Januska, Michael (2012). Grey Cup Century. Dundurn Press. p. 192.
- Fear, Jonathan (March 3, 1976). "Ruby Richman's quest: The pro basketball chase". Globe and Mail.
- "NBA awards expansion franchise to Toronto for 1975–76 season". Globe and Mail. June 22, 1974.
- "Ballard covets NBA Rockets, sends Richman to make deal". Globe and Mail. September 25, 1975.
- "Toronto dream of NBA team remains dream". Globe and Mail. January 14, 1975.
- "Snyder rejects Gardens bid of $8.5 million for Braves". Globe and Mail. October 5, 1974.
- "Basketball by this fall is MLG aim". Globe and Mail. June 3, 1976.
- Goodman, Jeffrey (December 14, 1977). "Bid to bring Braves to Toronto has 50-50 chance". Globe and Mail.
- "Toronto group seeking Braves". Windsor Star. December 14, 1977. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- "Boston, Buffalo Exchange Owners; Buffalo Transfer to San Diego Approved". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. July 8, 1978. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- "Brown now looking west". Daily News. June 23, 1978. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- Goldaper, Sam (June 22, 1974). "N.B.A. Adds Toronto, Without Owner". New York Times.
- Keller, Arlie (September 26, 1975). "Toronto is back in NBA picture". Toronto Star.
- "Ballard expects to win bid for NBA franchise by end of November". Globe and Mail. November 8, 1974.
- Keller, Arlie (December 13, 1974). "Fresh backing is expected for Toronto's NBA entry". Toronto Star.
- "NBA lowers curtain on Toronto's quest for team next season". Globe and Mail. January 15, 1975.
- "Richman seeks NBA backers for Toronto". Globe and Mail. January 8, 1975.
- "Rockets' president doubts Ballard to get Houston NBA team". Globe and Mail. September 26, 1975.
- Goodman, Jeffry (February 8, 1979). "Toronto's NBA bid is real longshot". Globe and Mail.
- "Roundup: Toronto team may join NBA". Globe and Mail. February 5, 1979.
- "Sports people; Toronto in N.B.A. Bid". New York Times. August 21, 1986. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
- Davidson, James (August 20, 1986). "Toronto investors seek NBA franchise". Globe and Mail.
- "No NBA club for Toronto". Globe and Mail. April 23, 1987.
- Shoalts, David (October 1, 1993). "Leafs left out in cold by NBA decision". Globe and Mail.
- "Shooting Stars to go on hiatus for one season". Toronto Star. August 15, 1997. p. E5.
- "Hamilton in the running for moving Stars". Hamilton Spectator. March 11, 1997.
- Da Costa, Norman (November 2, 1996). "League bails out soccer's Stars". Toronto Star. p. E7.
- Kernaghan, John (August 20, 1998). "Raiders call it quits in Hamilton". Hamilton Spectator.
- Milton, Steve (July 7, 1998). "Hamilton's pro lacrosse is going, going ...". Hamilton Spectator.
- Kernaghan, John (July 14, 1998). "Three-way toss up for Ontario Raiders". Hamilton Spectator.
- Brown, Josh (December 4, 1998). "Watters, Beeston, Domi, Orr bring pro lacrosse to town". Toronto Star.
- Stevens, Neil (December 24, 1998). "Rock will test Toronto's taste for pro lacrosse". Waterloo Region Record.
- York, Marty (July 29, 1998). "Arena football team may land in Toronto". Globe and Mail.
- York, Marty (March 17, 1999). "CFL is looking at new arenas to keep football alive". Globe and Mail.
- Peddie, Richard (2013). Dream Job. Harper Collins.
- Tedesco, Theresa (February 13, 1998). "Raptors bought by Leafs". Hamilton Spectator.
- Tedesco, Theresa (February 13, 1998). "Deal between Raptors and Leafs has a". Canwest.
- "Stunning deal sees Leafs buy Raptors". Canadian Press. February 13, 1998.
- "NBA approves sale of Raptors". Globe and Mail. March 28, 1998.
- "NBA at a Glance / Daily Report". Los Angeles Times. March 28, 1998. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
- "Richard Peddie BComm '70, LLD '01". University of Windsor. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- "Hockey Briefs". Toronto Star. July 16, 1998.
- Shoalts, David (February 17, 1999). "Upgrades added to cost". The Globe and Mail.
- Chu, Showwei (October 19, 2011). "Maple Leaf Gardens building renamed". CityNews. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- Balkissoon, Denise (November 30, 2009). "Ryerson and Loblaws make a deal for Maple Leaf Gardens". Toronto Star. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- "Maple Leaf" (PDF). Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. 2002-01-16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2003-03-21. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
- "Leafs making final run in St. John's". American Hockey League. November 29, 2004. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "Expansion of MLSEL Office Space in Ricoh Coliseum" (PDF). Exhibition Place. June 26, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
- Erwin, Steve (June 16, 2004). "Oilers' farm team caught in lease controversy at Ricoh". Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved January 3, 2014.
- Christie, James (January 16, 2003). "Coliseum gets makeover". Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- "Ricoh Canada Inc. Announces the Opening of Toronto's Ricoh Coliseum.". Business Wire. November 6, 2003. Archived from the original on November 6, 2003. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- "Comprehensive Review of City's Loan Guarantee and Loan Portfolio" (PDF). City of Toronto. April 9, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
- "Inside MLSE: History". Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
- "Maple Leaf Square". PCL Construction. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
- Warmington, Joe (October 6, 2010). "Leafs Nation deserves better". Toronto Sun. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
- "Maple Leaf Square". Maple Leaf Square. Archived from the original on August 4, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
- "Air Canada Centre Re-Opens Bigger And Better After Summer Hiatus". Toronto Raptors. September 11, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Ozanian, Mike (May 21, 2013). "David Beckham To Earn Huge Windfall From New York's MLS Expansion". Forbes. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- "Toronto city council approves soccer stadium deal". CBC News. October 27, 2005. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- "BMO Field to be Home for Toronto FC and Canada's National Soccer Teams". Bank of Montreal. September 20, 2006. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
- Edward, James (March 27, 2008). "Real Salt Lake negotiating deal for stadium name rights". Deseret News. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
- "BMO Field, MLSE delivers financial return to City of Toronto". Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- "Improvements to BMO Field at Exhibition Place" (PDF). Exhibition Place. March 6, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- "Soccer Stadium at Exhibition Place" (PDF). City of Toronto. October 2005. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Sandor, Steven (June 3, 2009). "Grass at BMO remains a contentious issue". Toronto Sun.
- "Grass Installation Underway". Toronto FC. March 29, 2010. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- "North End Expansion Of BMO Field". Toronto FC. March 18, 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- "Additional Seating at BMO Field at Exhibition Place" (PDF). City of Toronto. December 9, 2009. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- "Grass at BMO Field Attains Final Approval". Major League Soccer. January 23, 2010. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
- Byers, Jim (September 27, 2005). "Will NFL road show arrive in Toronto?; Godfrey chases regular- season game London the early favourite for 2006". Toronto Star.
- Grange, Michael (October 4, 2005). "FOOTBALL NFL: Toronto partners pitch to host game". Globe and Mail.
- Byers, Jim (October 4, 2005). "Godfrey buoyed by talks; NFL officials may decide on Toronto quest in weeks Rogers Centre could host game as early as next year". Toronto Star.
- "The breakdown of the Bills' plan to play 8 games in T.O.". Hamilton Spectator. February 7, 2008.
- Kelly, Cathal (November 24, 2013). "Jon Bon Jovi, MLSE give Toronto inside track on Buffalo Bills: Kelly". Toronto Star. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
- Arthur, Bruce (November 25, 2013). "Wheels (quietly) in motion to move Buffalo Bills to Toronto". National Post. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
- Kryk, John (July 29, 2014). "Former Sabres owner Golisano didn’t submit bid to buy Bills". Toronto Sun. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- Shoalts, David (November 24, 2013). "Bon Jovi buying Bills, building new Toronto stadium would be a $2-billion play". Globe and Mail. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- Precious, Tom (September 9, 2014). "Source: Bon Jovi group bid $1.05 billion, could have gone higher". Buffalo News. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
- "Argonauts could soon be sold to MLSE or Tanenbaum". The Sports Network. January 28, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- Zicarelli, Frank (September 3, 2013). "MLSE interested in Argos with eye on NFL in Toronto". Toronto Sun. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
- Larson, Kurtis (March 16, 2014). "MLSE plans to spend big bucks to upgrade BMO Field". Toronto Sun. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- Tucker, Cam (March 24, 2014). "B.C. Lions not for sale, Toronto Argonauts are: owner David Braley". Metro International. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
- Simmons, Steve (March 22, 2014). "Babcock deserves Jack Adams Award more than ever". Toronto Sun. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
- Lankhof, Bill (July 16, 2014). "Argonauts' off-field woes spell trouble for franchise and CFL". Toronto Sun. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- Shoalts, David (January 29, 2014). "MLSE outlines plans for stadium renovation, with eye on NFL team". Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- "Bell Canada and Kilmer Group to acquire Argonauts". Toronto Argonauts. May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Argonauts announce sale, move to BMO Field". CBC Sports. May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- McKnight, Zoe (January 28, 2014). "Leiweke hints bringing Argos to BMO Field could have NFL implications". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- "MLSE bows out of management contract with GMC". April 1, 2008. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- Verge, Jessica (June 25, 2008). "Global Spectrum takes over GM Centre". The Oshawa Express.
- "Toronto FC Training Ground and Home of Toronto FC Academy" (PDF). Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
- "Canadian Soccer Association allowed to de-sanction CSL". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. April 23, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
- Colpitts, Iain (April 18, 2013). "Mississauga Eagles withdraw from CSL". Retrieved April 10, 2014.
- Schuller, Rudi (April 9, 2014). "TFC Academy joins new Ontario semi-pro league". Goal.com. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
- "Toronto FC announces USL PRO team". Toronto FC. November 20, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
- "Toronto FC Unveils USL PRO Details". USL Pro. January 21, 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- "OSA, Toronto FC and Vaughan partner in new stadium". Ontario Soccer Association. January 21, 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- Martin-Robbins, Adam (January 21, 2015). "Toronto FC affiliate rolls into Vaughan". Retrieved April 28, 2015.
- Girard, Daniel (October 12, 2011). "Video: TFC building permanent training facility at Downsview Park". Toronto Star. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
- "About the facility". Toronto FC. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
- "Argos partner with MLSE to build new practice facility". Toronto Argonauts. July 24, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
- Rubin, Josh (July 25, 2014). "Argonauts, MLSE partner on new practice facility". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
- Zicarelli, Frank (September 9, 2014). "New practice facility gives Argonauts some stability". Toronto Sun. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
- Smith, Doug (January 15, 2008). "D-League coming to T.O.?". Toronto Star. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
- Radley, Scott (January 16, 2008). "Hey, it ain't the NBA ... But Raptors placing a D-League farm team in Copps will draw drafted players". Hamilton Spectator. Archived from the original on December 18, 2009.
- Lewenberg, Josh (June 29, 2015). "Lewenberg: D-League team is a coup for Raptors organization". The Sports Network. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- Cleveland, Will (August 13, 2014). "RazorSharks discussing partnership with Raptors". Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- Wolstat, Ryan (February 21, 2015). "D-League team on the way for Raptors". Toronto Sun. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
- Oliva, Anthony (June 29, 2015). "MLSE Purchases NBA D-League Team As League Expands To 19 Teams For 2015-16 Season". Toronto Raptors. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- Smith, Doug (June 24, 2015). "Raptors to announce D League team will play in Mississauga this season". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- "MLSE acquires GolTV from Insight Sports.". CNW Group. January 23, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
- "TFC gets new family member". Major League Soccer.
- "Maple Leafs & Raptors" (PDF). Canadian Radio-Television Commission. March 5, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Gol TV – Revocation of licence". Canadian Radio-Television Commission. July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
- "Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2009-803". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. December 23, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-395". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. June 18, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
- Shoalts, David (November 28, 2011). "What's next for MLSE?". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved December 10, 2011.
- Westhead, Rick (November 27, 2011). "Maple Leaf Sports plans broadcast gamble". Toronto Star. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
- "Leafs, NBA, GOL TV, hidden key to MLSE value, Richard Peddie says". Toronto Star. October 22, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Krashinsky, Susan (December 10, 2011). "Allure of certainty makes partners out of rivals Rogers, BCE". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved December 10, 2011.
It also prevents the launch of a well-connected competitor. MLSE has a broadcast licence for a 'specialty' cable sports channel – tentatively named Real Sports, according to sources – that could have snatched away those games once the deals with Sportsnet and TSN had expired.
- "Maple Leafs & Raptors" (PDF). Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. March 12, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
- "Leafs New Practice Rink Unveiled On Tuesday". Toronto Maple Leafs. September 8, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Hornby, Lance (September 8, 2009). "Leafs open 'Cadillac' of practice facilities". Toronto Sun. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
- Moloney, Paul (June 13, 2011). "City poised to take over arena's $40 million debt". Toronto Star. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Levy, Sue-Ann (June 20, 2011). "Toronto's $449-million loan groan". Toronto Sun. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Levy, Sue-Ann (June 11, 2011). "Rink stink". Toronto Sun. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
- Church, Elizabeth (June 13, 2011). "Toronto taxpayers on hook as Lakeshore arena runs out of cash". Globe and Mail. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Doolittle, Robyn (June 25, 2011). "What went wrong with Etobicoke's state-of-the-art arena?". Toronto Star. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- "Leafs, Marlies, Lakeshore Lions Club Team up with MasterCard To Foster Hockey Excellence". MasterCard. August 19, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2004.
- "Annual Report 2011" (PDF). Lakeshore Arena Corporation. 2011. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Peat, Don (June 20, 2011). "Bailout for Lakeshore Lions arena approved". Toronto Sun. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- "RE: Lakeshore Arena Corporation 2012 Audited Financial Statements and Annual Report of the Board of Directors" (PDF). Lakeshore Arena Corporation. March 31, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Westhead, Rick (April 24, 2008). "Leafs owner eyes U.K. soccer". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- Hay, Phil (May 29, 2012). "Leeds United in takeover talks with investors UPDATED". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- "Forse la Maple Leaf Sports&Entertainment dietro il fondo canadese interessato al Parma". Teleducato. March 24, 2015. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
- Feschuk, Dave (January 8, 2012). "Newly retired Peddie muses on life after MLSE". Toronto Star. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
- "Richard Peddie". University of Windsor. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- Vardi, Nathan (November 16, 2007). "Winning Isn't Everything". Forbes. Retrieved November 16, 2007.
- "What to make of Peddie's legacy with MLSE?". Sportsnet. October 21, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
- "Tim Leiweke shakes up MLSE corporate structure". Toronto Star. July 24, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
- Elliot, Helene (April 27, 2013). "Tim Leiweke tapped to lead Canadian sports conglomerate". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
- Fitz-Gerald, Sean (August 21, 2014). "Tim Leiweke set to step down from MLSE to pursue other opportunities". National Post. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
- "BMO Field Expansion". BMO Field. Retrieved October 11, 2014.
- "Draft Amended and Restated Letter of Intent from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd" (PDF). City of Toronto. June 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- Tepper, Sean (March 14, 2014). "MLSE wants $10 million from Toronto for BMO Field makeover". Toronto Star. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- "MLSE: City pushing to move Argos to BMO Field". Toronto Star. March 7, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- "Renovation and Expansion of BMO Field" (PDF). City of Toronto. March 5, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
- "Proposal for Expansion of Stadium at Exhibition Place" (PDF). March 10, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
- Dale, Daniel (January 19, 2014). "MLSE's Leiweke: Taxpayers would be paid back for BMO Field expansion". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
- "BMO Field - Public Meeting" (PDF). Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. March 5, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- "Toronto could host Winter Classic in 2017". Sportsnet. December 31, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
- Peat, Dan (March 14, 2014). "Norm Kelly wants city to advance MLSE $10 million for BMO improvements". Toronto Sun. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- Peat, Dan (March 12, 2014). "Mayor Rob Ford's pay freeze request goes to executive committee". Toronto Sun. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- Ralph, Dan (May 27, 2014). "MLSE boss Leiweke said organization not closing door on Argos at BMO Field". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
- Kelly, Cathal; Curry, Bill (May 27, 2014). "Argos on the outs in BMO Field dispute between MLSE and federal government". Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
- Dale, Daniel (May 27, 2014). "Argonauts' move to BMO Field 'on hold,' MLSE says". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
- Grange, Michael (September 16, 2014). "Pity Toronto as it allows storied Argos to vanish". Sportsnet. Retrieved October 11, 2014.
- Pagliaro, Jennifer (April 23, 2015). "Argos’ fate rests on talks with mystery group". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Yuen, Jenny (April 23, 2015). "New owner could help Argos land new home". Toronto Sun. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- "Clock ticking on CFL conversion at BMO Field". The Sports Network. April 10, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- Muret, Don (November 11, 2013). "MLSE hires designer for practice facility; downtown targeted". Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Wolstat, Ryan (April 16, 2014). "Raptors close to making announcement on new practice court". Toronto Sun. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
- Peat, Don (July 29, 2014). "Raptors in talks for Exhibition Place practice facility". Toronto Sun. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- "Appendix A" (PDF). City of Toronto. August 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- Caton, Hilary (August 12, 2014). "New Raptors practice facility at Exhibition Place still not a slam-dunk". Inside Toronto. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- "High performance basketball development and training centre" (PDF). Maple Leaf Sports + Entertainment. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- "Proposed Basketball Training Centre at Exhibition Place" (PDF). City of Toronto. August 6, 2014. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
- "Toronto Raptors Practice Facility". ICON Venue Group. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
- Warmington, Joe (August 15, 2014). "CNE is forced to change with the landscape". Toronto Sun. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- Church, Elizabeth (August 20, 2014). "Raptors’ Exhibition Place plan scores victory at Toronto city hall". Globe and Mail. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
- Moloney, Paul (August 20, 2014). "Executive committee approves plan for Raptors training centre at Exhibition Place". Toronto Star. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
- Peat, Don (August 25, 2014). "Mayor Rob Ford rips Raptors facility approval". Toronto Sun. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
- "New Raptors training centre approved by Toronto council". CBC News. August 25, 2014. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
- "Proposed Basketball Training Centre at Exhibition Place". City of Toronto. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- Buffery, Steve (February 13, 2015). "MLSE boxing venture on hold ... just be-gauze". Toronto Sun. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
- "Gardens power plays". Globe and Mail. April 3, 1995.
- Dunnell, Milt (July 5, 1965). "Baseball's bankroll gone". Toronto Star.
- Hunter, Douglas (1997). Champions: The Illustrated History of Hockey's Greatest Dynasties. Chicago, Illinois: Triumph Books. p. 50. ISBN 1-57243-213-6.
- "Smythe is elected Gardens' president". Toronto Daily Star. November 20, 1947.
- Smythe, Thomas Stafford; Shea, Kevin Shea (2000). Centre Ice: The Smythe Family, the Gardens, and the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club. Bolton, Ontario, Canada: Fenn Publishing Co. pp. 156–167. ISBN 1-55168-250-8.
- "Ballard's death laid groundwork". Toronto Star. December 1, 2010.
- Beddoes, Dick (September 2, 1971). "Bassett sells Gardens stock, buys control of Argos". Globe and Mail.
- Beddoes, Dick (October 21, 1971). "Ballard president in shakeup at Gardens". Globe and Mail.
- McKee, Ken (March 8, 1966). "'Cash rated over class' Conn quits". Toronto Star.
- Ballard: A Portrait of Canada's Most Controversial Sports Figure, William Houston, Summerhill Press, 1984, p. 60.
- Tyler, Tracey (November 25, 1990). "How Harold Ballard got the Gardens". Toronto Star.
- Tedesco, Theresa (March 22, 1999). "History repeats itself ... almost". National Post.
- Beddoes, Dick (January 5, 1972). "MLG control at stake: Smythe bid for Ballard stock rejected". Globe and Mail.
- Orr, Frank (February 5, 1972). "Harrold Ballard: From rink rat to Gardens' boss". Toronto Star.
- Dunnell, Milt (February 4, 1972). "Ballard buys Gardens control for $7,546,350". Toronto Star.
- Lutsky, Irvin (February 5, 1972). "Gardens' president Harold Ballard to buy Smythe shares". Globe and Mail.
- McDonald, Archie (September 23, 1989). "Son of a Ballard: Assault trial a rehearsal for family fight for fortune". Vancouver Sun.
- Johnson, Arthur (October 1, 1991). "The Maple Leaf Follies: Who needs hockey? With a team of lawyers fighting for ambitious corporations and the feuding Ballard clan, nothing can compare with the faceoff for Maple Leaf Gardens". Financial Post.
- "Ballard money a family affair Daughter gets $15.5 million as Harold buys her shares". Toronto Star. January 25, 1989.
- "Harold E. Ballard Ltd. misses Molson loan deadline". Ottawa Citizen. January 3, 1991.
- Hurst, Lynda (February 25, 1990). "Faceoff brewing over Ballard's fortune". Montreal Gazette.
- "Molson nets share of Maple Leafs". Ottawa Citizen. November 2, 1990.
- "Molson to purchase $20 million in Gardens shares for $10,000". Kitchener-Waterloo Record. November 1, 1990.
- McParland, Kelly (2011). The Lives of Conn Smythe. Random House.
- "Ballard's estate deeper in debt despite Leafs season". Ottawa Citizen. June 25, 1993.
- Van Alphen, Tony (November 1, 1990). "Molson puts shares of Gardens in trust". Toronto Star.
- Van Alphen, Tony (January 4, 1991). "TD payments left Ballard with no cash for Molson". Toronto Star.
- Van Alphen, Tony (September 24, 1991). "Molson deal gives Stavro total control of Gardens". Toronto Star.
- "Bill Ballard loses in court to Stavro". Windsor Star. April 13, 1991.
- Van Alphen, Tony (February 23, 1996). "Bill Ballard joins Gardens battle Files lawsuit seeking return of his shares". Toronto Star.
- "In the matter of the Securities Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter S.5". Ontario Securities Commission. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- "Play-by-play". Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- "Stavro set to take Gardens private Meeting seen as a 'rubber stamp'". Toronto Star. August 6, 1996.
- Settimi, Christina (November 26, 2007). "Big Wins - At the Bank". Forbes. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- Van Alphen, Tony (August 13, 1994). "The face-off at Maple Leaf Gardens". Toronto Star.
- "Date-by-Date Story of Gardens Takeover Fight". The Hamilton Spectator. November 11, 1994. p. C15.
- Van Alphen, Tony (August 4, 1994). "Slow speed of probe into sale angers Gardens shareholders". Toronto Star.
- Van Alphen, Tony (May 3, 1994). "Stavro set to take Gardens private". Toronto Star.
- Van Alphen, Tony (April 11, 1994). "Stavro's Gardens bid enjoys the rink to itself". Toronto Star.
- "Stavro sells off part of Gardens NHL expected to give him fast nod for deal with pal". Toronto Star. June 21, 1996.
- "Larry Tanenbaum". Toronto Raptors. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- Hornby, Lance (June 26, 2003). "A quiet exit for Maple Leafs boss". The London Free Press. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- "Signs of the times". Eye Weekly. April 1, 1999. Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- "Stavro found to have misled shareholders during '94 bid". March 23, 1999. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- Howlett, Karen (October 20, 1999). "An irregular regulator". Globe and Mail. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- Tedesco, Theresa (May 11, 2011). "How TD became a MVP in the MLSE sale". National Post. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- Perkins, Tara (May 10, 2011). "Teachers snaps up TD's Maple Leaf Sports stake". Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- Westhead, Rick (January 5, 2008). "Toronto billionaire eyes Leafs empire". Toronto Star. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- "Teachers' Pension Plan boosting stake in MLSE". Toronto Star. August 20, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
- Cribb, Robert; Van Alphen, Tony (December 1, 2010). "Rogers in $1.3B talks to buy majority stake in Leafs empire". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
- "Report: Rogers bids $1.3 billion for MLSE". Sportsnet. December 1, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
- Fitz-Gerald, Sean (November 25, 2011). "MLSE no longer for sale: Teachers' Pension Plan". National Post. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- Rocha, Euan (December 9, 2011). "Toronto sports empire sold to Rogers and BCE". Reuters. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- "OTPP announces sale of MLSE majority interest". Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. September 9, 2011. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-443". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. August 16, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
- "BCE and Rogers team up to buy 75 percent of MLSE". The Sports Network. December 10, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
- "Teachers' completes $1.32-billion sale of MLSE". Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. August 22, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- Competition Bureau (May 2, 2012). "Competition Bureau Statement on Bell and Rogers' Acquisition of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment". Retrieved May 6, 2012.
- "NHL board approves sale of MLSE to BCE-Rogers". The Sports Network. June 20, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- "Bell, Rogers now official owners of MLSE". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
- BCE Inc. (December 9, 2011). "Bell acquires ownership position in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment - MLSE". Retrieved December 9, 2011.
- Shoalts, David (July 18, 2012). "MLSE board expected to undergo major change after sale is finalized". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- "Board of Directors". Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- The Canadian Press (December 9, 2011). "Bell to keep Canadiens stake". CBC.ca. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
- "Consent to Assignment of Agreements with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd (“MLSEL”)" (PDF). City of Toronto. 2015-09-02. Retrieved 2015-10-01.
- Data from the following annual reports:
- Baldo, Anthony; Biesada, Alexandra; Hackney, Holt; Ozanian, Michael K; Taub, Stephen (July 9, 1991). "Secrets of the front office: What America's pro teams are worth". Financial World: 28.
- Ozanian, Michael K; Taub, Stephen; Morris, Kathleen; Fink, Ronald (July 7, 1992). "Big leagues, bad business". Financial World: 34.
- Ozanian, Michael K; Taub, Stephen; Fink, Ronald; Kimelman, John; Reingold, Jennifer; Starr, Jason (May 25, 1993). "Foul ball". Financial World: 50.
- Ozanian, Michael K; Fink, Ronald; Kimelman, John; Reingold, Jennifer; Osterland, Andrew; Starr, Jason; Grabarek, Brooke (May 10, 1994). "The $11 billion pastime: Why sports franchise values are soaring even as team profits fall". Financial World: 50.
- Ozanian, Michael K; Atre, Tushar; Fink, Ronald; Reingold, Jennifer (May 9, 1995). "Suite deals: Why new stadiums are shaking up the pecking order of sports franchises". Financial World: 42.
- Atre, Tushar; Auns, Kristine; Badenhausen, Kurt; McAuliffe, Kevin (May 20, 1996). "The high-stakes game of team ownership". Financial World: 49.
- Badenhausen, Kurt; Nikolov, Christopher (June 17, 1997). "More than a game: An in-depth look at the raging bull market in sports franchises". Financial World: 40.
- "Toronto Maple Leafs". Forbes. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
- "#1 Toronto Maple Leafs". Forbes. November 8, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- "Toronto Raptors". Forbes. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
- "#14 Toronto Raptors". Forbes. December 6, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- Smith, Chris (August 19, 2015). "Major League Soccer's Most Valuable Teams 2015". Forbes. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
- Smith, Chris (November 20, 2013). "Major League Soccer's Most Valuable Teams". Forbes. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
- Schwartz, Peter; Badenhausen, Kurt (September 9, 2008). "Major League Soccer's Most Valuable Teams". Forbes. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- Pataki, Amy (January 28, 2011). "E11even Slams Diners Into Boards". The Star (Toronto).
- "Leaders at MLSE". Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Retrieved March 30, 2014.