Entrepreneurs looking to get into the minor league sports business had their opportunity on Craigslist Monday morning. Among the apartments, used cars and personal ads, the business/commercial section displayed an ad for ownership shares with the Cedar Rapids Titans.
Mike Polaski, a minority owner of the Indoor Football League team, posted an ad on the classifieds web site claiming, “A downturn in my ‘core’ business (restaurant owner) has forced me to liquidate my 20% ownership in The Cedar Rapids Titans…”
“I think the way that maybe he went about it, we all wished was a little better,” Titans owner and general manager Chris Kokalis said. “But it’s his share. It’s like you having ownership in Best Buy or Kohls and you wanting to unload your shares. He just used Craig’s List as a way to seek interest.”
The ad – which was taken down – may have been a little embarrassing for the organization, but it doesn’t take away from what Kokalis calls a thriving product.
“The majority ownership of the team is still intact. (There are) no plans or intentions of selling the team, we’re moving forward, we’re growing, we’re continuing to build,” Kokalis said. “Obviously the team is doing well on the field and is doing perfect off the field. I think people are reading a bit too much into it.”
The Titans are 3-0 and filled the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena to near capacity in both its home games this season. They are expecting another large crowd Friday.
For a sale to be complete, Polaski, who owns Jo’s Roadhouse in Solon, has to bring potential buyers to the Titans’ board of owners, which consists of four members. All four would have to agree on the buyer and the details. The craiglist ad set the price at $80,000.
Once the group crosses that hurdle the IFL then needs to approve the purchase.
“It’s not like anyone off the street can buy into the football team there’s a process that needs to be followed,” Kokalis said. “…We’re obviously looking for credible individuals, you know, people who have the financial wherewithal and just to make sure it’s the right fit. This isn’t the right fit for everybody.”
Kokalis stressed how much of a fit Cedar Rapids is for the team numerous times in his eight minute phone interview with The Gazette. The fact that a portion of the Titans is for sale doesn’t affect the future location of the team.
“This is someone who has very minority ownership interest in the team,”Kokalis said. “We’ve got people thinking that the team is being sold, which is not the case at all.”