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David S. Blitzer (born 1969) is a co-managing partner and minority owner of the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League, Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association, Crystal Palace FC of the English Premier League, the Scranton Wilkes/Barre RailRiders of the Triple-A International League, esport company Dignitas, and a senior executive at the private equity firm Blackstone Group.

David S. Blitzer
Born (1969-09-07) September 7, 1969 (age 50)
NationalityAmerican
EducationB.S. University of Pennsylvania
OccupationPrivate equity investor
Known forShareholder of the Philadelphia 76ers
Shareholder of New Jersey Devils
Shareholder of Crystal Palace FC
Spouse(s)Allison Ross
Children5

BiographyEdit

Blitzer grew up in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.[1] In 1987, he graduated from Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School.[2] He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. He is married to fellow Penn alumnus Allison Ross.[3] In 1991, he accepted a position with the Blackstone Group where he serves as Senior Managing Director & Head of Tactical Opportunities in New York City.[4][5]

Blitzer is a member of the investment group that won a $280 million bid for the purchase of the Philadelphia 76ers. The other members of the investment group are: Joshua Harris of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, portfolio manager Art Wrubel, and former NBA agent and Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien, all fellow Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania graduates,[6] as well as former Vail Resorts CEO Adam Aron, Martin J. Geller, David B. Heller, Travis Hennings, James Lassiter, Marc Leder, Michael Rubin, Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith, and Indonesian businessmen Handy Soetedjo & Erick Thohir.[7] Comcast-Spectacor and Harris began talks in the summer of 2011. The deal was announced on July 13, 2011.[8] The NBA formally approved the deal on October 13.[9] As of August 2019, the value of the Sixers has increased to $1.7 billion.[10]

On August 15, 2013, it was announced that a group led by Joshua Harris and partner David Blitzer have purchased a majority stake in the New Jersey Devils of the NHL, which includes the rights to operate Prudential Center arena in Newark, New Jersey. The transaction was reportedly for over $320 million.[11][12] In 2017, Blitzer and Harris formed Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE) which will hold all their sports investments; Harris will serve as Owner/Chairman and Blitzer as Owner/Vice-Chairman.[13] As of August 2019, the value of the Devils has increased to $455 million.[14]

In September 2014, he partnered with David Abrams and lead a local investment group that purchased a 50% interest the New York Yankees Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders;[15] Blitzer and Abrams will serve as co-managing owners.[16] In December 2015, Blizer and Harris joined with Steve Parish to a take a controlling stake in Crystal Palace F.C.[17]

In September 2016, Blizer and Harris purchased Dignitas, a professional esports organization based in the United Kingdom formed when Battlefield 1942 clans Legion Condor and Sweden Kompanix merged. It best known for its former League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive squads.[18]

PhilanthropyEdit

Blitzer and his wife founded the Blitzer Family Foundation which promotes youth development through education, athletics, and health.[2] Blitzer serves on the Boards of Dream, a youth development organizing servicing more than 2,200 inner city children, the Riverdale Country School, the Advisory Board of the Mount Sinai Hospital Surgical Department, the Board of Overseers at the Wharton School, and the Board of Trustees at the University of Pennsylvania.[2] Blitzer is a supporter of Hillel, which focuses on encouraging Jewish undergraduate and graduate students to embrace their Jewish heritage.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

Blitzer is married to Allison (née Ross) Blitzer, who is also Jewish;[20] they have five children between the ages of 10-17.

In 2010, his father-in-law, Stuart Ross, who once owned the North American rights to the Smurfs franchise, was convicted of trying to extort $5.5 million from Blitzer in return for having no more contact with Blitzer's family and another $5.5 million from Blitzer for having no more contact with Blitzer and Blackstone. He was convicted of extortion and sentenced to five years of probation under the condition that he get psychiatric and alcohol treatment and has no contact with his daughter Allison, Blitzer, their children, and the Blackstone Group.[21][22][23]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lattman, Peter (July 13, 2011). "Private Equity Princes Reach Deal for 76ers". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b c Mooney, John (December 9, 2018). "NJ Devils Co-Owner David Blitzer Will Return to Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School for Hall of Fame Induction". TAPinto Springfield.
  3. ^ University of Pennsylvania Gazette retrieved July 7, 2013
  4. ^ Blackstone Group: Our People - David S. Blitzer retrieved July 7, 2013
  5. ^ Smagalla, David (December 27, 2017). "In Their Own Words With Blackstone Group's David Blitzer". Wall Street Journal.
  6. ^ Philadelphia Inquirer: "Those who know him say Joshua Harris, soon-to-be Sixers owner, lives for competition and success" By Kate Fagan August 02, 2011
  7. ^ ESPN: "Group led by Joshua Harris completes purchase of Sixers" Archived 2013-10-18 at the Wayback Machine October 18, 2011
  8. ^ Sale of 76ers to Joshua Harris finished. ESPN, 2011-07-13.
  9. ^ Group led by Joshua Harris completes purchase of 76ers Archived 2013-10-18 at the Wayback Machine. Philadelphia 76ers, 2011-10-13.
  10. ^ "NBA Team Valuations" #12 Philadelphia 76ers". Forbes. August 2019.
  11. ^ "Devils announce sale of team to billionaire Josh Harris". The Star-Ledger. August 15, 2013.
  12. ^ Jewish Exponent: "Josh Harris, owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, has, with David Blitzer, purchased the New Jersey Devils in the NHL for $320 million" By Michael Elkin August 28, 2013
  13. ^ Camerato, Jessica (September 25, 2017). "Sixers owners Josh Harris, David Blitzer form sports and entertainment business". NBC Sports.
  14. ^ "NHL Team Valuations" #19 New Jersey Devils". Forbes. August 2019.
  15. ^ "Mandalay Announces Pending Sale of Ownership Interest in RailRiders". Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. September 3, 2014.
  16. ^ "RailRiders Unveil Members of Local Ownership". Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. February 25, 2015.
  17. ^ "Palace agree £50m US investment from New Jersey Devils owner". The Guardian. December 18, 2015.
  18. ^ Rovell, Darren (26 September 2016). "76ers acquire esports teams Dignitas and Apex". ESPN. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  19. ^ Hillel Organization: "2012 Annual report" 2012
  20. ^ The Evening Standard: "$11M Family Feud Rocks Private Equity World; at Loggerheads: Stuart Ross, above Left with His Attorney, Stuart Jackson, and His Son-in-Law, David Blitzer, Far Right" September 30, 2008
  21. ^ Rothfield, Michael. Wall Street Journal: "New Tack in Extortion Case - Blackstone Executive Now Being Sued by His Father-in-Law's Former Attorney", Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2011
  22. ^ New York Post: "Importer of 'Smurfs' takes plea in wacky $11.5 million Blackstone Group extortion case" By LAURA ITALIANO August 12, 2010
  23. ^ Bloomberg: "Father-in-Law of Blackstone Director Blitzer Faces July 26 Extortion Trial" By Karen Freifeld June 7, 2010