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The Tampa Bay Lightning were allegedly once owned by the Yakuza


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Josh tupper
August 15, 2022  (2:25 PM)
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Despite being one of the newer franchises in the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning have already had 5 seperate ownership changes. When the team was born in 1992, the Lightning Partners Ltd., were the ownership group. The group headed by Phil Esposito, but relied heavily on the financial backing of Kokusai Green Co. Ltd. The CEO at the time was Takashi Okubo.

The group struggled financially and ultimately nearly bankrupted the franchise. But the group was ultimately able to secure the downtown arena now known as AMALIE Arena.
But what many people didn't know at that time was Okubo had been linked to the Yakuza. A writer from Sports Illustrated provided the following:
Okubo, Takashi: The former owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Okubo was described by a source in one lawsuit as being a "gangster" and a member of a Japanese mob organization known as "yakuza," a group that has been known to launder money through sports enterprises. Under Okubo's leadership, the Lightning were one of the worst franchises in sports and nearly went bankrupt until Bill Davidson's remarkable rescue.

These rumors continued to swirl until the team was finally sold. Surprisingly after being a financial wreck that would make the Coyotes blush, the team was able to turn things around financially.
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AUGUST 15   |   98 ANSWERS
The Tampa Bay Lightning were allegedly once owned by the Yakuza

Do you consider the Tampa Bay Lightning a dynasty?

Yes, they're a dynasty2525.5 %
No, they need another Cup to be a dynasty4343.9 %
They're a modern day dynasty not a true dynasty3030.6 %
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