A celebrity bidding war for a minority ownership stake in the NHL’s Ottawa Senators stands to lift the team’s profile to new heights, while serving as a safe way for stars to park their money.
Experts say that while some hockey fans may be surprised to see names such as Ryan Reynolds, Snoop Dogg and reportedly The Weeknd throw their hats into the ring, the opportunity to own one of just 32 NHL teams doesn’t come around often.
Associate professor of sport management at Brock University Michael Naraine says having one of the celebrities involved in the Senators would give the eastern Ontario franchise new exposure in non-traditional markets.
Reynolds, who has been attached to a bid worth more than US$1 billion led by real estate developer Remington Group, has expressed interest in creating a television series about the team similar to his production company’s hit reality show, “Welcome to Wrexham,” about the Welsh soccer team the actor co-owns.
The board of directors of Senators Sports & Entertainment initiated the process to sell the team last November after the death of owner Eugene Melnyk, who left the franchise to his daughters Anna and Olivia.
May 15 marks the deadline for interested groups to submit final non-binding bids.