SBD/March 30, 2012/Franchises

Flames Become Majority Owners Of CFL Stampeders, Adding Fifth Team To Portfolio

The Flames have become the majority owners of the CFL Calgary Stampeders, the “fifth team under the NHL club’s control," according to Ian Busby of the CALGARY SUN. The Flames’ ownership of the Stampeders means the team “will now look at building a sports complex downtown with both a football stadium and a new arena.” One of the silent Stampeders owners a few months ago “expressed interest in selling his share,” and that “started a process where the Flames determined they should take over controlling interest.” With Thursday’s announcement “comes word that minority partner John Forzani said the rest of the owners have kept their shares with the intentions of moving into the background of Stamps ownership.” The Flames already are majority owners of the WHL Calgary Hitmen, the NLL Calgary Roughnecks and the AHL Abbotsford Heat. The Stampeders are the "second team purchased in less than a year” -- the Flames bought the Roughnecks last June (CALGARY SUN, 3/30). Stampeders President & COO Lyle Bauer said, “It makes a lot of sense. Our vision and plan for the future mirrors what the Flames are trying to do.” He added he and Flames President & CEO Ken King “have had numerous conversations about the future.” In Calgary, Kristen Odland notes the Flames previously “had a small ownership stake in the Stamps, while the majority group was headed” by Forzani and former CFL Commissioner Doug Mitchell (CALGARY HERALD, 3/30). 

DEAL DETAILS: The GLOBE & MAIL’s Allan Maki cited sources as saying that the deal will see the Flames ownership in the Stampeders “rise to 70 per cent from the previous five per cent.” The majority of the original owners, including Forzani and Mitchell, will “remain on board in a lesser capacity.” Forzani said, “This was not a money deal. Ask yourself this question: what’s in the best long-term interests of the Stampeders? The answer is: we wanted to be run by a very professional organization that is in the business of operating sports franchises.” King said that the Flames’ six-man ownership group "‘is moving to become a sports corporation’ so it can best operate its growing list of properties.” Flames Owner Al Libin, Senior VP/Finance & Administration John Bean and King along with “three original owners will form the Stampeders’ new six-man executive board and oversee the football team’s operation.” King said the Flames will lend their manpower and expertise to “ticket sales, marketing, human resources, promotions” (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/30).
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