The National Hockey League’s Ottawa Senators agreed to a deal to sell 90% of the team to a group led by Toronto billionaire Michael Andlauer, a transaction that could have significant development implications in Canada’s capital and ultimately lead to a downtown stadium.
The NHL team, which currently plays almost 25 kilometers west of Parliament Hill in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata, said Andlauer agreed to the deal and will assume control of the organization’s operations with Anna and Olivia Melnyk through the Melnyk Estate, retaining a 10% interest in the club.
“My family and I are very excited to be a part of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club. I believe that the Senators’ fanbase is one of the most passionate in the league, and I’m excited to take the franchise’s success both on and off the ice to the next level,” said the new owner, who is part owner of the Montreal Canadiens, in a statement.
“The short and long-term future of the team is incredibly bright, and I look forward to getting to know the team, the fanbase, and the community.”
Pharmaceutical billionaire Eugene Melnyk bought the Senators out of bankruptcy in 2003, but he passed away in 2022, ahead of a plan agreed to with the National Capital Commission to build a stadium just west of downtown.
No price was disclosed in the release, but the Ottawa Citizen reported the purchase price as US$950 million, including the team’s stadium known as the Canadian Tire Centre. The stadium opened in 1996, and it is unclear what will happen to the facility if the team moves.
The Chairman and governor of Ottawa Senators
The governor and chairman of the Ottawa Senators, Sheldon Plener, said that they have entered into an agreement to sell the controlling interest of the Senators to Michael Andlauer. He also stated that Michael represents everything they could have hoped to find coming into this process and is also a passionate owner committed to Ottawa.