Why Ryan Reynolds, Snoop Dogg, other celebrities want to buy the Ottawa Senators
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OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — While some hockey fans may be surprised by multiple celebrities facing off for a minority ownership stake in the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, experts who study the business of sport say the prospect stands to lift the team’s profile to new heights. It is also seen as a safe way for stars to park their money.
Vancouver-born actor Ryan Reynolds and rapper Snoop Dogg have both confirmed their interest, while Toronto recording artist The Weeknd has reportedly also thrown his hat into the ring.
For film or music stars interested in owning a professional sports team, the opportunity simply doesn’t come around often, said Michael Naraine, associate professor of sport management at Brock University.
“When you think about professional sport, it is a cartel-like system. There are only 32 teams, only 32 seats,” he told The Canadian Press. “Teams like the Ottawa Senators, even though they’ve never won the Stanley Cup and they are not doing so hot momentum-wise on the ice, they’re still highly coveted. That’s the kind of impetus for why celebrities are now wanting to get into sports ownership.”
The board of directors of Senators Sports & Entertainment initiated the process to sell the team last November after the death of owner Eugene Melnyk earlier that year. Melnyk left the franchise to his daughters, Anna and Olivia.