Ryan Reynolds Group Prepping $1B-Plus Bid To Buy NHL’s Ottawa Senators

Actor Ryan Reynolds is reported to be among those prepared to bid more than $1 billion US to buy the NHL’s Ottawa Senators and the team’s home arena, Canadian Tire Centre.

The team and venue are up for sale from the estate of previous owner Eugene Melnyk, who died in March 2022, according to a report in the Ottawa Sun. If the sale goes through at the reported level, it would make Ottawa the first NHL franchise to top a billion.

New York-based banker Galatioto Sports Partners, hired by the Melnyk family to broker the sale, has set a May 15 deadline for final bids.

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Competition for the team has been fierce, and at one point included Los Angeles-based producer Neko Sparks, who reportedly was the highest bidder in the first round, offering more than $900 million. Seven groups, including the team of Reynolds and real estate magnate Christopher Bratty, have reportedly engaged in serious discussions and are expected to be among the final bidders.

The Ottawa Sun reported that Reynolds and Bratty would build a new rink closer to Ottawa’s downtown area if they win the bidding. The new venue would be surrounded by an entertainment area.

Reynolds also owns Welsh soccer club Wrexham FC, which has seen a considerable spike in its merchandising thanks to his affiliation. Actor Rob McElhenney also owns a piece of that club, which won its National League’s title last week and is being promoted to League Two after a 15-year absence.

Vancouver native Reynolds spoke of the soccer club to CNBC. His statements likely reflect a philosophy that would extend to the hockey team if he purchases it.

“I wasn’t an expert in, I’ll call it soccer for our American audience, but I’ve adopted it as football and rightfully so,” Reynolds told CNBC last week. “You have to go hand-in-hand, community and club.

“The thing I think we did do well with Wrexham FC is … We don’t have a large moat around us of publicists, lawyers and other personnel. We’re pretty accessible and accountable to both the community and the club.

“If you’re going to grow the club, you have to be in tandem and be able to grow that community.”

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