Canadian Football League

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Golden Gate pulls out of bid process for Canadian Football League expansion

The Canadian Football League's efforts to bring a team back to Ottawa suffered a setback Tuesday when one of the interested parties, Golden Gate Capital Corp., pulled out of the bid process.
The Toronto-based financial services company informed the league of its decision, saying one of its principal investors has serious health problems.
The Golden Gate bid was considered by many CFL insiders to be the leading contender in bringing a franchise back to the Ottawa area by 2008, partly because the bid included influential Ottawa 67's owner Jeff Hunt.
Hunt would have taken control of the business operations of the team if Golden Gate's bid was successful.
The CFL still has two other options. One is beverage maker Frank D'Angelo, president and CEO of Steelback Brewery, and the other is a group of American investors which includes former CFLer Bill Palmer, father of Montreal Alouettes backup quarterback Jesse Palmer.
"We have very strong investor groups under consideration and will continue our process with them to bring a CFL team back to the Ottawa-Gatineau area," said Ted Hellard, the chairman of the CFL's franchise committee. "We remain satisfied with where we currently are and the prospects that we have to consider."
Commissioner Tom Wright said the league wants a sustainable market in the nation's capital and won't rush a decision on bringing back a ninth team to the league.
"We are committed to the Ottawa-Gatineau market, but this needs to be done carefully and prudently to ensure long-term success," he said.
The Renegades were put up for sale in March after CFL owners rejected a proposal by the team's owners, led by Bernie and Lonie Glieberman, calling on the league for a $2-million loan to help fund the season.
In April, the franchise was shut down after the CFL suspended the club's operations, saying it would focus on finding a new owner for the 2007 season.
A few days later, the team's players were divided up among the remaining eight CFL teams.


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