Nine different groups submitted bids to buy the Ottawa Senators prior to this week’s deadline, with some valuing the NHL team north of $900 million, according to someone familiar with the process.
The bidders will likely be narrowed in the coming days, with site visits scheduled later this month, said the person, who was granted anonymity because the details are private. The prospective owners include Montreal Canadiens investor Michael Andlauer, and a consortium that includes actor Ryan Reynolds and Toronto-based real estate developer The Remington Group.
Should the team sell for more than $900 million, it would be a record transaction for an NHL team. Fenway Sports Group purchased the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2021 for $900 million. Sportico values the Senators at $655 million, good for 27th in the 32-team league.
A representative for the Senators didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. A representative for Galatioto Sports Partners, which was retained to assist with the sale, declined to comment.
It’s been more than a decade since the last Canadian hockey team was sold (Winnipeg in 2011)—and the Senators offer a large real estate opportunity, often a critical factor for new sports investors. The team currently plays at the Canadian Tire Centre, an arena about 16 miles (26 kilometers) from the capital city’s downtown center. Many believe the location has limited the team’s attendance; the team is averaging 16,371 through 33 home games this season, which ranks 26th in the league.
In June, the Senators signed a memorandum of understanding for a new downtown arena at the LeBreton Flats site. There are still many steps between the MOU and an arena opening, but securing that agreement in connection with the sale would likely impact the franchise’s sale price.
The Senators are being sold by the family of late owner Eugene Melnyk, who died last March. The franchise is currently run by a three-person board.
In addition to Fenway’s purchase of the Penguins, former Tennessee governor Bill Haslam’s purchase of the Nashville Predators includes four payments with built-in enterprise values. The Predators will be valued at roughly $900 million for the fourth and final payment in 2025.