After more than three months of due diligence and league review, Michael Andlauer has at last completed his record-setting, $950 million acquisition of the Ottawa Senators.
After prior approval by the league’s executive committee, the Board of Governors also unanimously cleared the transaction, which represents the highest price ever paid for an NHL team, and deal is now officially closed. The approval process also follows a separate and protracted sales process lasting seven months.
Andlauer is scheduled to hold a formal press conference Friday at the team’s home arena, Canadian Tire Centre, to discuss the deal and his plans for the franchise.
Earlier this week, Andlauer appeared at the Senators’ charity golf tournament but acknowledged, “I probably shouldn’t be here, officially, but this is an important day.”
A former co-owner of the Montreal Canadiens, Andlauer will head a group that includes a series of local business leaders, as well as the two daughters of late former Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.
Andlauer said he and his partners are “aligned and committed to bringing on- and off-ice success to the National Capital Region. I cannot wait to get to Ottawa and get things officially started. It is an incredibly exciting time for the franchise, fans, and the community.”
The Andlauer deal ideally opens up a range of new possibilities for a franchise that has missed the playoffs the last six seasons, regularly posted operating losses, ranked 25th in average attendance last season, and plays in one of the league’s smallest markets.
Most notably, the Senators aim to build a new arena in Ottawa’s LeBreton Flats to supplant the 27-year-old Canadian Tire Centre — located about 16 miles from downtown Ottawa — and thus transform the team’s revenue-generating power.