MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes have new owners, it was announced on Monday.
The Canadian Football League (CFL) club has been purchased by S and S Sportsco, a corporate entity owned by Sid Spiegel and Gary Stern – entrepreneurs with a track record of hard work and success, as well as, a deep passion for Canadian football.
“It’s amazing for us to be part of the Alouettes, a storied franchise that has meant so much to the people of Montreal and Quebec, and so much to the game we have followed all our lives,” Spiegel said.
“We see this not only as a challenge, but also as something that can be a lot of fun. We want Alouette fans to know we share their desire to see this team win on and off the field,” added Stern.
“We commit to them and our players, coaches and front office that we will do everything in our power to ensure this team succeeds. Our goal is to make Montreal and Quebec proud.”
Co-owner Gary Stern is pictured ahead of Monday’s press conference to introduce the new owners of the Alouettes (Peter McCabe/CFL.ca)
Sid Spiegel is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Crawford Steel. Gary is the company’s Chief Executive Officer.
Their previous investments in Quebec include steel plants in Longueuil and Rouyn-Noranda and real estate holdings. They now want to build a championship football team and the best fan experience.
“Our first priority is putting in place a new General Manager and a new President who can make the right football and business decisions,” said Stern, who will serve as the Alouettes’ Lead Governor on the CFL Board of Governors.
“We do tremendous business in Quebec and we have great respect for the province. We want to build this organization the way we have built our businesses: by putting good people in place and supporting them as they do their jobs, while working with great partners and understanding the market.”
Describing themselves as “CFL fans for life,” Spiegel and Stern are excited to get started.
“There have been so many great Alouette players spanning so many eras, from Sam Etcheverry and Hal Patterson to Peter Dalla Riva and Wally Buono to Anthony Calvillo and Ben Cahoon – this is as humbling as it is exciting,” Stern said.
CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie presided over the process that led to today’s announcement.
“These gentlemen emerged with the best offer in hand and the best interests of the Alouettes and their fans at heart. They have a genuine passion for football in Montreal and the resolve and resources to make the team successful over the long term,” Ambrosie said.
“I want to thank Alouette fans, the media and especially everyone in the Alouettes’ football operations and front office, for their patience during the process of securing new ownership. I especially want to acknowledge the Board of Governors of the CFL. Its stewardship and commitment have made this new chapter in the Alouettes story possible. Finally, I want to thank former Chair of the CFL, Jim Lawson, for his tireless work, and our new Chair, Dale Lastman, who was integral to this successful outcome.”
The Alouettes’ roots are as deep and as old as the game itself. The first written account of a football game in Montreal dates back to 1868. The first pro team in Montreal was organized in 1872 in the Mechanics Hall Building at McGill University.
In 1946, the Montreal Alouettes Football Club was founded as a successor to the teams of years past, and the team’s name was chosen to honour the first French Canadian squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force, an outfit heralded for its daring, bravery and skill.
The Alouettes have since captured seven Grey Cup championships (1949, 1970, 1974, 1977, 2002, 2009 and 2010), featured several Canadian Football Hall of Famers, including Hal Patterson, Wally Buono and Ben Cahoon, and boasted many dominant teams, particularly during the 1970s and 2000s.
“We cherish the history and traditions of Alouette football,” Stern said. “Now, what our fans and players want most is a strong and promising future, and that is our focus.”
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