why Hunt's Golden Gate bid will win

[url=http://www.ottawasun.com/Sports/Football/2006/09/12/1829049-sun.html]http://www.ottawasun.com/Sports/Footbal ... 9-sun.html[/url]


All three wannabe owners of a CFL team in the nation's capital met requirements by submitting a "letter of interest" to the league offices yesterday.

Now Ottawa football fan must patiently wait an unspecified period as the information is digested -- all the while hoping that what appears to be the logical choice is ultimately made.

"There is no deadline or time limit," Ted Hellard, the chairman of the CFL's franchise committee, said in a statement confirming the league had received "letters of interest" from all three of the prospective purchasers. "When a decision has been finalized, an announcement will be made."

From the outside looking in, this figures to be a no-brainer.

In fact, there are some who believe that Toronto financial services company Golden Gate Capital Corporation -- which is fronted by popular and successful 67's owner Jeff Hunt -- should be less concerned about the other two groups than whether the eight voting CFL owners want to take another gamble on Ottawa.

Bill Palmer, the father of new Montreal Alouettes practice roster quarterback Jesse Palmer, is a former Ottawa Rough Rider star who has made his mark on the business world. The vice-president of an Indianapolis construction company, he leads a group of between 8-10 American investors, some of whom are said to have a stake in a minor-league baseball franchise. None of them live -- or have stated interests -- in Ottawa.


Partnered with one of Canada's wealthiest men in Dr. Barry Sherman, Toronto food-and-beverage entrepreneur Frank D'Angelo represents the other group. D'Angelo is an outrageous showman and self-promoter -- and seems to be exactly the kind of guy the CFL wants to avoid if it is taking what would have to be one final shot at Ottawa.

Hunt, meanwhile, is precisely what the doctor ordered.

The transplanted Newfoundlander is a pillar of the community. Upon selling the largest carpet cleaning company in Canada, he emerged as one of the most successful junior hockey owners ever. Hunt has turned the Civic Centre into an arena where 10,000 fans show up to watch a team that used to attract 1,500, at the same time taking the 67's to three Memorial Cups (winning one) in his eight years.

While Golden Gate Capital shareholders would be the principle owner of the football team, there would be just one boss: Corporation CEO Anthony Primerano, an Ottawa resident for 15 years who has a political background. Hunt would have a minority share and operate the team as president.

"This process has forced us to really get to know each other ... I have found (Primerano) extremely easy to deal with," Hunt, who believes his group met all league requests, said of the 77-page package his group had at the CFL office by 4:30 p.m. yesterday.

What was viewed as a possibly contentious $3.5-million franchise fee won't be a problem, Hunt believes.

"I'm confident it won't be a stumbling block," Hunt said. "I'm confident it is something that can be worked out."

The biggest advantage the Golden Gate bid has over the others is an existing infrastructure. With the 67's, Hunt already has 5,000 season-ticket holders, thousands of group contracts and hundreds of corporate sponsors.

In Ottawa, the Palmer and D'Angelo groups would be starting from scratch.

"Obviously, it's a major element in our bid," Hunt said.

Hunt figures he'd have to hire "7-8" key people to complement the 20-22 full-time, year-round staff he has now. His right-hand man with the 67's -- president and CEO Pat Whalen -- would be as valuable an asset to the football team.

"Everything in sport flows from ticket sales, from putting people in the building, and Pat is an enormous resource in that department," said Hunt, who will target families and children, a la the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, should Golden Gate land the team.

"There are eight outstanding franchises in the CFL and there's a lot to be learned from each one of them. We'll look at every best practice out there and try to incorporate it in the Ottawa franchise.


"Are there enough football fans (in Ottawa) to make this work? Not right now," he added. "We have to cultivate new fans. Unless we can create a new fan base, it won't succeed."

Hunt believes he can do just that.

"Personally, I'm looking forward to an opportunity to (have) dialogue with (the CFL)," he said. "To offer some colour to what we've put into print. The (letter of interest) was like a resume. It's not going to get you hired, but you're hoping it gets you an interview."

And given the history of CFL choices of owners...aka: The Glieberpoopins...Don't be surprised if THE WRONG choice is made yet again.

who has the rights to the Rough Rider name again?

Horn Chen.
Rumour has it it is available for $100,000 US.
Again, please keep the Renegades name and most of us do not want two teams with the same name.

I agree, but I heard that one of the groups bought the name back, was that Golden, or the other group? Deanlges, whatever his name is, wants to call the team the Steelbacks (an Baltimore ABA story waiting to happen), so I know it’s not him.

heres an article saying the Als will deal Palmer to the future Renegades:

[url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/Montreal/2006/09/13/1834045-sun.html]http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/ ... 5-sun.html[/url]


Jesse's homecoming

It's no accident that Palmer is wearing No. 12.

"I took it to honour Russ Jackson as a great Canadian quarterback in the CFL," he says. "It just seems fitting. I know him personally, I'm a big fan of his."

The Als have Palmer under contract until the end of 2007, should they so choose. That means if a new Ottawa team starts up in 2008, he could sign on as a free agent. If an Ottawa franchise begins in 2007, it would have to trade for what would be a great foundation to build around.

Als GM Jim Popp asked for quarterback Brad Banks and a first-round draft pick when the Renegades tried to trade for Palmer's rights last year. Popp said yesterday he became fed up with the Renegades' inability to make a serious counter offer, but he will no doubt try to send Palmer to the nation's capital when a new team starts up.

"When I look at Jesse Palmer, he has a value. On and off the field, he has a huge value," says Popp. "You're not going to just get an NFL, five-year vet quarterback, plus with the Hollywood star power he has ... that can help you in the community or selling tickets or marketing ... but the bottom line is he's a good football player. And that's overlooked through all of this.

And if he winds up back in his true hometown, Jesse Palmer would love nothing more.


"I've always said that I'd love to one day go back to Ottawa and play, to have a chance to go back and play in that stadium I used to go watch the Rough Riders play when J.C. Watts was quarterback in the mid-'80s," he said. "That would be a dream come true. As of right now, I'm really just trying to focus on today.

"I'm 27 and I feel I have a lot of football left. I'm excited now. It's great to be home to play the game I grew up watching."

Yeah, I firgued that Palmer is Ottawa bond, which is great considing he will bring more people out to see him, and the league will have a star Canadian QB. Montreal seems to be taking care of him for now. A win win sistuation all around.

If Ottawa gets Palmer as their bachelor/QB, will they sellout for their franchise season opener? Or will the fans have a wait and see attitude??

Fool me once, shame on you...Fool me twice, shame on me...Fool me 6 times, well, I am the fool... 8)

I don't know what kind of crowd the home opener will draw, but I don't think they will sell out, but will be higer than the last few seasons since 2002.

Actually, I also heard that someone bought the Rough Rider name from Chen ... but I don't know who.

And remember, when the CFL chose the Glieberidiots, they had no other choice. This time there are 3 choices, and I'm sure the CFL will take the best one, the one they want.

I definitely hope it's the Golden Gate group. To me (from a waaaay outside point of view) they have the best chance at success, considering how involved in the community they already are. D'Angelo seems like an idiot, and the other group has no local owners. Local ownership is almost a necessity in this league ... From a distant point of view, Hunt's group seems to be the best choice.

Palmer's group bought the name, IIRC.

That's good because they have little chance of getting the franchise as the GG group with Hunt as president unquestionably should get it. Here is hoping if they do, the Renegades name and which I have always liked, will remain.

No doubt…Hunt’s group is the best choice. It would be nice to have Jesse playing for a team who’s father is part owner, but anyone willing to pay Chen $100,000 for the Rough Rider name is just plain scary. Screw Chen…let him have the name…from a market standpoint it’s worthless unless someone buys it.

GO Renegades!!! See you in '07 (I hope)

y all means i hope the Ottawa franchise is back up and running

I heard last night that Ottawa will definitely not be back until 2008.

Can't wait for ottawa to comeback

that's fine, gives Winnipeg another year to to try and dominate the East at 1st place, and try to get the East to get all of it's teams into the Playoffs.

I hope the Golden boys can be convinded to keep the Renegade name, and change up the unifrom colors.