Bettman says Senators will not be moving out of Ottawa with new ownership
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman joined TSN Radio 1200 Ottawa on Monday to discuss the pending sale of the Senators, a potential new arena and other news from the world of hockey. Click HERE for the full interview.
TSN Radio: Is it the preference of the league for the new Sens' arena to be located at Lebreton Flats or are all options on the table?
Bettman: Speaking for a new owner, who I don't know it is or who it may be yet, all options will be on the table and that what the perspective owners are being told. They may want to stay here at Canadian Tire Centre and do some work here and build a project around the arena. They may want to move downtown to Lebreton Flats. I understand there may be two or three other potential sites that would work. That's really going to be up to the new owner to decide. The one thing that everybody should be comfortable with, and I've said this repeatedly, if this team is moving, the only place it's moving is downtown. It's not leaving Ottawa. The Senators will be here no matter who buys the club."
TSN Radio: What stage are we in when it comes to the sale of the Senators?
Bettman: "What's going is there's now on-site due diligence, perspective owners. There's been some winnowing of the number of bidders and the more serious bidders, of which there's at least a half a dozen, are now engaged in a process of coming to see the building, meeting with the front office and doing more due diligence than they did for their preliminary bids. The good news is that we have a number of substantial owners, groups who are interested in a meaningful way and and owning this team here in Ottawa."
TSN Radio: Is it important to you that the new ownership has local representation?
Bettman: I think it's more up to that group. We have plenty of franchises that have owners that don't live in the community. And we have franchises, like the group that bought Seattle, the expansion team, while the person who bought the team could of done it on his own, the lead general partner, David Bonderman, the fact is that he wanted some local representation in ownership. I think it all depends on who it is and what it is they intend to do in terms of the building. I know there's been a lot of speculation. A lot of it hasn't been right. Let's let the process play out. We're going to get to a good place for this franchise and for this city."
TSN Radio: Have you completed your Hockey Canada investigation?
Bettman: "We're much, much closer to the end. I know the investigators still need to do a little bit of work and then they've got to compile the report, but it's getting closer to the end and like everybody I'm anxious to see what the conclusion is and what, if anything, we have to deal with."