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Snoop Dogg says Senators bid will include equity for First Nations

Snoop Dogg Snoop Dogg - The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Snoop Dogg has welcomed Canada's First Nations into his bid to buy the NHL's Ottawa Senators with open arms.

The rapper is part of a group spearheaded by Los Angeles-based businessman Neko Sparks trying to buy the NHL franchise. Snoop Dogg posted a video to Instagram on Monday where he alluded to reports that the Sparks-led bid would include an equity stake for local Indigenous communities.

"It's your boy big Snoop Dogg giving a shout out to the First Nations of Canada, that's right, for joining Neko Sparks in the Ottawa Senators bid," he said, standing in a recording studio wearing a Senators jersey. "We trying to do something, we trying to make a difference."

The board of directors of Senators Sports & Entertainment initiated the process to sell the team last November after the death of owner Eugene Melnyk earlier that year. Melnyk left the franchise to his daughters, Anna and Olivia.

Another bid includes Canadian R&B singer The Weeknd, who according to media reports has agreed to be a partner in a bid led by Toronto billionaires Jeffrey and Michael Kimel.

A recent valuation by Forbes listed the Senators at US$800 million, 24th out of the NHL's 30 teams.

Monday was the deadline for bids to be submitted to New York-based banker Galatioto Sports Partners, which is handling the sale for the Melnyk family. The Ottawa Sun reports that four groups submitted bids and one of those was at the $1 billion mark.

Snoop Dogg, a longtime hockey fan, has said he would use his stake in the Senators to help grow the sport in the United States, especially among Black children.

"I mean it's official like a referee with a whistle," said Snoop in Monday's video. "We all together we try to make it better. We just need y'all to hit the lever and give us control."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2023.