Jeff Hunt is leaving the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, which owns the Ontario Hockey League’s 67’s and CFL’s Redblacks, to focus on the city’s new Canadian Premier League soccer franchise.
OSEG confirmed Hunt’s departure in a release Wednesday.
Hunt, who remained a part-owner of OSEG after stepping down as president following the 2018 CFL season, has been a fixture in Ottawa’s sports scene since purchasing the 67’s in 1998. The OHL club has made three Memorial Cup appearances (one as host) under his watch, and has advanced to the OHL final five times with one championship.
He formed OSEG in 2006 with Roger Greenberg, John Ruddy and Bill Shenkman with the goal of landing a CFL franchise. The Redblacks started play at TD Place Stadium in the revitalized Lansdowne Park area in 2014 and won the Grey Cup in 2016. They reached the final in 2015 and 2018.
Hunt became a strategic partner with the CPL’s expansion Atlético Ottawa franchise in February and helped bring Spanish soccer giants Atlético Madrid on board.
“We are extremely thankful to Jeff for all he has done for OSEG and sports in the city of Ottawa and we know he’ll do a great job at the helm of Atlético,” Greenberg said in a statement.
“At the beginning of OSEG, Jeff was the public face of the organization. He was well-known and well-liked by the Ottawa sports community for his great work reinvigorating the Ottawa 67’s franchise.
Under Jeff’s watch, the 67’s became one of the top-drawing teams in the OHL, year after year. That track record of success added instant credibility to OSEG’s plan to re-establish CFL football in Ottawa, at a time when the memory of failed CFL ownership groups and poor teams was still fresh.
“We wish Jeff all the best with Atlético and look forward to seeing his club in action at TD Place as soon as possible.”