Hamilton Tiger-Cats unveil new ownership structure with Stelco

A new ownership group has been created that will be responsible for operating the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Canadian Premier League’s Forge FC.

Bob Young, who originally purchased the Ticats in 2003, CEO Scott Mitchell and Jim Lawson, the CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Group, own a 60 per cent stake in Hamilton Sports Group (HSG) while the remaining 40 per cent of the company will be owned by Hamilton steelmaker Stelco.

Young remains chair of Hamilton Sports Group and its largest single shareholder.

“My goal as caretaker has been to ensure our teams prosper for at least another 153 years,” Young said.

“We will do this through a commitment to strong values. Ours include a commitment to serve our community and demonstrating leadership through the pursuit of excellence. Our new Hamilton Sports Group partners perfectly represent the values we aspire to, and they will ensure our continued success.”

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Stelco chairman and chief executive Alan Kestenbaum, who owns a minority share of the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons, will represent the steel giant in HSG.

“Stelco is thrilled to partner with Hamilton Sports Group and the entire Tiger-Cats and Forge FC organizations,” Kestenbaum said.

“They put a tremendous product on the field in both sports, and represent Hamilton proudly, much like Stelco. This is an overdue union of two Hamilton icons, with Stelco’s 110-plus year history in Hamilton and the Tiger-Cats’ own history in the city dating back over 150 years.”

Read more: Steinauer named Hamilton Tiger-Cats president of football ops, will retain head coach duties

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Mitchell, who has been with the Tiger-Cats since 2008, becomes managing partner and CEO of Hamilton Sports Group.

“This new structure ensures our leadership and vision remains in place while adhering to Bob Young’s ‘caretaker’ ethos as stewards of the community and its professional sports teams,” Mitchell said.

“We are incredibly excited about bringing on Stelco under the leadership of Alan Kestenbaum and his executive team and know they share our enthusiasm for our community and for bringing great events and experiences to Tim Hortons Field.”

Read more: CFL releases 2022 schedule, Tiger-Cats open season on the road in Saskatchewan

HSG will own and operate both professional sports teams as well as hold the licence agreement with Tim Hortons Field.

“We are excited by the growth prospects of both teams and their respective leagues as new media opportunities continue to be embraced and live sports content remains the preeminent source of entertainment globally,” Kestenbaum said.

On the field, the Ticats played in the 108th Grey Cup in Hamilton on Dec. 12, losing 33-25 in overtime against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Forge FC won the first two championships in CPL history before falling 1-0 against Pacific FC in the 2021 final at Tim Hortons Field on Dec. 5.

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