Report: Aquilini part of 1 of 4 groups interested in buying BC Lions

Nov 28 2016, 5:54 pm

According to pair of reports from TSN, the BC Lions could be sold in the not too distant future.

Braley, the 75-year-old owner of the Lions, is getting up in years. In March of this year, he was admitted to hospital in Vancouver for multiple weeks with a toe infection.

It makes a lot of sense for Braley to sell the team, although for now everyone is stopping short of saying that the team is up for sale.

TSN’s Farhan Lalji reported before Sunday’s Grey Cup that there are four groups interested in buying the team, although the amount they’re willing to pay might be an issue. Among one of those groups is Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini.

“David Braley has not formally said that he wants to sell the team, but he is getting older, he wasn’t able to get to any Lions games this year,” Lalji said during a CFL Insiders segment. “There are four interested local groups willing to buy that team. One of them led by Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini and former Saskatchewan Roughrider David Sidoo.

“Braley apparently wanted $40 million for that team, he was willing to go down to $35 million, but that’s about $15 million more than any of these groups want to pay. There hasn’t been a formal sale process decided yet, but that is expected to begin early in the new year.”

Braley, has been everything that fans could ever want in an owner. He rescued the team when they were in peril in the late 1990s, buying the franchise in January of 1997. Braley quickly turned the Lions into a model franchise, helped with the hiring of Bob Ackles as president and CEO in 2002, and Wally Buono as general manager and head coach in 2003.

With Braley at the helm the Lions have doubled their number of Grey Cup championships, winning the franchise’s fourth, fifth, and sixth titles in 2000, 2006, and 2011.

Braley, who is in many ways a Canadian football philanthropist, also rescued the Toronto Argonauts in 2010, owning the team at the same time as he owned the Lions for five years.

Braley, who lives in Hamilton, also owned the Tiger-Cats in the 80s, served as chair of the CFL’s board of governors, and even spent time as interim commissioner in 2002.

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