The Ottawa Senators have nine parties interested in purchasing the team, with some of the bids valuing the team at more than $900 million, according to a report Thursday in Sportico.
The report, citing "someone familiar with the process," also mentioned that the list of potential buyers will "likely be narrowed in the coming days" and that visits to sites involving the team are scheduled for later in the month.
The Senators play out of the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata, Ont., and are proposing to have an arena complex built closer to downtown Ottawa, in the LeBreton Flats area.
Two of the most prominent groups previously reported as being interested in the team are one headed by actor Ryan Reynolds partnering with Toronto-based real estate developer The Remington Group, plus another led by Montreal Canadiens minority owner Michael Andlauer.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said at the All-Star Game that at least 15 groups have filed applications to bid on the Senators.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said on a podcast in late February that the final valuation will be in excess of $800 million and that $1 billion is a “real possibility” (all figures are in U.S. dollars). As of today's exchange rate, US$900 million is CDN$1.24 billion. A purchase price of more than $900 million would be a record for an NHL franchise.
The last NHL team to be sold, the Pittsburgh Penguins, was purchased by Fenway Sports Group for $900 million in 2021.
Club owner Eugene Melnyk, 62, died in 2022, leaving his daughters, Anna, 23, and Olivia, 20, in charge. The sisters retained Galatioto Sports Partners as financial advisors in the sale process.
Forbes valued the Senators to be worth US$525 million last year, though the sale price is expected to be greater than that figure. Sportico valued the team at $655 million.
Just before Melnyk died, a plan to build a facility on a 7.5-acre tract of mostly vacant land closer to downtown called LeBreton Flats was revived.