Ryan Reynolds in Ottawa as Senators sale heats up
Ryan Reynolds spent the day in Ottawa as he continues his efforts to buy the Senators, meeting with officials from the city of Ottawa and the National Capital Commission and attending the Senators game.
The Deadpool star posted a photo on Instagram with Mayor Mark Sutcliffe on Thursday morning, taken at the mayor's office.
Also in the photo: Chris Bratty, the president of Remington Group. Reynolds has aligned himself with the Toronto-based real estate developers in their bid for the team.
"It was great to welcome Ryan to Ottawa City Hall and it's great to have him in our city," Sutcliffe said about the meeting with Reynolds and Bratty.
"I'm grateful for the fact that he has an interest in the Ottawa Senators and an interest in investing in our city, I think that's a really great sign of where the team and our community are and where we're going, that we're able to attract that kind of interest."
Reynolds and Bratty also met with National Capital Commission CEO Tobi Nussbaum while in Ottawa.
Bratty and senior Ottawa Senators officials, including president of business operations Anthony LeBlanc and vice-president of business operations Chris Phillips, were spotted leaving the National Capital Commission headquarters on Elgin Street during the lunch hour. Reynolds is believed to have exited the building through a side door to avoid media on Elgin Street, and was seen walking into a downtown hotel a few minutes later.
"As part of the ongoing process, we made ourselves available to answer questions the shortlisted groups of potential buyers of the Ottawa Senators may have," the NCC said in a statement.
"Our CEO Tobi Nussbaum met with representatives of The Remington Group today, including Ryan Reynolds. We answered their questions on the Memorandum of Understanding with Capital Sports Development Inc. and the Building LeBreton project."
Sutcliffe said the meeting at Ottawa City Hall focused on the future of the team and the city.
"We talked about the Senators and about the opportunity for this not to just be about a hockey team, but about the entire community," Sutcliffe told CTV News Ottawa.
"You know what's happened with the soccer team that he purchased with a partner in Wrexham in Wales, that has completely revived that community and transformed that community. He talked about the potential for the Senators to be a global brand and for this to be the beginning of something really special for our community. So that's very exciting."
Reynolds and his colleagues attended the Senators home game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. TSN showed Reynolds sitting in a private box during the first period of the game.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed earlier this week during his visit to Ottawa that there are about a half-dozen groups still in the running to buy the club.
- READ MORE: Bettman: Senators sale 'a matter of weeks'
The various groups have been conducting site visits to Ottawa in the past week or so, including meeting with senior Senators staff and surveying the land at LeBreton Flats that the National Capital Commission has set aside for a new arena.
Reynolds also took in a game at the Canadian Tire Centre in November, shortly after he announced his intention to buy the team.
Sutcliffe notes Reynolds and Bratty are one of several groups bidding for the club, and he will meet with any potential bidders to answer questions.
"We're ready to work with whoever the eventual owner of the Senators is to make sure that the team is successful and that it's good for our community," Sutcliffe said.
Bettman was asked about Reynolds' interest in the team at a news conference at the Canadian Tire Centre on Monday.
"Ryan believed it was important to connect with a bidder that he believed would be a good match for him," he said. "He wants to see his bid through, and I respect his view of the process. He wants to take it from beginning to end."
With files from CTV News Ottawa's Natalie van Rooy
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