In what’s becoming a battle as spirited as any fisticuffs you’d see on the ice, the Weeknd, Snoop Dogg and Ryan Reynolds are all competing to purchase the same hockey team, the Ottawa Senators.
Reynolds — already the proud owner of soccer club Wrexham A.F.C. — was the first to align with a group hoping to purchased the NHL team, with the actor already appearing at Senators games throughout this season and meeting with city officials and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
Then this week, Snoop Dogg entered the fray, revealing he’s joined a group led by film producer Neko Sparks that are eying to purchase the Senators, with the price tag that is likely to exceed $1 billion.
“This ain’t no joke or no gimmick. Or an image or likeness play. This is a real ownership play. And Snoop will put his foot in the town,” Snoop Dogg told The Athletic.
“Once we started talking and building, we formed a plan to partner up and say, ‘Let’s do this together. Let’s join forces and try and get the Ottawa Senators.’ We can make a difference in Ottawa and the NHL.”
The rapper also appeared on ESPN this week to plead his case:
If that wasn’t enough star power, the Ottawa Sun reported Saturday that the Weeknd has linked up with yet another group — led by Canadian billionaires the Kimel brothers — that is hoping to purchase the Senators.
“He’s going to be a great partner for Ottawa and the NHL,” a source close to the Weeknd told the Ottawa Sun. “The team he works with grew up in Ottawa, so they know the market really well, but he’s the largest musician planet right now. He has the most views, the most streams and he’s a hockey guy.”
The source added of Abel Tesfaye, “He doesn’t like to be in the media very often so this really says something that he wants to be part of a bid. He wants to get this deal done, he wants to build something that will be great great in Ottawa and he’ll be a good fit. He’s got a lot of connections of worldwide.”
(The Weeknd’s interest in purchasing the Ottawa Senators is perhaps why he — unlike his fellow famous Toronto natives — didn’t congratulate the rival Maple Leafs on their first playoff series win in 19 years.)
Final bids for the Senators are reportedly due May 15, so we should know soon enough which A-lister has added a professional hockey team to their portfolio.