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Bruce Firestone

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Bruce Firestone (born December 4, 1951) of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is a real estate developer, former sports team owner and university professor. He is the founder of the modern-day Ottawa Senators NHL professional ice hockey club and former part-owner of the Ottawa Rough Riders Canadian Football League club.


Ottawa Senators

When the NHL announced that it was interested in expanding in the late 1980s, Bruce, then president of Terrace Investments, formed an organization to win an NHL franchise for Ottawa. Bruce's vision was to use the club as the centerpiece of a new commercial development to the west of the City of Ottawa. A new arena would be built, increasing land values in the surrounding area to the point where the expected franchise fee of $30 million US dollars (it would actually be $50 million) could be raised through land sales and commercial development fees and profits.

Bruce's group was successful in winning a new franchise, along with the Tampa Bay Lightning, on condition that the franchise would build a new arena to NHL standards.

The arena location, on undeveloped farmland, was controversial and opposition grew against the paving over of the farmland. Eventually, the government agency responsible for local development allowed the development of the arena but not the surrounding lands.

As well, as part of the development agreement for the new arena, then known as the Palladium, the Ontario government required that the corporation paid for all of the required infrastructure, including a freeway interchange.

These conditions led to the search for new financing. The search led to the turnover of the ownership of the Ottawa Senators to a partnership led by Rod Bryden. Mr. Bryden was able to arrange financing of the development through a partnership with Ogden Entertainment and Bruce left to allow the franchise to continue.

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