Stelco revealed that it will be a 40 percent owner of Hamilton Sports Group that owns the Hamilton Tiger Cats and Hamilton’s Forge FC, as well as the master lease of Tim Hortons Field. The existing ownership group headed by Bob Young will retain majority ownership of HSG and continue to manage the teams. The transaction is subject to certain conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
Stelco Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alan Kestenbaum, who also owns a stake in the NFL Atlanta Falcons, said: “Stelco remains committed to the city of Hamilton, the province of Ontario and the country of Canada by providing excellent career opportunities to its employees in the Hamilton area and by continually giving back to the community. In continuance of those values, Stelco is thrilled to partner with Hamilton Sports Group and the entire Tiger-Cats and Forge FC organizations. They put a tremendous product on the field in both sports, and represent Hamilton proudly, much like Stelco. Since arriving at Stelco in 2017, I have continued to be amazed at the spirit shown by the local community and have experienced firsthand the rabid local support for the Tiger-Cats. This is an overdue union of two Hamilton icons, with Stelco’s 110+ year history in Hamilton and the Tiger-Cats’ own history in the city dating back over 150 years.”
Kestenbaum continued, “As part of this partnership Stelco together with both the Ti-Cats and the Forge FC intend to develop a community engagement program focused on youth throughout Hamilton and surrounding communities to increase health and wellness by involving the highest caliber talent available in both football and soccer with our youth.”
The release noted that in addition to the Ticats hosting the Grey Cup, Forge FC won back-to-back titles in 2019 and 2020 and will compete is the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League. The playing surface at Tim Hortons Field received FIFA approval and has previously hosted 32 international matches during the Pan Am Games and will host an upcoming FIFA World Cup qualification match between Canada and the United States. Other notable events scheduled at Tim Hortons Field include the Buffalo Sabres hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL’s 2022 Heritage Classic in March of this year, and the 110th Grey Cup which will be hosted by the Tiger-Cats in 2023.