Alouettes sold to the CFL

Photo courtesy: Drew Edwards

The Canadian Football League has purchased the Montreal Alouettes from the Wetenhall’s.

The league confirmed the Montreal Alouette Football Club Company has been sold to the CFL, effective Friday.

The CFL and Wetenhall family indeed have been working for several months to identify and assess potential new owners and that process is ongoing. To facilitate the process, the CFL has been involved in the club’s day-to-day operations in recent months.

“We want to reassure Alouettes’ players, coaches, staff and fans that this is part of an orderly, step-by-step process that is entirely devoted to putting in place a new foundation for the Alouettes’ and the CFL’s success. Our conversations have led to significant interest by new ownership groups and we are confident in the process we initiated many months ago,” commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement.

“We are ready to welcome our fans to Percival Molson Memorial Stadium and to live the 2019 season with them and all of our stakeholders. We look forward to welcoming a future owner and working with them and the CFL for many years of future success,” president Patrick Boivin said.

“Our operations and financial capability are intact through this season and we are operating business as usual.”

Bob and Andrew Wetenhall owned the team for a 22-year-span that included three Grey Cup championships, 10 first-place finishes and a record of 223 wins against 172 losses and one tie. Eleven Alouettes have been inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame during their tenure, including Bob Wetenhall himself, as a builder, in 2015.

Wetenhall has owned the Alouettes since 1997 when he brought the team back from the brink of insolvency. He was responsible for the team’s successful relocation to Percival Molson Stadium and eventually expansion while overseeing the team’s run of dominance from 1999 to 2012.

The team has fallen on hard times in recent years, missing the playoffs for four straight seasons, the longest streak in franchise history. The Alouettes have struggled at the gate as well as fans have tired of the perpetual on-field ineptitude.