Each team paid over $600,000 to prop up Alouettes in 2019

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

While CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie and the league were searching for new owners of the Montreal Alouettes, opposing teams were footing the bills.

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. 11 Alouettes were inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame during their tenure, including Bob Wetenhall himself, as a builder, in 2015.

The CFL officially purchased the Alouettes from the Wetenhall’s in late May. The Wetenhalls had owned the Alouettes since 1997 when he brought the team back from the brink of insolvency. 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.

Montreal enjoyed a resurgent season in 2019 as head coach Khari Jones led the Als to a 10-8 record and earned the franchise’s first post-season spot in four years. Entrepreneurs Sid Spiegel and Gary Stern purchased the Als in January. The Als were bought by S and S Sportsco, a corporate entity owned by Spiegel and Stern.

It cost the other eight teams in the CFL over $5.2 million in order for the Alouettes to stay alive.