David Braley put aside money to allow the Lions to operate for ‘several seasons’

Photo courtesy: Raj Taneja

B.C. Lions’ owner David Braley focused on his team while he was living and wanted the franchise to be stable after he passed away.

Braley planned out what was going to happen for financially supporting the Lions.

“One of the advantages of the situation was that he didn’t go suddenly. David knew his health was failing and people close to him understood that his time was running out. There was lots of time to discuss how to handle his prized asset the B.C. Lions,” reporter Dave Naylor said on TSN 1040 radio in Vancouver.

“I’m led to believe that there’s a significant amount of money that’s been put aside, the kind of thing that would carry the Lions under normal circumstances through a number of years. Not just the next six to 12 months, but if for whatever reason the sale took a long time, we’d be talking about several seasons.”

The late 79-year-old purchased the financially-strapped Leos prior to the 1997 season. During his induction speech at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2012, Braley spoke of how proud he was going from 8,000 fans in the stands at his first game as owner to averaging 35,000 at the highest point of his tenure.

“As much as David Braley cared for them and wanted to ensure the long-term viability of the B.C. Lions during his life, he didn’t want that to end with his passing. The B.C. Lions are not in danger in terms of their existence over the next little while. The organization will be operating,” Naylor said.

“Because of the uncertainty of COVID, teams are burning through money a lot quicker than they would otherwise, so that throws a bit of uncertainty on it, but from my understanding that was very clearly laid out.”