Montreal Alouettes co-owner Sid Spiegel passed away Wednesday in Toronto, according to a report from the Montreal Gazette’s Herb Zurkowsky.
Spiegel purchased the team in January of 2020 with his son-in-law and business partner Gary Stern via the corporate entity S and S Sportsco. He passed away just two weeks before the Als are scheduled to open their 2021 season without ever having seen the team he owned play a game.
While Stern has been the public face of the Alouettes, Spiegel was an important financial backer for a team that had to be purchased by the CFL after ownership turmoil with the Wetenhall family in 2019.
The CFL released the following statement on Spiegel’s passing.
“The Canadian Football League is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Montreal Alouettes co-owner Sid Spiegel. Sid and his son-in-law Gary Stern made a strong commitment to one of our great franchises at an important time in its history and have tackled the challenge and opportunity before them with passion and enthusiasm.
We regret we did not have the time to know Sid better, this giant of a man and true entrepreneur who built a business empire with legendary drive and intelligence, and a family that now includes children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Our condolences go out to those who knew him best and loved him deeply, and to everyone positively touched by his remarkable life, which certainly includes all of us in the CFL family.”
Spiegel founded his company Crawford Steel in 1944 as a small scrap yard, before adding small steel service and distribution centres in Belleville, Peterborough and Burlington. Stern joined the business in 1977 and the business eventually grew to 17 distribution centres.
The pair of businessmen have made a number of major investments over the years, including in Quebec with steel plants in Longueuil and Rouyn-Noranda and real estate holdings across the province.
According to his obituary, Spiegel leaves behind his wife Naomi, four children, seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.