Neil Lumsden not interested in becoming new president of Edmonton Elks

Photo: Arthur Mola/Invision/AP

Neil Lumsden will not be the next president of the Edmonton Elks, Richard Southern of CityNews Toronto reported on Tuesday.

The news came after Lumsden was reportedly being considered as a candidate for the position, which is currently filled by Rick LeLacheur on an interim basis. Lumsden thanked Southern on social media for clarifying that he has no interest in the role.

“Working for the people of Ontario, and the residents of Hamilton East-Stoney Creek is my top priority,” Lumsden wrote. “It’s the honour of a lifetime to serve our province under the leadership of Premier Ford.”

Lumsden was a star running back at the University of Ottawa before he joined the Toronto Argonauts as a territorial exemption in 1976. He played three seasons with the team (1976-78) and had a stint with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1978-79) before moving west to join the Edmonton Football Team in 1980.

The native of London, Ont. won three Grey Cups as a member of Edmonton’s iconic dynasty and won the Dick Suderman Trophy in 1981 as the Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Canadian. He retired following the 1985 season having recorded 767 carries for 3,755 yards and 36 touchdowns and 180 receptions for 1,729 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

Lumsden rejoined the Tiger-Cats in 1996 as the team’s general manager and held the role for four years, winning another Grey Cup in his final season. He is also the father of former CFL running back Jesse Lumsden, who spent six seasons in the league.

The 70-year-old was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in the electoral district of Hamilton East—Stoney Creek in 2022. He serves as the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, a position through which he’s helped provide support for this year’s Grey Cup, which has a number of major events planned in Hamilton and Niagara Falls.

The Elks mutually parted ways with team president Victor Cui in August. Tom Richards, the chair of Edmonton’s board of directors, has previously indicated that the team would like to have a permanent president in place by the end of the year.