B.C. Lions owner David Braley says he is looking to sell the team, preferably to someone local.
In a video posted to the team’s website and social media channels, Braley said he is in talks with prospective buyers and that a sale could happen as soon as this year.
“There are several people that are interested, and they’re having meetings with me, having discussions about how they would run it,” he said, adding a sale could occur “this year, next year or the year after.”
Braley said he is under no duress to sell and that the team is doing well financially, but that he’d like to sell the Lions before he gets too old.
“It has to be sold. I mean, I’m 75 years of age, I don’t want to be sitting here at 95, shaking and owning the franchise. I will make sure that the franchise is transferred to somebody who will look after it in the way that I would.”
Braley was hospitalized last year with a bacterial infection, but said he’s “about 85 to 95 per cent” better.
“I mean, I was very sick. I was in the hospital for over three months and then I had a rehabilitation because you lose all your muscles, your ability to walk. I had to learn how to walk again. And so I’m getting stronger and stronger.”
Braley, who bought the Lions from the CFL in 1997 and previously owned the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 1987 to 1990 and the Toronto Argonauts from 2010 to 2015, said the new owner should ideally be someone local.
“We tried to find a local person 20 years ago when I came out here. I was Mr. X while they were trying to find a local person, but they couldn’t find a local person to look after it. Some people are kicking themselves now that they didn’t take a risk at that time.”