For new Montreal Alouettes owner Pierre Karl Péladeau, his adventure in the CFL isn’t about the money. To Péladeau, it’s about building something in his home city and province that locals can get excited about.
“I’m a proud Montrealer. I was born here, I live here, I studied here,” said the president and C.E.O. of Quebecor Inc.
“I’m buying the Alouettes on a personal basis. But I can tell you something: I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve, and I have learned so much from my father. My father told me that when you receive so much, you need to give as much as possible. The Montreal Alouettes isn’t only a business. It is, but it isn’t only a business. It’s more than a business. It’s about community investment. It’s about being here, being strong and it’s about creating something Montrealers can be proud of.”
During a news conference on Friday, the 61-year-old made his intentions for the organization clear. He wants to build a winner that all of Quebec can get behind.
“The fan base has been behind the Alouettes forever,” he said. “We hope that they will continue to be there. I expect to make sure they will be there. Their expectations will be met because we expect to have a winning team.”
Since Péladeau’s name was first mentioned as a potential owner of the Alouettes, many have tried to connect the dots when it comes to the CFL’s television rights and his all-sports French language television station “TVA Sports”.
Bell Media currently has exclusive television rights with the CFL through the 2025 season.
“It’s premature to talk about that at this point,” Péladeau said when he was asked if he was going to bid for the TV rights eventually. “We’ll have to wait for the right time to discuss that.
“Competing and creating competition is something that we’re proud of and this is what we’re also good at.
“The rights right now are owned (by Bell Media) until 2025. At that time, we’ll see what’s going to happen.”
Earlier this week, it was announced that Mario Cecchini would be leaving his role as interim president of the Alouettes to become the Commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
That means that the organization will need to find a new president in short order.
The league took possession of the team on February 14th, which means that this sale was completed in only a few weeks. The team needs to find a president, but there’s no need for them to rush into relationship with someone.
“In two months, I think we accomplished a lot,” the Als owner said.
“I’m not saying we’re going to take three years (to hire a president). We’re going to take a few days or a few weeks to do everything necessary (to hire the right person). We have already identified candidates. It’s important to take the time after this announcement so that we can really understand our objectives.”
NEW STADIUM/PRACTICE FACILTY
Many reporters asked Péladeau about the possibility of him building the team a new stadium or practice facility. Although he refused to openly commit to anything, he did admit that it was simply because it was too early in the process to make a decision of that magnitude.
“We’re just moving in,” he added. “The transaction we announced today was made in a very, very short period of time. Did we have the opportunity to talk around the table about the different projects with management? As of today, we did not yet. This is certainly, as you can imagine, important matters, where the Alouettes will play. As of today, the season will start where the Alouettes have been playing for many years. For the rest, it’s obviously too early to say anything. It doesn’t mean that we’re not going to continue play there, it just means that it’s too early for a decision to be made.”
When he was asked about potentially working with CF Montreal (Major League Soccer) owner Joey Saputo on a joint stadium that could host both teams, Péladeau didn’t shut down the possibility either.
“Joey Saputo and I know each other very well,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for Joey and his family. We have worked together very closely with the Impact and then CF Montreal. My children have enjoyed going to their games as recently as this season in our luxury suites… Right now, it would be a little premature to discuss that kind of partnership… It’s not impossible. If it becomes possible, we would be very enthusiastic about that kind of project.”
The Alouettes will begin their training camp in Trois-Rivieres on May 14th. This will be the second consecutive year that the team will hold their main camp in that part of the province.
The preseason home game will take place on Friday, June 2nd against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, while the regular season opener will be played at Percival Molson Stadium against the Ottawa Redblacks on Saturday, June 10th.
You can purchase season tickets, a flex pack, a Friday Night pack, or a Weekend pack by clicking here: https://en.montrealalouettes.com/2023-membership/