Jeff Hunt

Last updated

Jeff Hunt
Born (1964-04-17) April 17, 1964 (age 57)
Known for

Jeff Hunt is a Canadian businessman who is an owner of the Ottawa Redblacks football club of the Canadian Football League and the Ottawa 67's hockey club of the Ontario Hockey League. He started a carpet-cleaning firm called Canway. His firm was in the Profit Magazine 100 seven times in the 1990s. [1]


Background information

Jeff was born April 17, 1964 in Stephenville, Newfoundland. His parents are Alexander (deceased) and Dorothy Hunt. He is the eldest of three siblings, Alex and Sheryl Hunt. Throughout his childhood, Hunt moved around Newfoundland every couple of years due to his father being in the RCMP. He attended Memorial University of Newfoundland for one year before relocating to Ottawa, Ontario at the age of 20 with his family. Here, Jeff commenced his carpet cleaning business.

Hunt began production of his carpet cleaning business, which he called Canway, in 1984. In the span of 13 years the business grew to over 250 locations in Canada and the US. In 1997 Hunt sold his business, and the following year he bought the Ottawa 67s.

OHL hockey

In 1998, he purchased the Ottawa 67's and has seen his attendance quintuple. When Hunt purchased the 67's, the team's previous owner had been spending just $25,000 a year on marketing costs. Hunt would spend that amount every week once he became its new owner. [1] His goal with the 67's was to provide an NHL-calibre experience, from the game and the music to the concessions and promotions. His goal was to create a fan experience that appeals to the whole family and connect the team with the community.

One of the highlights of his ownership was in 1999, when he led the team's bid to host the 1999 Memorial Cup tournament. Despite the fact that in 1997 the tournament had been hosted across the river in Hull, Quebec, he was able to convince the Canadian Hockey League to host the event in the city of Ottawa and guarantee his team a berth in the tournament. The 67's did not disappoint, as every game of the series was sold out at the 10,550 seat Ottawa Civic Centre. The 67's would go on to win the Memorial Cup. [2]

Hunt's junior hockey career started off on a high note, and after a few rough seasons it wasn't long until his team made it to the finals again. In 2001, the 67s made it to the Memorial Cup held in Regina, Saskatchewan. They had tough luck in the round robin tournament, only winning one game, but Hunt traveled out to support his team despite their loss. The 67s succeeded once again in 2005 in making it to the Memorial Cup Finals in London, Ontario, while unfortunately meeting with a devastating loss to Rimouski Oceanic, captained at the time by Sidney Crosby.

CFL football

Hunt is a longtime fan of CFL football, he was a Rough Rider season ticket holder and has attended eight Grey Cups. [3] In 2006, Jeff Hunt was part of the Golden Gate Capital group that was regarded as the front-runner among three bids to land a CFL expansion franchise for Ottawa. The group withdrew after a prominent group member was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. [4] In September 2007, Hunt confirmed that he was a part of a group of local investors to talk to the CFL about bringing the Canadian Football League back to Ottawa. [5] The partners aspired to take over Lansdowne Park, home of Frank Clair Stadium, and operate football, hockey and sports entertainment out of it. The objective was to renovate the stadium itself, and add luxury suites and state-of-the-art facilities. [1]

On March 25, 2008, Hunt and his partners were awarded an expansion franchise. The team is expected to play at Frank Clair Stadium if the stadium can be remodeled and had been conditionally awarded the right to host the 2014 Grey Cup game. [6] A Can $7 million fee was reported to have been paid. [7] After originally being announced to begin play in 2010, its start date was pushed back to 2012, [8] then 2013. [9] However, the team began play in 2014.

Despite commencing the project for the new CFL team commenced in 2008, the official court decision wasn't made until September 2012 that granted the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group the official green light to begin construction. The partners faced years of appeals to the Ontario Court, which prevented them from being able to begin their vision. A local group caused these hindrances from the Glebe area of Ottawa, called the Friends of Lansdowne, who strongly opposed the new plan. [10] The group purchased the rights to the Ottawa Rough Riders name from the Rough Riders' last owner, Horn Chen. In order to install the Rough Riders name on his new team, the group would have to seek approval from the Saskatchewan Roughriders. [11] When the request was denied, the group elected to call the new franchise the Redblacks.

Lansdowne redevelopment plan

Hunt, along with partners Roger Greenberg, John Ruddy and Bill Shenkman set out in 2006 to bid for the expansion of the CFL franchise as well as the redevelopment of Ottawa's Lansdowne Park. The partners banded together to form the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment group. Their vision for the new Lansdowne Park includes a reconstructed state of the art football stadium, a soccer field to host their anticipated soccer team as well as a massive shopping center including various restaurants. The redevelopment plan also includes housing and condos for people to rent and buy directly on site. The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group met with various obstacles, namely the group under the name Friends of Lansdowne who tried numerous times to appeal to the court to have these plans halted. Despite various attempts from Friends of Lansdowne, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed their allegations of procurement violations and granted the partners permission for the $300 million contract to rebuild the stadium. Construction on this project was completed in early 2014. [12]


In Hunt's 14 seasons with the team, he has been to the Memorial Cup Finals three times, won the eastern conference championship (the Bobby Orr Trophy) three times, and has been the east division champions (Leyden trophy) seven times. He worked 11 seasons with head coach and hockey legend Brian Kilrea. Hunt spoke at Kilrea's retirement ceremony in 2009 and the two still remain good friends to this day.[ citation needed ]

Under Hunt's ownership, the team has seen several National Hockey League alumni including Brendan Bell, Logan Couture, Zenon Konopka, Brian Campbell, Tyler Toffoli, Cody Ceci, and Sean Monahan among others.

Related Research Articles

Las Vegas Posse

The Las Vegas Posse were a Canadian Football League (CFL) team that played the 1994 season as part of the CFL's short-lived American expansion. The Posse was one of the least successful CFL teams, both on the field and off.

Ottawa Renegades

The Ottawa Renegades were a Canadian Football League franchise based in Ottawa, Ontario founded in 2002, six years after the storied Ottawa Rough Riders folded. After four seasons, the Renegades franchise was suspended indefinitely by the league due to financial instability, and its players were absorbed by the other teams in a dispersal draft.

Ottawa Rough Riders Former Canadian Football League franchise

The Ottawa Rough Riders were a Canadian Football League team based in Ottawa, Ontario, founded in 1876. Formerly one of the oldest and longest-lived professional sports teams in North America, the Rough Riders won the Grey Cup championship nine times. Their most dominant era was the 1960s and 1970s, in which they won five Grey Cups. The team's fortunes waned in the 1980s and 1990s, and they ultimately ceased operations following the 1996 season. Five years later, a new CFL team known as the Ottawa Renegades was founded, though they suspended operations in 2006. The Ottawa Redblacks, which own the Rough Riders intellectual properties, joined the league in 2014.

Ottawa 67s Ontario Hockey League team in Ottawa

The Ottawa 67's are a major junior ice hockey team based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, that plays in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Established during Canada's centennial year of 1967 and named in honour of this, the 67's currently play their home games at TD Place Arena. The 67's are three-time OHL champions, and have played in the Memorial Cup five times, winning in 1984 and as host team in 1999.

TD Place Arena

TD Place Arena, originally the Ottawa Civic Centre, is an indoor arena located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, seating 9,500. With temporary seating and standing room it can hold 10,585. Opened in December 1967, it is used primarily for sports, including curling, figure skating, ice hockey and lacrosse. The arena has hosted Canadian and world championships in figure skating and ice hockey, including the first women's world ice hockey championship in 1990. Canadian championships in curling have also been hosted at the arena. It is also used for concerts and conventions such as Ottawa SuperEX.

TD Place Stadium

TD Place Stadium is an outdoor stadium in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It is located at Lansdowne Park, on the southern edge of The Glebe neighbourhood, where Bank Street crosses the Rideau Canal. It is the home of the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League (CFL), Atlético Ottawa of the Canadian Premier League (CPL), and the Ottawa Aces in League 1 of the Rugby Football League (RFL).

Lansdowne Park

Lansdowne Park is a 40-acre (16 ha) urban park, historic sports, exhibition and entertainment facility in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, owned by the City of Ottawa. It is located on Bank Street adjacent to the Rideau Canal in The Glebe neighbourhood of central Ottawa. Lansdowne Park contains the TD Place Stadium and Arena complex, the Aberdeen Pavilion, and the Horticulture Building.

Brian Blair "Killer" Kilrea is a Canadian former ice hockey head coach, general manager, and player.

Frank Clair American football player

Frank James Clair was an American gridiron football player, coach, and executive. Nicknamed "the Professor" for his ability to recognize and develop talent, he served as a head coach in the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Toronto Argonauts from 1950 to 1954 and the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1956 to 1969. Clair ranks third all-time in CFL history with 147 regular season wins and first in postseason victories with 27. He is also tied for the most Grey Cup championships won by a head coach with five. He won the Annis Stukus Trophy as the CFL's coach of the year in 1966 and 1969.

The 1960 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the seventh season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the third Canadian Football League season.

The Edmonton Eskimos defeat the Montreal Alouettes in the first Grey Cup held in the west.

Tony Gabriel

Anthony Michael Peter Gabriel is a former professional Canadian football pass receiver who played in the Canadian Football League from 1971 to 1981. He played for both the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Ottawa Rough Riders. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in August 1985. In 2014, he was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.

Bruce Firestone of Ottawa, Ontario, is a real estate developer, former sports team owner and university professor. He is the founder of the modern-day Ottawa Senators NHL professional ice hockey club and former part-owner of the Ottawa Rough Riders CFL football club.

Ottawa Redblacks Canadian professional football team

The Ottawa Redblacks are a professional Canadian football team based in Ottawa, Ontario. The team plays in the East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL).

Sport in Ottawa

Sport in Ottawa, Canada's capital, has a history dating back to the 19th century. Ottawa is now home to four professional sports teams: the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League; the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League; the Ottawa Champions of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball; and Atlético Ottawa of the Canadian Premier League. Several non-professional teams also play in Ottawa, including the Ottawa 67's junior hockey team and other semi-professional and collegiate teams in various sports.

Howard Joseph Darwin was a Canadian businessman and sports team owner. Among his businesses, he owned the Ottawa 67's, London Knights and Ottawa Lynx sports franchises.

Lansdowne Park redevelopment

The Lansdowne Park redevelopment is a public-private partnership redevelopment of the Lansdowne Park fairgrounds in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. In September 2007, cracks were discovered in Frank Clair Stadium, and a portion of the south-side stands was demolished due to safety concerns. The City of Ottawa subsequently initiated an international design competition to redevelop Lansdowne Park. However, it suspended the competition when a group of Ottawa businessmen known as the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), who had been awarded a Canadian Football League franchise on the condition of securing a home venue in Ottawa, proposed a public-private partnership with the City to rebuild the stadium and redevelop the grounds with residential and commercial uses to finance the reconstruction and annual upkeep of the site. Ottawa City Council decided to enter into a partnership with the OSEG group and cancelled its competitive process.

Dave Schreiber is a radio announcer for the Ottawa Senators. He has called their games since their debut, in 1992. He works primarily for TSN 1200, an Ottawa sports radio station. His nickname is "the Voice," a nickname tagged by former 67 Jim Ralph.

Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) is a professional sports and commercial real estate management group based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The primary holdings of the company are a pair of professional sports franchises: the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League and the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League. OSEG owned Ottawa Fury FC of the North American Soccer League and USL Championship until said team was dissolved in November of 2019. In addition to its sports franchises, OSEG operates facilities at Lansdowne Park associated with these teams, which are owned by the city of Ottawa: TD Place Stadium, TD Place Arena, and other facilities. It was formed as a partnership between private partners and the city of Ottawa in 2009 initially to revive Ottawa's CFL franchise after the demise of franchise's previous incarnation, the Ottawa Renegades, and including a revitalization of the Lansdowne Park area.

Ernie Calcutt Canadian sports commentator and radio news director

Ernest George Calcutt was a Canadian sports commentator and radio news director. He worked for CFRA 580-AM in Ottawa, and was the voice for the Ottawa Rough Riders radio broadcasts from 1964 to 1983. He served as a president of the Canadian Football Reporters, and was inducted into both the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame.


  1. 1 2 3 "Entrepreneur of the month: Jeff Hunt |". November 5, 2007. Archived from the original on December 24, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
  2. Archived June 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Official Site of the Canadian Football League". Retrieved July 26, 2011.
  4. "CANOE - SLAM! Sports - CFL - Ottawa: CFL Hunt's off for now". October 11, 2006. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
  5. Archived July 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Ottawa conditionally awarded 2014 Grey Cup". The Sports Network. November 21, 2008. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
  7. "Group pays millions to bring CFL back to Ottawa". CTV News Ottawa. March 25, 2008. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  8. . Regina Leader-Post. July 8, 2009.
  9. CFL will return to Ottawa
  10. "CFL in Ottawa a 'certainty': Hunt". Peterborough Examiner.
  11. Desaulniers, Darren (July 22, 2010). "Saskatchewan not expected to allow Ottawa to use old name". The Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
  12. "Friends of Lansdowne lose appeal". Ottawa.