January 06, 2005
Urban saddles up to
Businessman poised to make
A new player is poised to make a bid
to purchase the
should a local group fail to close a deal soon.
Bruce Urban, president of Western RV
Country, said yesterday he has met with current owner Michael
and discussed the pending sale of the franchise to
That group includes businessmen Ted
who have been working for more than two months to complete the purchase and
could finalize the deal by the end of this week.
"Michael and I discussed a lot of
things," Urban, 36, told The Fan 960.
"We didn't get down to price. I kind
of have an idea where I think that would need to be but, at this point, I'm kind
of sitting on the fence waiting to see where the other
who are going through the process are sitting.
"Mike and I met on New Year's Eve
(in Los Angeles) in the afternoon and had a great meeting, shook hands and said,
'Let's see what happens this week.'
"That's kind of what I'm waiting
for, to see if Bruce Urban stands a chance to buy this team."
Urban said he is biding his time to
see if the
group can finalize the
sale, adding it's his understanding there is "some separation" between the local
, adding "a time frame runs out at
the end of this week."
Presumably, that information came
, a possible breach of the confidentiality
agreement he signed barring all parties from discussing the negotiations.
"I have the perfect answer for that
one -- phone Michael," suggested
about the terms of the pact that for weeks has prevented both sides from talking
about the deal.
Other local groups were also
interested in buying the Stampeders but backed away when the
group entered serious discussions with
Urban could have been drawn into
, eager to create a bidding war to
ratchet up the price.
"It doesn't worry me at all, it just
frustrates me that the press would pay any attention to this kind of thing,"
said about the presence of a potential new
Urban started his Western RV
business empire in 1991 and now has three Alberta locations with annual sales of
more than $70 million, according to his company's website.
He said he has been a Stampeders fan
for many years and started working at McMahon Stadium as a pop vendor when he
Urban said he looked into joining
group but was denied. He said he
then decided to investigate purchasing the team on his own.
Urban suggested he would keep
and president Ron
on staff if he buys the team.
, a California businessman, bought
the team from
2001. His controversial reign has included three consecutive losing seasons
without a playoff appearance.
ownership included the removal of
legendary head coach-GM Wally Buono, the front-office placement of inexperienced
and the controversial presence of son
, who was on the roster as a backup QB
until late in the 2003 season.
still claims to own a share of the
team and has entered a legal battle with
reach a settlement.
was unavailable for comment but,
according to Urban, is planning a trip to Calgary this