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CPL poised to announce Ottawa expansion team, Atlético Madrid involvement expected

Hamilton’s Forge FC celebrate winning the inaugural Canadian Premier League championship (Credit: CPL)

Jeff Hunt, an Ottawa businessman who is part owner of the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa Redblacks, has confirmed he is part of a group looking to bring a Canadian Premier League team to the Canadian capital city.

There has been widespread speculation that a LaLiga club, specifically Atlético Madrid, will be involved in the project as well.

“I can confirm that the CPL reached out to me some time ago to provide advice and guidance in bringing a CPL team to Ottawa,” Hunt said. “I can tell you we’re very close in putting together a launch of professional soccer through the CPL in Ottawa in 2020. That’s certainly the goal. My involvement – that’s to be determined. But for the right situation, I would hope to play a role not just as a partner, but as a frontman on the ground in Ottawa.”

“We are focusing on doing this with a major European group; when and if the day comes, it’s their announcement to make, not mine,” Hunt added. “It’s not my place to make any announcement.”

Former United Soccer League Championship team Ottawa Fury were poised to join the CPL in its inaugural season in 2019 but pulled out of the league at short notice. CPL executives had been in touch with Fury executives about potentially joining in the future but the team suspended operations in December after selling its USL franchise rights to Miami FC.

The proposed team, which will be the CPL’s eighth, is expected to play at TD Place Stadium, the home of the Redblacks and the Fury’s former venue. It has been reported that it will be called Atlético Ottawa and play in the LaLiga club’s colors. An official announcement is expected in the coming weeks.

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