Stamps president Bauer’s contract expires in a month
Talks with Flames ownership group have begun, but future is uncertain
Now, the only question is whether the 54-year-old team president will remain in that role going forward.
Bauer’s three-year term as president and chief operating officer expires at the end of December, so with the Stamps’ 2012 season done after Sunday’s loss to Toronto in the 100th Grey Cup, the planning process for 2013 is officially underway, with Bauer’s role among the items on the agenda.
“I’ve got great respect for the ownership group that’s here as well as Huff, and if there’s an opportunity that fits for both of us (Bauer and the ownership group, headed by the Calgary Flames), then that’s something we’ll have the discussion about,” said Bauer on Wednesday. “There will be changes in certain areas, there’s no question. That’s part of the advantage of having an owner that is committed to sports and entertainment in the community. They have resources in so many areas that can complement what we’re trying to do here.”
Flames president Ken King, who also serves as co-chairman and alternate governor for the Stampeders, respectfully declined to discuss specifics on Bauer’s contract situation on Wednesday.
“Obviously, it’s on his and our agenda to speak with him about going forward,” said King.
Bauer was hired by the Stamps prior to the 2010 season, reuniting him with Stamps coach and GM John Hufnagel, with whom he was teammates during a 10-year playing career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Hufnagel has spoken in glowing terms in the past about Bauer’s contributions to the front office, thanks both to his business acumen and his in-depth knowledge of the Canadian Football League and its accompanying politics.
When the Flames announced last spring that they were moving from a minority to majority position in the Stampeder ownership group, Bauer offered to fulfil the remainder of his contract that he first signed when Ted Hellard was the team’s managing partner.
“When Ted recruited me to come here, there were simple mandates: to establish a true business culture and provide the resources for the football operations to have success on the field,” said Bauer. “We can’t talk about specific results, but we’ve been able to implement a very solid business plan and we’ve achieved all of our objectives within that business plan in terms of revenues, partnerships and sponsorships.
“The business plan that was established here folds right into their vision. It was for the Stampeders to become a sports and entertainment entity — the entire package. So it’s an absolute natural.”
Bauer said he’d had some discussions with King and that, “we’ll talk again over the next while.”
“I’ve enjoyed working with them,” added Bauer. “I have a very good relationship with Ken and I’ve established very good relationships with his respective vice-presidents. So from a work standpoint, a vision and the ability to work together, it’s been very good under some difficult circumstances.”
Those circumstances would include, obviously, the Flames dealing with the ongoing National Hockey League lockout, and the fact that Bauer was working on a contract that was months away from expiring.
But he likes what he’s heard from the Flames in terms of their vision for the football operations and their ambition to push for long-needed improvements to McMahon Stadium.
“I think the ownership group we have now is the best-positioned to lobby for those stadium improvements and move forward,” said Bauer. “There’s no question it’s necessary at this facility.”
The Stamps will hold their annual locker-room sale on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with fans able to buy game-worn helmets, jerseys and equipment, while select merchandise from the Stamps Store will be available at discounts of up to 50 per cent. Doors are open to season-ticket holders at 9 a.m., while the rest of the public can enter at 11 a.m.
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