Recently Reid Johnson from The Markcast talked to BC Lions owner Amar Doman. They talked about buying the team, plans for the future, the potential of a new team, the Schooners, playing next season, Genius Sports impact and more.
Doman talks about purchasing the Lions and how it was something he wanted to do for a long time, and he is ready to invest in the team.
“The opportunity with the Lions came up a number of years ago with Mr. Braley, and we were off and on negotiating for the club and certainly for someone like myself to give back to the community…. Number one put the Lions back into solid hands here with local ownership.
They were in solid hands with sort of distance ownership with Mr. Braley, who was great… So I had this opportunity over the years to talk to him about buying the club. I think he saw my sincerity, and sadly, he passed and got the deal done after that with his estate.
They couldn’t have been more first class with me. I think they saw exactly what I told David, which was the truth. We are going to invest in this and really revitalize the Lions for the long term… make it a hot ticket in town again. It will take some time, but we’re here for the job, and we’re not going anywhere. We’ve got deep pockets to invest in the team, and we’re doing that.”
He talks about how the CFL has come a long way quickly by getting engaged with the technology side of the business.
“We’ve got the Genius Sports thing happening with the CFL, which is great. Wagering in the CFL is coming along quickly as far as getting engaged on the technology side… which we’ve been behind on… So I think you’re going to see many things galvanized here. It’s really up to us to put the product on the field, and win games.”
Doman talks about the problem with one and two-year player contacts in the CFL.
“I think you talked about the Canadian quarterback situation. That’s a great conversation piece. First time in 55 years, we’ve had two Canadian quarterbacks, one for my hometown, Victoria being Nathan Rourke.
It’s a great story. I think having that continuity and for the fans to look at someone they can relate to is something that’s slowly been lost in the CFL here and there because these one and two-year contracts… everyone’s just moving around.
For the fans, it’s hard to engage and go who’s on the team. Our job is to try and keep our team together. The teams that have been winning, like the Blue Bombers and the Tiger-Cats, their teams stick together. We need to resign, guys… we’ve got an incredible offense…. our defense is going to be good.
We need to keep these guys together to become a team, and the fans can identify and know who to cheer for. I’m looking forward to that.”
He then drops this nugget when talking about Genius Sports, the potential 10th CFL team, and the Schooners coming next year.
“Genius is a proven entity. All the other leagues in the world, they know what they’re doing. We’ve had some meetings with these guys. They’re top-shelf. They’re going to really help us on the technology side, where guys will be able to do analytics.
They’re going to be able to bet on those analytics. It’s a whole different view. This won’t happen overnight, but we’ve got the best in the world with us. I’ve got to credit Randy for that.
He’s done a great job in putting that deal together. So that is going to evolve over time. It’s early days. We just put it together a few months ago, but it’s done.
We are now at the leading edge of all technology and gambling with any other Pro League. We’re right at parity with anybody else. So time will see how this evolves as we get more eyeballs back into the CFL, which is exciting, and we’re looking at a 10th team for next year as well. So the Schooners, you never know, can come back. And we’re hearing good things about that. That’s another good piece of press for the CFL.”
Reid asks for a follow-up on the Schooners coming sooner rather than later.
“Just being around the CFL now and being on the board of governors, we’re hearing some things about that. They’ve got the game sold out now for July, which the tickets were gone in seconds, 10,000 gone. It’s pretty cool to see that passion for that football, and that was close… to use the term on the 1 YD line precovid for that expansion to happen.
Then COVID, of course, changed a whole bunch of things. So I think that train gets back on track. I’m enthused about that. It gives us a true, if it happens, National League right coast to coast, and frankly, something new for the CFL. I think that’s pretty exciting as well. So I’m hoping like every other fan that happens.”
He talks about leaving the management of the BC Lions to football personnel, how much he has invested in marketing, Genius Sports, connecting with fans, potential playing games international, and a ton more.
The team has big plans for the Lions in 2022, parties, events, and more to get the community back involved with the team. You can listen to the full interview here.