Sports Industry

Sports

Current circumstances have had a dramatic impact on local, national and international clients in the sports industry.

Sports law is a multifaceted and extremely specialized discipline. Access to dependable legal advice, proactive problem solving and fearless representation is essential. From salary arbitrations and doping investigations, to large real estate transactions and intellectual property protection, as well as issues arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the range of legal matters in the sports industry is extensive.

Clients benefit from our diverse and seasoned team of sports lawyers, as well as our national reach and integrated structure.

Leagues, teams, organizations and individuals trust us with a range of matters, including:

  • dispute resolution, litigation and arbitration
  • labour and employment
  • salary arbitration
  • corporate transactions
  • purchase and sale of teams/leagues/businesses
  • commercial and contractual issues
  • intellectual property matters, monetization and naming rights, and broadcasting and advertising rights
  • real estate
  • concessions and ticketing
  • governance
  • finance
  • immigration

We advise and represent professional, national and international sports organizations. Our clients include professional sports leagues and teams, sports organizations, executives, professional and amateur athletes, directors, event organizers and promoters, funding partners, and broadcasters.

Experience

  • Various national and provincial sports organizations in safe sport investigations, risk management, disciplinary matters, team selection and doping disputes.
  • Various NHL clubs in salary arbitration disputes with eligible players.
  • 801 Albert Street Inc. and TIP Albert Limited Partnership in a claim arising out of a failed joint venture between Capital Sports Management Inc. (CSMI) and Trinity Development Group Inc. The venture, formed out of a proposal to develop LeBreton Flats in downtown Ottawa, would have resulted in a new arena for the Ottawa Senators. 801 Albert Street Inc. and TIP Albert LP are involved in an adjacent real estate development that CSMI alleged unfairly competed with LeBreton Flats.
  • Toronto Region Board of Trade (TBOT) in the Clubhouse Developments Inc. acquisition of The Country Club golf course $220 million.
  • Fanatics Inc. in its acquisition of VF Corporation’s Licensed Sports Group, which includes the Majestic® brand and fan wear through licensing agreements with U.S. and international sports leagues and teams.
  • City of Ottawa in negotiations with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) regarding the public-private partnership redevelopment of Lansdowne Park, including successfully acting for the City in connection with the Friends of Lansdowne litigation challenging the project.
  • Defended the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (Calgary Flames) from a claim made by a plaintiff official who was allegedly injured during a regular season NHL game. BLG successfully applied to stay the litigation on the basis that the matter was governed by an arbitration clause in the NHL Constitution and associated governing documents, and was not within the Court’s jurisdiction. The lawsuit was successfully stayed.
  • Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs and Ontario Cycling Association (interveners) in a Court of Appeal hearing after plaintiffs injured while using ski facilities argued the waivers they signed did not exempt ski resorts from their statutory obligation under consumer protection legislation. In the Appeal hearing, BLG successfully acted on behalf of the interveners.
  • Regional Municipality of Halton in Ontario Municipal Board (now Local Planning Appeal Tribunal) hearings. BLG represented the municipality on Saw-Whet and Glen Abbey, two controversial golf course developments.
  • Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. in resolving First Nations issues related to renewing Mountain Development Agreements, required for ongoing ski operations for Whistler Blackcomb.
  • Represented WinSport, who were granted Interested Party status at an Alberta Public Fatality Inquiry following an incident at the Canada Olympic Park (COP) bobsled track in February 2016. In that case, eight young men broke into the COP facility and slid down the bobsled track, which resulted in fatal and other serious injuries.
  • High-level planning and expropriation-related advice for a developer attempting to develop a golf course property in Calgary. The city recently indicated a large part of the property will be required for drainage, which could make the proposed development uneconomic. This matter has received significant press coverage.

Key Contacts

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