Expectations low

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

Stampeders president Ron Rooke was in his McMahon Stadium office yesterday, carrying on with his club duties convinced he won't be part of the new regime.

"I doubt it," Rooke said minutes before Michael Feterik told the entire staff he has sold the team to a local group.

"I don't know. I have no idea."

Although Rooke is recognized throughout the CFL as a brilliant marketing mind, it's expected he'll receive a buyout for the final two years of his contract.

Rooke said the new owners -- led by highly regarded businessmen Ted Hellard and John Forzani, along with Calgary lawyer Doug Mitchell -- will make the team an unbridled success.

"There's no reason these guys shouldn't sell 30,000 season tickets next season," said Rooke, a Calgary native who has been an integral part of the franchise since 1991.

"I mean, they should really blossom as a franchise. As a Stamps fan, I'm pleased the team should contend for the Grey Cup next season."

Rooke also recognized Feterik's financial commitment to the team and for appeasing Stampeders fans who called for the Californian to sell to local interests.

"I applaud Michael," Rooke said. "Michael was a great owner from a financial standpoint, did everything to make this team succeed.

"In the end, he did what the fans wanted. He sold the team to a very strong local group with John Forzani and Doug Mitchell."

It is expected former Stamps president Stan Schwartz, removed in September 2003, will return to the post under new ownership.

Rooke worked for more than 11 years in the Stampeders marketing department before being named president-CEO in October of 2003.

Some Stampeders front office staff said yesterday morale and job satisfaction were at an all-time high under Rooke's tenure.

The Calgary Flames and B.C. Lions have been rumoured to be interested in adding Rooke to their marketing departments.

The NHL club is obviously not hiring during the current player lockout while Rooke's many personal ties to Calgary would make it difficult to leave this community for another CFL job.


Videos

Photos