Important league voice

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

While Doug Mitchell plays a quiet role in terms of Calgary Stampeders football operations, his voice is heard loudly by the CFL board of governors.

Mitchell is a part owner of the club and is also a member of the three-member executive committee with John Forzani and Ted Hellard.

The busy lawyer at the firm Borden, Ladner and Gervais doesn't spend much time at McMahon Stadium outside of game days.

Instead, he's the voice of the Stamps when all nine governors meet with commissioner Tom Wright about once a month.

Being a former CFL commish himself (1985-89), Mitchell is enjoying being on the other side and representing the interests of the Stamps and the Calgary market.

"It's an interesting change," said Mitchell. "I'm no longer influenced by the politics of league policy. I don't have to reach mediation with all the owners. I'm on the other side.

"It's possible to take a leadership role in terms of an issue and voice the interests of our club. I want to take a position on behalf of the Stampeders but also be a team player."

Of the issues facing Mitchell at the league level is the much-discussed salary cap. He was also a key figure in extending Wright's contract through the 2006 season.

Mitchell believes once the league grows, the Stampeders will only benefit from the boom.

"You have to understand the success of the league is based on how successful we are as nine members of the league," he said. "If you want to go off on a tangent on your own interests, it's not helpful to the overall growth the of the league. Being a team player on the board of governors is pretty important."

Mitchell has been a Stamps fan since he left the CFL office in 1989. He's kept the same season tickets since coming back to Calgary and, although he is a part owner, he paid for those four seats again this season.

The games are one of the most enjoyable parts of the job for Mitchell. Fans still come up and thank him for helping get the club back in the hands of local ownership.

"It's gone very well. One of the things is managing expectations. The response from fans has been extremely positive and gratifying," Mitchell said.

"All of the involvement from the business community was based on the fact the team is a big part of the history of this city. It's part of the fabric of this city.

"The very overwhelming response from the fans has been tremendous. People really appreciate it. They feel like it's part of the community again. They feel part of the team again. The whole thing runs on fan support."


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