Ryan Reynolds reportedly preparing to bid for Canadian ice hockey team - in deal worth more than $1bn

After taking Wrexham FC to new heights, it appears Ryan Reynolds may have a new sporting venture on the horizon - this time in Canada.

The Deadpool star, alongside his business partner and It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia actor Rob McElhenney, took over the Welsh football club in 2021, and got it promoted to the Football League after a 15-year absence.

But now, according to the Ottawa Sun, Reynolds, alongside other business magnates, has joined a group with the intention of buying the Ottawa Senators, a National Hockey League (NHL) franchise in the city.

The club's former owner, Eugene Melnyk, passed away in March 2022, with his estate looking to sell up.

If the Remington Group, which includes Reynolds, goes through, it is set to make the hockey team the first in the top league to be worth more than $1bn (£800m).

The Ottawa Sun reported, that if Reynolds' bid is the winner, he would build a new stadium for the team in the city's downtown area, which would also include a new entertainment district around it, while redeveloping the site where its current stadium is.

The group has reportedly already met with officials to discuss the ins and outs of the club, with the paper adding the actor is keen to come to a deal quickly.

Other bidders include actor and former wrestler Dwayne Johnson and film producer Neko Sparks, who have also reportedly joined up to front a bid to the tune of $950m in the first round of bidding.

Should they be successful, it would make the team the first in the NHL to be owned by a black person.

Both groups, among others, are expected to be part of the final group of bidders.

Sky News has reached out to Reynolds' reps for comment.

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'You have to... grow that community'

Reynolds, a Vancouver native, would be looking to build on the success he has seen with Wrexham FC.

Speaking to MSNBC, Sky's US partner network, last week, Reynolds said: "I wasn't an expert in, I'll call it soccer for our American audience, but I've adopted it as football and rightfully so.

"You have to go hand-in-hand, community and club.

"The thing I think we did do well with Wrexham FC is... We don't have a large moat around us of publicists, lawyers and other personnel. We're pretty accessible and accountable to both the community and the club.

"If you're going to grow the club, you have to be in tandem and be able to grow that community."

Reynolds and McElhenney set Wrexham fans' pulses racing in the week when they suggested the club could sign the newly retired Gareth Bale - Wales' talismanic former captain.

Bale, however, said the prospect was unlikely.