Ottawa Stadium, Name, and GM Progresses
Published on December 9, 2012 3:11 PM by dbo.
The news from Ottawa continues to pour, though now the topics are shifting to football related items rather than stadium discussions of the past five years.
Once the franchise was officially a go with the signing of the Lansdowne agreement with the city, interest quickly turned to the football side of things. Back in October, Perry Lefko questioned Rick Worman, currently employed as a scout for OSEG, on his interest in either the GM or head coaching job. He expressed an preference for coaching given the right fit of management.
By mid-November, the search for the GM was on. By Grey Cup week the short list was filled with quality people while former Rough Rider GM and CFL veteran Dan Rambo is not a candidate though he is advising the new ownership group. In December it was reported the team talked to Alouettes Assistant GM Marcel Desjardins, who had a stint as GM in Hamilton.
The date for the expansion draft was revealed to be Dec. 12, 2013, a Thursday about two and half weeks after the Grey Cup. The draft process, on second thought, received a thumbs down from an Ottawa reporter on its ability to provide quality Canadians to the new club.
The clamour to select a name for the team also began right after the team became official in October. By mid-November Jeff Hunt shared the team’s goals for naming the team. By Grey Cup week Hunt was getting the question of the team name from all sides and appeased people with word that the process, not a popularity contest, would begin soon.
On December 6th the team launched the Name Our Teams campaign with a media blitz and email notice to the team’s ticket reservation list. The campaign includes the NASL soccer club name selection along with the CFL club. The campaign is to last until December 16th with a the new names announced early in the new year.
The contract for the inflatable sports dome relocated from the Lansdowne site was cancelled by the city and resulted in blame-laying and finger-pointing (paywall). The issue was to be decided by an arbitrator (paywall) after the two sides could not work out their differences.
Interest Piqued and Peaks
The build up for the return of football started with a nostalgic top 5 reasons to have the CFL back in Ottawa. At Grey Cup time, a Sun survey showed strong interest in the championship and the return of the CFL to the nation’s capital. The 100th Grey Cup also raised the profile of the CFL‘s return to Ottawa.
Jeff Hunt acknowledged the club will have an inclusive and geographically wide marketing area in an attempt to capture fans from across the region. Condredge Holloway says Ottawa’s return to the CFL is “a damn good idea” and volunteers to come back if needed. The Grey Cup also served to charm Ottawa (paywall) in the midst of a NHL lockout. It was also recognized the city was away from the CFL for too long.
Damian Cox finds the situation ideal for the return of Ottawa, starting with the stadium (he’s in agreement it will be the most beautiful situated stadium in Canada), the ownership, and the football foundation.