Published on February 18, 2009 7:51 PM by dbo.
The debate over the location, purpose and politics of a new outdoor stadium in Ottawa continues to be on the front pages of the news sections of Ottawa’s papers. Football Canada added its objections yesterday to characterizations on the state of football in Canada made by Eugene Melnyk the previous week. An additional story had allegations from an Ottawa Councillor that the Lansdowne Live proposal and closed design competition was a backroom deal. There are reports that the city’s commissioned report on a stadium location to be released February 24 will not list either Lansdowne or Kanata as the top location. The future of the Ottawa ‘67’s Junior Hockey team is also called into question if Lansdowne redevelopment does not go forward. Chris Stevenson raises the issue with ‘67’s owner Jeff Hunt due to the team’s home, the Ottawa Civic Centre, being attached to the current Lansdowne stands. No Lansdowne stands, no Civic Centre it stands to reason. A decision will need to be made quickly to receive the funding available for the project and get the process started.
Next week should see some progress with reports being delivered to council, announcements of an evaluation process and other details coming out. Ottawa Council do not have a luxury of time for picking a location and approving a development plan. Further delays could result in the current opportunity being missed altogether. That would not be the first time a public project such as a stadium was effectively killed by the indecision of civic leaders.