Will Ottawa Keep Up With the Country?

Published on November 11, 2009 8:33 PM by dbo.

Tomorrow, November 12, Ottawa City Council will hear from 93 groups or individuals on the collaborative plan to revitalize Lansdowne Park. Included in those making presentations will be labour and trade groups which support the economic stimulus the project will provide and CFL commissioner Mark Cohon who will likely make a final statement regarding the opportunity for local ownership to join a prospering league that may not appear again. Friday council will debate the proposal and come to a decision no later than Saturday Monday. If approved, council will likely request a formal agreement be negotiated to be voted on in May. If defeated, it would put an end to the current proposal, the conditional ownership group and send the process back to square one with the football franchise off the table. Deferring the decision, in other words not voting to accept the concept, will also kill the plan according the to developers.

Updates

Updates November 12

The Last Chance for Ottawa?

In recent days the following projects have been announced or moved towards reality:

  • BC Place will get a new retractable roof at a cost of $458 million.
  • Hamilton will be building a new track and field stadium for the Pan-Am games and if additional funding is found, it will become the new stadium for the Tiger-Cats.
  • Montreal will complete a 5,000 seat expansion for Percival Molson Stadium to be ready for next season.
  • Saskatchewan is moving ahead with a plan to build a 33,000 seat domed stadium at a cost of $350 million.
  • Moncton will host a regular season game next year in a temporarily expanded stadium built for the 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships in Athletics.
  • Winnipeg is expected to break ground on their new $120 million stadium in 2010 with a projected opening date of 2012.

You can’t ignore the money being committed in 2009 to CFL stadium construction (among other uses) and believe the league is on its last breath.

Revitalizing Lansdowne Park is not critical to Ottawa, nor is an outdoor stadium. However, if a stadium project is not started now, will there ever be enough political will to start from scratch? Without a stadium now, will local owners ever be found in the future to return football to the city? If utilizing the current infrastructure isn’t the most economic way, build new at another location, Kanata, downtown, where ever it may be, but build now. The opportunity is about to pass you by. Already the timetable for completion of the stadium project is 2013. How much longer would it take to start from scratch at another location, with no plans, cost sharing or anything in place? No, to avoid missing this opportunity and putting Ottawa in a class by itself amongst Canadian cities, Lansdowne is the project and the time is now.

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Will Ottawa Keep Up With the Country? was published on November 11, 2009 8:33 PM by dbo.

818 words.

This article is categorized under Stadiums and tagged with lansdowne-park and ottawa.