A matter of time?

Now that it's past the end of March (which is when "they" said they'd have an announcement about Ottawa by), coupled with the new commish finally being in power, I figure it's just a matter of time before we hear something about the Ottawa situation.

I'm still optimistic that they'll be able to reach an agreement with the Palmer group. They seem to have the biggest issue, the money, sorted out. Anything else should be relatively easy to agree on. I'm guessing the biggest hurdle is the expansion draft, ie, how many players can be protected on each existing team.

I also don't think that it's a bad sign that March has come and gone without any announcement. These things never go on schedule. Considering Mark Cohon takes his office on April 17, I'd expect an announcement by the end of April or, at the latest, mid-May. If the announcement is what we're hoping for, that the team is back, they'll still have plenty of time (including the entire 2007 season, the best time for marketing) to get ready for 2008.

Either way, I'm checking the main page every day, hoping for a story on the return of the Renegades. Or Rough Riders. Or whatever they're called; as long as the CFL is back in Ottawa!

That sounds about right. Palmer has his GM candidate ready to go anyway and in town, so if he still wanted to get started for training camp, the guy is just a phone call away.

Hopefully something can be done by the start of this years CFL season so a new Ottawa team can get talked about and promoted throughout the year on the TSN broadcasts.
I wonder if part of the holdup is trying to get a reasonable deal from the city of Ottawa for stadium rent. That has always been a sore spot in the past from what I have read.
My take on the US backers for Palmer would be people recomended by Als owner Bob Wetenhall and maybe Bob Young, so I would think that they would be accountable.
Stocking the new team is always a sore spot as its hard to please everybody. The new people think they're getting short changed while the existing ones think they're giving up too much. This year might have been a good year for the new franchise as many teams were dumping salary. Ottawa could have put together a pretty good team from the FA's and released veterans. But a good QB would still be a problem unless a number guy was made available.

A few of us have decided to write to the mayor and ask for a fair deal from the city. I'm not extremely confident, but perhaps if enough people do it...

We want to be careful though that we don't all do it at once so that it looks like some kind of organized deal. "Okay, your turn to send the e-mail". I'd like to be able to refer to some newspaper article or something to make it sound like it's a number of people who all came across the same reference and are individually voicing their opinion.

As far as roster stocking goes, I actually didn't mind the method used last time. It allowed an opportunity to grab a number of Canadians and stock future draft picks so you could plan long-term if you wanted. The only position that there was nothing for is QB, so it'd be nice if more options could be offered there, but aside from that, it seemed fair enough to me.

Sending politicians emails and letters is a excellent thing to do for CFL fans.

Yup (sad that this is how we have to get respect from our own government for our own game, though).

CRF, I'm curious why you think it would be worse if it looked like an organized effort. I would think that would look better - as in, people care enough to organize and join a group to bring back the Renegades. Basically, it creates a louder voice and is harder to ignore. I see your point about a bunch of individuals making it seem like there are more die-hard fans, doing it all on their own, but I don't know if it will really work ... it's easier to lose the odd, random letter, you know?

I just meant that I didn't want it to look sneaky. If I'm the mayor, and I've heard next to nothing about this thing, but all of a sudden I get a couple of dozen e-mails about it, it might give the wrong image. Like we're trying to pad numbers or something.

That's why I say I'd like to be able to refer to a newspaper article or some such. It'd be easy to beleive that many people happened to see the article and are reacting to it. Out of the blue it might seem weird, that's all I meant. It wouldn't be BAD, but it might not be as good as it could be.

Well, at least the mayor seems to have the right idea. From the Ottawa Business Journal:

Mayor O'Brien addressed a crowd of some 200 business people, city managers and others, praising the work council has accomplished since November, and outlining what lays ahead.

He gave himself 1,000 days to make Ottawa "safe, secure and sustainable," and said he will spend the next 60 days in lock-up with councillors to work on strategy to get it there.

"For the City of Ottawa, the right move right now is to sit back and take a look at our priorities," he announced.

He said an announcement was due soon on expansion plans for the Ottawa Congress Centre, and said he hoped to move forward, by 2010 at the latest, on a plan for "a waste of prime real estate" he called Lansdowne Park, without providing much detail for either facility.

"It could be the 40-acre gem in the heart of our city," he said about the old home of the Ottawa Renegades CFL team. "However today, it is best described as Ottawa's largest parking lot with a few buildings, a heritage building and a '60s era sports stadium."

Right idea?

It sounds like he wants to knock the thing down to make condos.

Actually, reading it again from that perspective, I can see how you'd think that and I can't deny you could be right. I don't know the man, but have heard that he's a sports guy so I read it from that point of view.

I didn't post it, but earlier in the article he talks of how Ottawa should have a swagger to it, something along those lines. I'd think that he'd mean that more in terms of having a good facility rather than having a few more condos, what with the FIFA event coming this summer and such...

Thats what I thought when I first read it!

I hope I'm wrong!

You never know with politicians. He certainly doesn't give me an impression of being anti-sports like the rest of the left-wing councillors on Ottawa City council, but then again, you never know with these block heads. Maybe he wants to knock the whole thing down and build a soccer only stadium like the sneaks in Toronto. I say, knock down Lynx Stadium instead. They are leaving after this season anyways.