Dumb on the city of Ottawa's part

I just learned that the city of Ottawa spent $17 mill on the Lynx Stadium baseball park for their AAA team where the team is leaving it appears after this season due to bad attendance. Imagine if they put that money into FCS upgrades, what a nicer stadium they would have had for the Gades and maybe attract more quality local ownership.

Dumb to me.


No one ever accused government of being smart :slight_smile:

Nice bit of hiindsight, Earl. The Lynx' stadium was built nearly a decade before the Renegades existence and a time when it seemed like the Riders had stable ownership. The Gliebermans had come off a 9-9 season and, that I can recall, had given no indication they were ready to leave. They didn't do that until after the 2003 season had been completed.

The CFL folded the Rough Riders because the league did not want to carry them. The hypocritical CFL turned around and carried the Argos and Ti-Cats and found them good owners. Ottawa got stuck with a crappy draft and an expansion team.

No, as bad as the Gliebs were , they were your last chance to hold onto the Renegades. In the last year the CFL looked at your attendance figures for 2005 (just over 18K), and said it wasnt worth risking folding the entire league to keep the Gades afloat. Its where the fans of Ottawa showed the league that they didnt want the team, so out of self preservation the league decided to pull the plug, and really can you blame them?

Look, you are making a lot of assumptions. Have you ever even been to Lansdowne ? I grew up there. The fans have always been there. You don't know what you are talking about.

Just wish they would get back and the Blue could get back to the West!

Yes, I hate it when the Blue Bombers are in the East. I would rather see one division with 8 teams rather than Winnipeg in the East.

Earl - "you just learned that $17M was spent to build Lynx Stadium" That was in 1993!! Where have you been?
Back in 1993 this city was baseball crazy, 10,000 average attendance the highest in AAA baseball. It was the probably the right decision at the time. But in hindsight it wasn't.
The question now is what do the do with this beautiful stadium. It's not in a very good area and limited parking. The city is now stuck with 2 stadiums without major tennants.

The ideal situation is to renovate Frank Clair - football isn't the only reason to keep it going. The FIFA U20 tourni was a huge success, 27,000 fans for everygame, the womens tourni a couple of years ago had 20,000 a game, the Francophone games, the Stones concert 2 years ago. Maybe a soccer franchise and possibly a return to CFL with the right ownership.

We're obviously on the same side, but to be fair I have to admit that I didn't think the league failed Ottawa in the Rough Rider days. I think they did run it for a while too (isn't that why Cahill was around? I'd have to look it up), but the thing had become such a colossal mess that it could be saved.

I was more pissed about the Renegades than the Riders. I was SAD about the Riders, but I was angry about the Renegades.

Specifically, I was pissed at all the assurances that were being given that everything would be all right when they clearly were not. I bought into it, felt let down, and that's why I have a hard time buying into similar comments now about "commitment" without seeing the least amount of progress.

I know neither of us will change the other's mind, so I'll leave you only this food for thought: 18,500 (or so) should not be a number that causes a team to fold. Other teams have fallen below that number and NOT folded, therefore there are obviously other factors at play.

I know that you want fans to take responsibility because you're tired of other people being blamed. Fair enough. If there were more fans, the whole thing would be a better sell.

But it works both ways. Fans may not be entirely blameless, but it's not all on their shoulders either.

I think the CFL should take heed of Rod Bryden's experience with the Ottawa Senators (as I'm sure they have). There once was a time, not too long ago, when Bryden was threatening to move the NHL franchise out of Ottawa unless the City bent over backwards to keep him happy (my take on it, anyway). The City called his bluff, essentially saying that the team was expendable, as far as the City was concerned.

My point is, if the City of Ottawa was prepared to say goodbye to an NHL franchise, the CFL cannot expect the City Council to be overly friendly or accomodating towards a professional football franchise. With this in mind, the CFL needs to determine whether having a franchise in the country's 4th largest market (which also happens to be the nation's capital) is worth it. If they decide that it is, they will eventually find new owners, and the team will return. If not, then they won't.

Waiting for City Council to come around is a waste of time. You gotta play the hand you're dealt.

City Council is not sports freindly. They can't wait to tear down Frank Clair Stadium and Lynx Stadium so they can put up condos and Starbucks.

You might not have seen it yet (because it only was announced today), but they've said that any plan to renovate Lansdowne Park has to include Frank Clair Stadium. It's a requirement that they've set for the people who want to submit proposals.

What is on the Lansdowne Park property, CRFAd?

Concrete. Lots and lots of concrete. :slight_smile:

Actually, there's a bit more to it than that...


I'd like to find a better view fromt he air, but the small picture on the site is about as good as I've found.


Man, talk about crappy pictures ! Would it kill the city of Ottawa to have some decent pictures of their facility. No wonder they can't attract any conventions or special events.

While I applaud the City for its apparent commitment to keeping the stadium, I just hope they don't raise taxes for the stadium's tenants through the roof, in order to off-set the costs of renovating it. If they do, they will in all likelihood drive away any prospective team.

I'm not saying they should give the CFL a free ride - far from it. But please keep the financial aspect realistic!

They continually gouged the Riders and the Renegades. The City of Ottawa held all pouring and concession rights and parking charges, didn’t they ? And also overcharged for rent.

Globe and Mail:

[url=http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070924.wsptnaylor24/GSStory/GlobeSportsFootball/home]http://www.globesports.com/servlet/stor ... tball/home[/url]

OTTAWA — It appears a big chunk of Frank Clair Stadium will be demolished this fall.

But whether the tearing down of the lower south-side stands is good or bad news for the potential return of CFL football isn't clear.

City staff delivered a report yesterday recommending that the lower tier of the south-side stands be taken down because of structural concerns discovered in early September. The decision whether or how to replace the stands will be part of a larger city project regarding the redevelopment of the stadium and surrounding area known as Lansdowne Park, located south of downtown.

"The principle we've worked upon is to preserve Frank Clair Stadium," said Peter Hume, the chairman of the city's planning and development committee. "What form that would take will follow the function [the stadium] would take in the community."

One option would seem to be removing the remaining the upper south-side stands as well, which is a separate structure, leaving the stadium with a north grandstand that holds 14,542, down from the stadium's current capacity of 28,826.

But Hume said he believes there is considerable merit to rebuilding the lower south-side stands so Ottawa can continue to play host to such events as the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

It would also open the door for the potential return of the CFL.

"It's no good to have a facility that no one cares to come to play football or soccer at because it only has the north-side stands," Hume said. "Maybe there's different configurations we need to look at that would make the stadium viable for those things.

"What's the best configuration if we want get football back? Before you replace it, you should have a sense of what makes good sense for the facility."

Hume said the estimated cost of replacing the lower south-side stands is $5-million, plus $1.2-million for demolition. The $5-million price tag is the same as the estimate for repairing the existing structure.

As to what design a new lower south-side stands might encompass, Hume said the city is open to all proposals, including those specific to football.

"If we have a reasonable and viable proposal on the table for CFL football, that gives renewed purpose to the stadium portion of the facility," he said.

As of now, there is nothing tangible to suggest the CFL is on its way back to Ottawa.

However, CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said yesterday he is following the debate surrounding Frank Clair Stadium and has had discussions with Mayor Larry O'Brien and a potential CFL investment group.

"We are in discussion with a local group who are extremely interested — a significant local group," Cohon said. "We don't have a timetable, but the situation with the stadium has obviously expedited the discussions."

The base of the south-side stands at Frank Clair Stadium was built in 1961, 14 years before the upper section was added. In recent years, the stadium's poor condition has often been cited by fans, including those who attended the World Cup soccer games this past summer.

Ottawa 67's owner Jeff Hunt, whose OHL team plays in the Civic Centre, which is attached to Frank Clair Stadium's north side, has in the past been contacted by several groups interested in returning CFL football to Ottawa.

He did not wish to speculate on what potential redevelopment of the stadium might mean to the chances of CFL football returning.

"The last thing any group involved in football negotiations would want is to have it public," Hunt said. "There have been so many false starts and letdowns and disappointments that no group would want anything to go public before there's something concrete in place."