Eugene Melynk and the MLS for Ottawa

I'm not a soccer fan but it would be GREAT if Hunt and Melnyk could partner to share a brand new state-of-the-art stadium to house the new Ottawa Rough Riders as well as a new MLS team, so long as the schedules don't conflict of course.

From a business standpoint, the cost savings of having a shared stadium as well as increased revenues from cross-promotion would be beneficial. Having the stadium located at Lansdowne would be great as Hunt could promote both the Ottawa Rough Riders and 67s while Melnyk could promote the new (if granted by the league) MLS team as well as the Ottawa Senators. The Ottawa Senators (Silver Seven) actually won the Stanley Cup in 1904 at the Aberdeen Pavillion just behind Frank Clair Stadium so Lansdowne Park itself could potentially be a mecca for Ottawa sports. If partnered with Hunt, Melnyk could also promote the Ottawa Rough Riders and 67s out at Scotiabank Place.

A downside to this pie-in-the-sky idea is that Melnyk seems to favour having a great deal of control in his business ventures which would probably mean that he would want the stadium built out at Scotiabank Place. I would rather see Frank Clair be a multi-purpose stadium. That would be another plus to urge City Council to vote in favour of the Hunt proposal. Speaking of which:

Hunt said he has not talked to Melnyk regarding the bid.

"We have not had any meaningful discussions. We're open to the MLS being here, of course. We're proposing a world-class sports and entertainment venue. The more (the facility is used) the more successful the venture will be.

"Our group is moving forward with the process to revitalize Lansdowne. Our bid will be submitted in the coming weeks. I think people will be excited."


I can't wait to hear this!

Go Ottawa Rough Riders!

Melnyk wants to model his stadium after BMO field in Toronto. This means no collaboration with a CFL stadium, two seperate stadiums. I wouldn't drive out to Kanata to watch soccer but I wouldn't mind watching a game at Frank Clair.

That's kind of why I'm not sure this is great news.

The people who didn't want a stadium at Lansdowne would always say "Build it elsewhere". They'd never have a real suggestion as to where, just not Lansdowne. If Melnyk manages this, those same people can tell anyone coming in with a football team that they should play out in the existing field in Kanata.

Also, the argument that Hunt's stadium could house a soccer team as well would be null and void. Up until now, it was a good counter for those who stated that it made no sense to build a stadium downtown to be used only 10 times out of the year.

It'll all be a moot point as of January of next year. I've been following MLS expansion news, and I place Ottawa a distant fifth place to Montreal, St. Louis, Vancouver, and Portland, in that order.

If Melnyk decided to pursue USL-1, that's another matter.

Melnyk unveiled his proposal today. The stadium design looks pretty good (the NEW Frank Clair Stadium?):

http://www.ottawasun.com/PhotoGalleries/soccer/2008/09/16/0908_AERIAL.jpg

This looks like it could house a CFL team (Ottawa Rough Riders) just fine and would fit in Lansdowne perfectly right where the current Frank Clair stadium resides. I still say Hunt and Melnyk should team up if Melnyk is awarded the MLS franchise. As mentioned previously, I think the odds are against Ottawa actually getting a soccer team in this go-round, but there's always next time.

With the angled roof, our "North Side S-U-C-K-S" chants could carry pretty far. :slight_smile:

Here's more on Melnyk's proposal including some additional photos:

http://www.ottawasun.com/News/OttawaAndRegion/2008/09/16/6780921.html

As the article says - two independent proposals. We will end up with a Soccer only stadium out in kanata run by Melnyk and the Hunt group's revitalized Frank Clair stadium.

I don't want to drive to kanata to watch CFL football, I want to be able to park on a side street off of Bank and have a meal and a few beers before the game and walk to the stadium.

I don't like the looks of this.

If Melnyk and the Hunt group don't partner up this is going to be disasterous for football in Ottawa. This stadium in Kanata is ammunition for the Glebeites to not have Lansdowne re-built.

The very fact that this new stadium proposal in Kanata is even on the table could allow the city to justify not having a stadium at Landowne at all. The argument will be, 'there's a 'world class' stadium to be built in Kanata, we do not need another one at Lansdowne on our 'crown jewel''.

Then, when Ottawa does not get its MLS bid, we are left without a stadium at all.

If Melnyk screws up football for this city, I will pull my support of the Senators until he is no longer the owner of the Ottawa Senators. Coming for me, that is saying something huge because I'm as big a Senators fan as you will find.

I'm not happy right now.

Maybe Ottawa with a growing number of ethnics with a soccer background makes more sense that gridiron CFL football, I don't know.

I'm not fazed at all by the news. The likelihood that Ottawa will be granted a MLS team is pretty low this time out. The Hunt bid will be the first to reach City Council (expected this month!) since we already have a conditional Ottawa Rough Riders team, so work can begin on our stadium first. No problem. :wink:

The success of last year's FIFA U20 tournament no doubt plays into it.

I guess...I'm just concerned that council, in their infinite wisdom, will want to sit back and wait and see how the Melnyk thing plays out first. Nothing that Doucet likes more than wasting time.

I can't see City Council holding up their decision based on the Melnyk proposal. They can't very well say no to Hunt and suggest that he ask Melnyk to accommodate a CFL team in his privately owned soccer stadium. If both stadiums were city-owned, then I could see some delay, but the Hunt proposal is for Lansdowne only. City Council can't really consider options that they have no power/jurisdiction over (or that may never come to fruition).

Build one nice stadium rather than 2 mediocre stadiums. And if it means the CFL has to go to shorter field to accomodate the soccer dimension, so be it, really.

You missed the article - Melnyk is building a "soccer only" stadium, he has no interest in the CFL.
The CFL group cannot just march in to the stadium and say we are playing here.
I thought it was bad news that Melnk tried to upstage the CFL group a week before their proposal.
Melnyk is hoping that the city, the province, feds cough up the other $40m for his stadium.
The Mayor says that the city may give Melnyk the land around Scotia Bank place for the stadium. The land belongs to us the taxpayers of Ottawa not the city and it may be worth $10 to $20m so contributing the land to his stadium is the same as giving $10 to $20 to refurbish Frank Clair.

I'm just hoping that the Hunt proposal doesn't involve any public money and the city turns around and supports the upgrade to Frank Clair.

[url=http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=f222d1f9-f3f0-4f5e-988a-ce927ec79177]http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/new ... 927ec79177[/url]

Gotcha mike, ok. You have to wonder if the city might tell Melynk that if he is getting some taxpayer money or lands that it has to include the CFL. I think this has been written about though I'd imagine.

Another article re: Melynk's plans

click here

"This doesn't change anything for us,"
Hunt said in an interview.

"We've been working for over a year
on a proposal with Lansdowne Park

to have a world-class sports
and entertainment facility

that could house CFL football,

but conceivably Major League Soccer
and other events [as well].

"We think it's important
for major sports venues

to be centrally located in
the downtown core of any city

  • for the accessibility of the entire community.

We believe Ottawa is no different."

If this city gives Melnyk the land (which amount to giving him money) without the stipulation that the stadium must be be able to house a CFL team (or Canadian football[so local teams can also use it]) I am going to lose my mind.

If they do, they'll certainly have a lot of egg on their faces. I really can't see it happening IMHO. The city, provincial and federal levels have all said that they would not grant any funding of any kind (be it $ or land) for sports ventures.

I think this is all a lot of fuss over nothing at this point. Melnyk doesn't even have a franchise yet. Hunt does and is just days away from submitting his proposal for the Lansdowne revitalization. I take the holding off on the International Design competition as a sign that the City is seriously considering Hunt's proposal as opposed to simply going through the motions.

I've got my fingers crossed for the Ottawa Rough Riders. I can't wait to see plans for the new Frank Clair Stadium.

I wonder what form Hunt's proposal will take? If it's something done publically, I would like to see if I can arrange to attend.

I think Melnyks stunt has put everything in dissarray right now.
My prediction is that Hunts group will make their pitch to the city and the city will turn around and say "hey talk to Melnyk he's building a stadium in Kanata"
It's a good excuse to delay any decision on the Landsdowne development.

The Melnyk proposal has given the Glebites a lot of ammunition now to say No to Frank Clair stadium upgrade and hello to an urban park and green space with no sport facility.