FINALLY SOME GOOD NEWS ON OTTAWA FOR '08

Just came upon this while looking through the Ottawa Citizen.

'Understanding' on major issues brings CFL closer to return to Ottawa

Matthew Sekeres, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Friday, January 26, 2007
A major hurdle has been cleared in the effort to revive Ottawa’s twice-folded Canadian Football League franchise.
The Citizen has learned that former CFL player Bill Palmer, the father of Montreal Alouettes quarterback Jesse Palmer, has reached an understanding with the league’s franchise committee on at least two significant financial issues. It is believed the sides have agreed on a franchise fee and a letter of credit, which were considered major stumbling blocks on the way to a deal.
Recently, Palmer was given two weeks to secure his financing, and if the committee is satisfied that the money is in place, the league’s board of governors could vote on the proposal at the CFL Congress, to be held Feb. 12-15 in Montreal. Board approval would clear the path for the team to begin play in 2008, though Palmer would want the franchise to be operational by the time CFL training camps open in late-May.
Meanwhile, the Citizen has also learned that one of Palmer’s chief financial backers is Louisville lawyer Ed Glasscock, the co-managing member at Frost Brown Todd LLC, Kentucky’s largest law firm. Palmer’s group includes as many as 12 financiers, most from the U.S., with one coming from Ottawa. Glasscock, 62, is a co-owner of the Triple-A Louisville Bats of the International League, has horse-racing interests and is also a well-known fund-raiser in his community. Earlier this decade, he made two unsuccessful attempts to lure a National Basketball Association franchise to Louisville. (The Vancouver Grizzlies ultimately moved to Memphis and the Charlotte Hornets re-located to New Orleans.)
Glasscock, who has attended at least one negotiating session with the CFL in Toronto, did not return a telephone message and an e-mail left by the Citizen yesterday. Neither Palmer nor franchise committee chairman Ted Hellard, a minority owner of the Calgary Stampeders, would confirm that an agreement is in place, but both expressed optimism about the state of negotiations.

Fantastic news!! Can't wait to see football in Ottawa. Frank Clair stadium is one of my favorites. Right on the river, beautiful.

good read!

If and when it happens even though Frank Clair is a great stadium, it does need major improvements. Something that the GG group and I believe Frank D'Angelo were going to undertake.

i think i trust d'angelo more that 12 -15 americans.

if one yank pulls out in a year, what happens then?

agree with dg, this has disaster written all over it.

Agreed. Bring back Frank D'Angelo with Jeff Hunt as his President.

Um, guys, this is why the franchise fee exists, to prevent lightweight owners from bailing after a year or two. You pay a few million up front and you're not so likely to walk away from the football team. Let's not bury these guys just because they have American investors.

a few million dollars divided up among 15 owners makes it easier for ONE or TWO of those investors to decide to walk after a year or two.

then what happens???

team is suspended AGAIN?!?!

even if it was a group of 15 CANADIANS, i'd still feel the same....a group of 3 or 4, now thats a different story.

no offence to anybody... but like does anybody really think Ottawa can survive? Obviously I know people are going to DISagree with me and Im gonna take some heat... Nobody really wants to believe or face that maybe Ottawa can not sustain a CFL franchise anymore...

BTW, i should add that that uck for the fans in Ottawa who are diehards...

That depends on whether you beleive Ottawa's failures were due to poor ownership or an apathetic fan-base. With the drastic turn arounds in Hamilton & Toronto coupled with how loonie Lonie was in Ottawa... I tend to think the former...

I believe it was a combination of both. Just like a divorce, one partner is more culpable but ultimately both are responsible.
I am hoping the franchise fee has been increaased to a minimum $5M and on top at least another $5M bond posted, or better still a bond of $10M.

Alonger article of the same story appears this morning in th Citizen.
Here it is.

"The exact amounts of the franchise fee and the letter of credit were not clear, though the latter is expected to cover at least one season's worth of player salaries, roughly $4 million.

In November, the CFL increased the franchise fee it was seeking to approximately $5 million on the basis of a rich new television agreement it signed with TSN. Last month, the deal was announced and officials confirmed that the CFL would not reap more money from the broadcaster should Ottawa rejoin the league, meaning Palmer's group stands to gain television profits that would diminish the annual share of the other eight clubs.

While the financial agreements represent major progress, several issues remain that could derail the deal.

First, the team would require a lease with the city for Frank Clair Stadium. Walter Robinson, chief of staff to Mayor Larry O'Brien, said earlier this week that the mayor has not yet spoken with Palmer.

Second, Palmer's group also needs to agree on the terms of an expansion draft to stock the new team with players. One source suggested that these terms were also in place, but another said the sides had barely scratched the surface.

Palmer's group is seeking a favourable lottery that would allow the team to be instantly competitive, a sentiment that Hellard has echoed. That means Palmer's group would want existing teams to be able to protect just one quarterback, not two as was the case when the Renegades entered the league in 2002.

The franchise committee also wants further assurances, notably that the ownership group has the financial wherewithal to be committed for the long term, and that the team has the ability to operate bilingually to capture more fans in Eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

Palmer has already reached an exclusive agreement with former Rough Riders owner Horn Chen to revive the name, should his bid prove successful.

Hellard said that no governors' meeting is scheduled for the CFL Congress, but that one could be arranged if required. Either way, Ottawa football fans should know whether they are getting their team back in the next three months".

We are all excited about a return, but please do not bring back the same Rough Riders name?

this right here makes me NOT want palmer to get an ottawa team.

i would rather NO team in ottawa, than another rough rider team.

stick to the renegades!

seems to me, BC will protect buck pierce, and montreal will protect calvillo....so ottawa could walk away with dickenson and palmer as thier 1 and 2 QB's.

palmer could be an amazing starter, in time, having studied under calvillo and dickenson.

It's absurd having two teams with the same name in a nine-team league, regardless of history or tradition. Either use the Renegades or find a new name, but for god's sake, no Rough Riders please.

it hurts the CFL's image, having 2 rough riders.

I too would rather they stick with "Renegades", but it would be MUCH better to have a team in Ottawa called the Rough Riders, than no team at all ...

Those who are going to use two teams' nicknames as a reason to deride the CFL are idiots anyway, whose opinions shouldn't count. Of couse, it's usually these people who talk the loudest, to try and gain support with volume, not substance ... I agree that it's a bit weird having two "Rough( )riders" in the league, but really - so what?!? It's just a name! If there were two teams in the NHL with the same name, people would be impressed with how the history of the League is so old that two teams came up with the same name independently and then ended up in the same league. So why should it be any different for the CFL?

i disagree.