Five sites remain in the hunt to play host to the Ottawa Renegades' training camp next spring, including two in the United States.
Club president Lonie Glieberman says there may be a "competitive advantage" to holding camp in the U.S. because it's easier and cheaper to run in American candidates for tryouts.
Glieberman said the Renegades are now weighing the merits of the five options and will select a site by the end of February. The five locations: Kemptville, where the past four Renegades training camps have been held; the University of Ottawa Sports Complex; Petawawa; Orlando, Florida; or Michigan Tech University in Houghton, Michigan, near the Mt. Bohemia Ski Resort, which the Glieberman family has owned and operated since 2003.
Michigan Tech is eager to hold the Renegades' camp and has excellent facilities, but isn't as accessible by plane as is Orlando, Glieberman said.
The U of O, meanwhile, has the advantage of being located in the heart of the city, and would be far more accessible for Renegades fans who want to attend and watch training camp than Kemptville College has been, Glieberman said.
Yet, there are good "strategic" reasons to hold camp in the U.S. because the club can more readily bring American prospects into camp without the hassle of constantly obtaining work visas, Glieberman said. "You can lose 48 hours of time with all the paperwork."
Holding camp in the U.S. would allow the coaching staff to evaluate far more American prospects, particularly if it is held in Florida, with its proximity to the deep talent pool of the American south.
"You have the flexibility to look at a whole lot more players. That's a big factor that could give us a competitive advantage," Glieberman said.
The Renegades have mused in years past about moving camp from Kemptville College, largely because of concerns over the condition and quality of the football field. The U of O has been considered as an alternative, but the Renegades have never been able to come to financial terms with the institution in negotiations over the cost of dorm rooms, meal plans and daily rental of the artificial field.
Glieberman declined comment on whether the financial demands of U of O's Sports Services department are again proving to be prohibitive. But he did say the U of O's Sports Complex continues to "rank high in terms of the choice."