Hooray! CFL 2, Melnyk 1

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Tells us something we already know, but at least it's nice to have it recognized officially that Lansdowne is a better site for a stadium than Kanata. I'm kinda surprised they're so close together.

Sports facility list leaves off rivals
Lansdowne Park, Scotiabank Place No. 6, No. 7 in standings for recommended multi-use spaces

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By Cassandra Drudi, The Ottawa Citizen
February 19, 2009 10:17 PM

[i]OTTAWA — City staff have released a much anticipated report that identified and assessed potential sites for new sports and entertainment facilities in Ottawa — and neither Lansdowne Park nor Scotiabank Place ranked first.

The needs analysis, which was released Thursday night and will officially be tabled at a meeting of the planning and environment committee next week, highlighted a need for a multi-use sports and entertainment facility in the city because many of the existing spaces “are older, outdated and will require upgrading and/or replacement in the near future.?

It identified 23 possible sites for such facilities and evaluated them based on a number of criteria, including location, transportation access and anticipated cost.

Tied for first, with a score of 77.5 points out of a possible 95, were a city-owned site along Bayview Road that includes the Tom Brown Arena and a property at Carleton University.

Lansdowne Park, the site of the proposed Lansdowne Live development, scored 72 points for a sixth-place ranking.

Four sites near Scotiabank Place — called Scotiabank Place 1, 2, 3, and 4 — were assessed separately. The location identified in a proposal by Senators Sports and Entertainment for a soccer stadium and “entertainment village? ranked seventh, with a score of 70.75.

The report recommended that any new multi-use facility should be located either in the urban core, as part of a development that could include commercial, residential or retail development, or in a “group setting to achieve a sport-entertainment district? that would afford shared parking and infrastructure. In both cases, accessibility to transit and parking is “key.?

The report is the first stage in the city’s process to decide whether to help private interests build a soccer stadium in Kanata or redevelop Lansdowne Park for football.

On his blog, Mayor Larry O’Brien wrote Thursday night that the decision is an important one that requires the careful consideration of many factors.

“Before City Council makes a decision that involves tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, the City needs to take a look at the bigger picture,? he wrote.

“How do these two opportunities rank versus other potential sites for major sports stadiums in Ottawa? For example, is it accessible to transit? Is it located near a residential community? Does it have sufficient parking? We need to have the answers to these questions and more in order to help us properly evaluate the MLS and CFL opportunities.?

Senators Sports and Entertainment, Eugene Melnyk’s company, is proposing that the city build a $110-million stadium beside Scotiabank Place with each level of government contributing a third of the cost. The city’s contribution, in the range of $36 million, would include a $10-million piece of land that’s currently used as a snow dump. The stadium, the land and several practice fields nearby would be owned by the city.

The stadium would house a Major League Soccer franchise, for which Mr. Melnyk’s company is proposing to spend $50 million.

In tandem with that, the Senators organization plans to build somewhere between 900,000 square feet and 1.5-million square feet of office space, between 300,000 square feet of retail and entertainment facilities, and up to 450 residential units.

In the case of Lansdowne Live, a group of Ottawa businessmen — Bill Shenkman, Roger Greenberg, John Ruddy and Jeff Hunt — are proposing a redevelopment of the 40-acre Lansdowne Park in the Glebe.

The group proposes that the city hand over financial and management responsibility for Lansdowne Park, thus saving the city several million dollars a year in capital and operating costs.

Lansdowne Live would invest more than $120 million of private funds into developing things like shops, restaurants, bars, a hotel and a theatre on the property.

A small piece of the property used for townhouses along Holmwood Avenue would be sold to the homeowners, but the rest would remain in city ownership on a long-term lease.

The city would have to refurbish the stadium, which the Lansdowne Live people would use as a home for a new CFL team. The cost of that project has not been confirmed by the city, but estimates range up to $80 million.

Councillor Peter Hume, chairman of the planning and environment committee, has said both the Kanata MLS proposal and the Lansdowne Park project would be eligible for money from a $500-million federal fund that is earmarked for recreation facilities.

The second stage in the decision-making process will be an evaluation of the Lansdowne Live and the Senators proposals, including a recommendation on what to do. That report will be seen at a special meeting of council March 25, and examined by committee and the public on April 7. Council could then make a decision April 22.

Potential locations

Sites assessed in the Needs

Analysis for Multi-Purpose Sports & Entertainment Facilities, as released Thursday night by city staff:

1 (tied) - Carleton University

1 (tied) - Bayview Street/ Tom Brown Arena

3 - LeBreton Flats

4 - Carling Avenue and Preston Street

5 - Plouffe Park/City Centre

6 - Lansdowne Park

7 (tied) - Scotiabank Place 4 (site proposed by Senators Sports and Entertainment for a soccer stadium and “entertainment village?)

7 (tied) - Scotiabank Place 3

9 - Jockvale Road & Greenbank Road

10 (tied) - Scotiabank Place 1

10 (tied) - Scotiabank Place 2

12 - Ogilvie Road/Shopper’s City East

13 - Earl Armstrong Road & Limebank Road

14 - Pineview Golf Course

15 - Rapidz Stadium Site

16 - Hazeldean Road - Mattamy

17 - Hunt Club Avenue & Woodroffe Avenue

18 - Cardinal Creek Business Park

19 - Millenium Park

20 - Innes Road & Belcourt Boulevard

21 - Lincoln Fields Galleries

22 - Hazeldean Road - Urbandale

23 - Albion Road & Rideau Road (Exhibition Lands)

The Corporate Research Gro

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen[/i]

I will be very surprised and disappointed if any site other than Lansdowne is chosen.

Just reading that BMO Field might be home to a Major Lacrosse League team moving from Rochester. So much for all this soccer-specific stadium garbage the MLS and Melnyk and MLSE is feeding everybody.

Agree Earl.
Have you been to BMO to watch a game? I have and it is a horrible venue, the seats are horrible, there is no arms rests and the cheap plastic tray or seat is typically cramped with no real leg room and just like MLSE(like MLG and ACC) and when the place is rocking, which I have to give the crowd credit, the place shakes and the stadium feels like it is going to fall apart.

The reason why the seats are cheap, is because soccer fans never sit in them!!!!!