LANSDOWNE LIVE!

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For those who don't know:

http://www.lansdownelive.ca/index.asp

I love it. They've surpassed my expectations over what the announcement would be. Stadium looks great, and I personally think they've trunped Melnyk's proposal in every way. Better location, more private money, year 'round use, accomodates football AND soccer, is actually capable of hosting a concert. Hunt group really extended the olive branch by rendering the stadium with soccer being played, and requesting permission from the CFL to use natural turf. Melnyk will look like a complete ass if he slaps their hand away. He'll expose himself as greedy and selfish, wanting the city to pay for anexpensive toy for use only by himself and his american league.

Excellent job, Hunt & co. Best of luck to you in bringing the politicians on board, all us CFL fans are counting on you!

Looks great.

Excellent job Hunt et al.

I don't want soccer attachted... but I'm willing to compromise to get football back in town. Perhaps Eugene should learn a lesson about compromise.

This proposal is far supoerior to Melnyk's in EVERY way; especially finacially.

Melnyk will look HORRIBLE if he turns up his nose at this opportunity.

Long live Frank Clair Stadium at Lansdowne Park with the Ottawa Rough Riders!! .... and I guess a soccer team too..

So happy about this, what an incredible ownership group!

Wow....worth the wait

Obviously I can only speak from the artistic/aestetic value of the proposal from what I see on the site but i can't see how citizens would be against a proposal like this - there's something for everyone.

I wish i still lived in the Ottawa region, i'd be getting my $25 seat reservation ASAP

If this goes through, wife and me might have to retire in Ottawa in about 8 years! Beauty. No soccer fan myself either but absolutely, Melnyk and the soccer folk have to like this with the provision for real grass which I guess is a must after the BMO "no national soccer stadium without grass" fiasco going on.

Great news. If you're rowdy I'll see you on the South Side. If you more reserved I'll be yelling 'North Side Sucks!' at you.

I love the idea of real grass! It will help getting rid of those ugly soccer lines too!

I love it, i just hope people can get along and get both teams in there, that will be the most popular sports venue in town with the Gee-Gees, Soccer, Ottawa CFL, and maybe Carleton Football! this will be a rockin house! I hope those idiots at city council arnt to dumb to be a fan of this
GO OTTAWA

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Oh boy, looks like the mud-slinging has started between Melnyk and the Hunt group.:

Ottawa's potential ownership group unveils stadium plans for CFL franchise

The Canadian Press
October 17, 2008

[url=http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hQ831fxcEmWwn75BAv1w1SDKrylg]http://canadianpress.google.com/article ... 1w1SDKrylg[/url]

[i]OTTAWA — With the clock running on Ottawa's bid to bring the CFL back to Canada's capital, its potential ownership group made its latest play Friday by unveiling plans for a revamped home for the team.

A group of area developers is proposing an ambitious $120-million makeover that would see Lansdowne Park and its dilapidated Frank Clair Stadium converted into a 25,000-seat sports facility with an adjacent amphitheatre, aquarium and hotel as well as retail, office and green space.

It could accommodate professional football and soccer events, as well as concerts for up to 40,000 fans. It's also the latest development in what's turning out to be a battle between competing bids for pro franchises between the two sports.

"There's been a lot of public sentiment about what should be here. What we've tried to do is represent that input," said Jeff Hunt, owner of the Ontario Hockey League's Ottawa 67's, following a news conference to reveal the CFL group's proposal.

Since the demise of the Ottawa Renegades prior to the start of the 2006 season, any attempts to revive pro football have faced the hurdle of finding either a new home or convincing the city to allow for the redevelopment of the current stadium.

In the spring, the CFL granted Hunt's group a conditional franchise pending its ability to get the matter resolved. The league's offer is set to expire in March, so the Ottawa group is keen to get the ball rolling. It's scheduled to meet with the city on Monday, when it will present a more detailed proposal.

Roger Greenberg, chairman and chief executive of Minto Developments Inc., said the plans were just "Step 2 of 122" in the process. The group was hoping to be in play for 2010, but meeting that date might prove too ambitious.

"We haven't formally ruled out the 2010 season," Hunt said, "but as this goes on, it may not be reasonable to hit that date."

There are many other potential stumbling blocks in the group's way.

Hunt's group is proposing a 30-year lease of the land and has to convince the city to agree to pay for the cost of the facelift and maintaining its current operating and repair costs, while it will up the money for the rest.

At the urging of a local city councillor, a large number of residents of the downtown neighbourhood in which the stadium sits hijacked the news conference to voice their concerns, ranging from transit and parking troubles to problems with the land's soil.

More interesting, however, is the competition that's emerging between the CFL group and Eugene Melnyk's Senators Sports & Entertainment.

Earlier this week, Melnyk, owner of the NHL's Ottawa Senators, officially submitted through his group a bid for an expansion Major League Soccer franchise.

Tied to that bid is a $100-million soccer-specific stadium near the Senators' Scotiabank Place home. With the city unlikely to back both, it's essentially become a choice between pro football, pro soccer, or neither.

[b]Although both facilities have said they could accommodate both sports, they've ruled out any partnership and there appears to be no love lost between the two sides.

Asked about the possibility of a partnership with Melnyk's group, Bill Shenkman, chairman of the Shenkman Group of Companies, said representatives from the groups met and ruled out the idea.

Both Shenkman and Hunt said they have no interest in bringing an MLS club to Ottawa, although soccer would be accommodated in other ways. Shenkman is a shareholder in Millwall FC, which plays soccer in England's League One, and plans are already in place for that club to play a pre-season friendly in Ottawa next August.

"We're not asking him anything. He had his press conference, very short on details," Shenkman said in reference to a news conference Melnyk held last month to launch the MLS bid. "They were absolutely clear they were not interesting in sharing or participating in any partnership.

"It was Scotiabank Place or nothing and MLS or nothing."

Shortly after Friday's news conference by the CFL group, Melnyk issued his own statement, which appeared to highlight some of the potential flaws in the downtown plan.

"Today's proposal gives our community another alternative to consider in resolving the city's future for a multi-purpose outdoor stadium. Today's option will provide healthy and constructive debate on a vitally important issue for our city," it read.

"Proper, modern-day stadium planning must take into consideration a number of key variables, including access to public transit, a site development plan to manage high vehicular traffic, access to a minimum of 7,500 parking spots, experienced large-scale facility operators, and a fully integrated organization with a proven track record of attracting and maximizing the diverse range of sporting and entertainment opportunities fitting of a world-class venue.

"I'm confident the City of Ottawa and our community will carefully and fully evaluate these and many other factors as it plans the future location of our city's stadium."[/b] [/i]

Yah, ok melnyk!

  1. Kanata is out in the middle of nowhere, ie horrible access to public transit
  2. I hear people avoid going to Sens games over how long they have to sit in traffic going back and forth. Way to anticipate the vehicular traffic on that one!
  3. There's been a 29,000 seat stadium at Lansdowne for a long time, and people always managed to get there. The new stadium would have more parking and less seats, making it an improvement for parking over the old setup.
  4. Both Hunt and Shenkman have interests in sports teams, and likely know enough to handle a large-scale facility.
  5. You call the Senators an organization with a proven track record? For selling NHL hockey in Canada? Anybody could do that, it's not very hard at all. And the Senators are still doing a lousy job of it.

Good luck in the meetings on Monday, Hunt group!

I might, on occasion, have gone to Lansdowne to watch a local soccer team. I’d swallow a bullet before going to Scotiabank Place to see one.

As far as an organization with a proven track record, I just assumed he meant the 67’s. :wink:

See that bit about a councillor? That, no doubt, was Clive Doucet being his usual wingnut self. I don’t believe you were guilty of it, but when people think we overreact about how big a bunch of losers many Glebe residents are, that’s a good example right there. They couldn’t just give it one day; they had to try to crash the party. Even though they don’t have a full view of the project yet, they automatically reject it because it contains a stadium, and they can’t have that.

I could never understand people moving to a neighbourhood next door to a football stadium and then complain they live next door to a football stadium. Is it just me. :roll:
Admittedly, I am a little biased. :wink:

when will this be approved/denied by,the guy on TSN said by march......

It's not just you. I just moved near the airport last year, but you don't see me suggesting that the airport move. :wink:

it's funny, because Glebites are such cowards about it so often. Many claim that they moved there before the stadium was put up. Sure. Hope you enjoyed your centenial, methuselah.

March is the league's deadline. As to when it'll be approved...who knows with this loser city council? The mayor said he's going to get them to review the plan "immediately" but as far as sitting down and working out the actual financials...

will they be building on to the current stands?the pics show two levels of stands on both sides

also in the pic it clearly shows the riders,logo in the stands,white pants,helemet stripe,and a "R" at the C line

I'm not sure if that has been fully decided yet, but probably. They're (the city) still reviewing the structural quality of the north side now. No point in adding to something that of questionable structural soundness. And since the hockey rink is under the north side, if they plan on replacing that, I would think they'd have to redo the whole thing.

Ruddy said yesterday (according t this morning's Citizen) that theyhave a "basic agreement" in place for the use of the Rough Riders name. And they had Rough Riders helmets at their tables during the conference.

I noticed the helmet as well. I liked it. :rockin:

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Here's a nice little jab at Doucet and his little Glebe army of descent:

Lansdowne foes offside
...by turning announcement into a circus

[url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Columnists/Stevenson/2008/10/18/7129266-sun.html]http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Columnists/St ... 6-sun.html[/url]

Chris Stevenson
SLAM Sports
October 18. 2008

[i]The proposal for the rejuvenation of Lansdowne Park includes a 25,000-seat stadium, an aquarium, soccer pitches, an ampitheatre, stores, restaurants and a home for the popular farmers' market.

No mention of a big top tent.

Yesterday's press conference to reveal the proposal was turned into a circus by the opponents of doing anything with the Lansdowne site but apparently turning it into one big backyard where they could all link hands and sing Kumbaya.

What should have been an opportunity to hear and see the vision by the Jeff Hunt-fronted CFL partnership was turned into a sideshow.

When the formal part of the presentation concluded and it was time for questions, the men behind the bid were forced to listen to statements, not questions.

Glebeites don't want anything as crass as a stadium or stores in their neighbourhood.

We get it.

Thing is, their voices and opinions don't count any more or any less than anybody else's in deciding the future of Lansdowne Park.

"I'm not sure what we saw here (yesterday) is representative of the entire city of Ottawa," said Hunt, the Ottawa 67's owner who is serving as the frontman for the group, which includes prominent Ottawa businessmen Roger Greenberg, William Shenkman and John Ruddy.

"(Coun.) Clive Doucet brought out a group of supporters from his perspective and certainly their opinion is as important as anybody's.

"We didn't necessarily see a representation (from across Ottawa) ... I didn't see anybody from Orleans here."

As Hunt put it, this was "step two of 122," but the Glebeites, when they weren't pontificating, wanted details and they wanted them now.

What's going to happen to the interior of the Aberdeen Pavilion?

What about the soil conditions?

Why couldn't the NDP/Liberals/Green Party win every riding in the election?

Like Shenkman said yesterday at one point in the proceedings, "this whole plan can't be imposed on anybody. It's an open, consultative process."

Which is just starting.

So the second proposal for a new stadium in Ottawa is officially launched, joining the bid by Senators owner Eugene Melnyk for an MLS expansion franchise and $100-million soccer-specific stadium in Kanata.

'HEALTHY DEBATE'

Sources indicated there is still no chance of the two sides getting together, so now they will each proceed on their own tracks.

While noting the CFL partners' proposal will encourage "healthy, constructive debate on a vitally important issue for our city," Melnyk also said in a statement: "Proper, modern-day stadium planning must take into consideration a number of key variables, including access to public transit, a site development plan to manage high vehicular traffic, access to a minimum of 7,500 parking spots, experienced large-scale facility operators, and a fully integrated organization with a proven track record of attracting and maximizing the diverse range of sporting and entertainment opportunities fitting of a world-class venue."

That statement points out what he thinks are the obvious weak points of the CFL partners' proposal.

As far as the prospect of basing their CFL franchise out in Kanata as part of a joint proposal, Hunt said: "We think location is a huge element to the success of a franchise. That would be a challenge to be in Kanata. I know the Senators have been extremely successful there. I don't think anybody would say it's because they're in Kanata. I think it's in spite of the fact they're in Kanata. This is hockey country and people will tolerate the commute to Kanata to see their NHL team play. I wouldn't want to throw that extra challenge in front of a CFL rebirth."

The CFL partnership is proposing a joint public-private initiative which it said might wind up costing the city less than it is spending on Lansdowne Park and Frank Clair Stadium now. They're talking about a 30-year lease with the city maintaining ownership of the facilities.

It's obviously worth hearing what the CFL partnership has to say, in a rational way, away from the big top. [/i]

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Some kudos from the media:

Let's take their plan and run with it
Kelly Egan writes that while it may not be the ideal plan, Lansdowne Live is the best one going

[url=http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/city/story.html?id=8e2045f4-d5c7-42df-9a22-a4ccccb58230]http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/new ... ccccb58230[/url]

Kelly Egan, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Sunday, October 19, 2008

[i]The City of Ottawa should seize the Lansdowne Live proposal, sharks and all, and run with it, fists pumping, before it's too late.

Five reasons why:

  1. Opportunity

At the moment, Lansdowne Park is the Titanic and city fathers are hanging on a deck rail wondering if they should hop on this lifeboat or wait for a better one.

News flash: we're drowning, this is a lifeline. Grab it. It may be another generation before there is a better confluence of players and opportunity.

Look. The city owns Lansdowne yet laments its sorry state. It has to wear that. It could have turned the park into an "urban jewel" -- now there's poetic licence! -- years ago, but it has done little with it, save restoring the Cattle Castle (nearly at gunpoint) and giving SuperEx more chances than Super 7.

The city does not create great civic spaces because it doesn't know how. Can you name one?

The international design competition, now interrupted, is nothing but a contest to compile pretty pictures on a piece of paper. Who is going to build and pay for some architect's fanciful vision? The city can barely afford to fill a pothole and all the fiscal signals from City Hall are about shrinkage, not expansion.

Be honest. You know that Cullen, Doucet and Co. are never going to pull this off alone. Politics, we know, is quicksand. There are -- here's a teeny example -- already wah-wah cries about a lack of green space in the plan. Green space? The city could have sodded the whole damn 40 acres if it wanted to. Instead, it sits and wrings its hands, year after year, muttering about protecting the public interest.

The truth. Someone else has to drive the bus. Council needs to get on board or get out of the way.

  1. Players

Minto's Roger Greenberg, we all know, is richer than God. Someone whispered in my ear on Friday that he may not even be the wealthiest of the four players behind the proposal. Even better. Let them worry about risk, financing, and cost-overruns, not the taxpayer.

They're also local. They're not going to run away when the football team loses a few million bucks. In fact, they're fully prepared for it. You will not see a Horn Chen peek-a-boo act or a reprise of the disappearing Gliebermans. They're also developers, ergo, they know how to build things. They say they'll spend 120 million bucks? They mean it.

We also know that Jeff Hunt, the Ottawa '67s owner, knows how to run a sports team. Mr. Hunt, too, intimately knows this market. His remarks to the Citizen's Don Campbell, as reported yesterday, are indicative of his fundamental smarts.

The group could, theoretically, attempt to field a team in 2010 with temporary seating in a Band-Aided Lansdowne. No way, he says, and wisely.

New team. New venue. New fan experience. New buzz. It is how you sell it.

  1. Timing

Frank Clair Stadium is falling down. Now is the time to act. Not to be forgotten in this debate is the fact that the Greenberg group, unlike the cross-town plan from Eugene Melnyk, has a conditional football franchise in the CFL. There is a deadline, probably extendible, of March 2009. The league, no doubt, wants some assurance that the franchise is making substantive progress toward fielding a team.

If the city passes on this bid, frankly, we may as well tear down the stadium and start from scratch because, last time we checked, Ottawa doesn't have a bank of multimillionaires lining up to run risky sports franchises. And without a major tenant, the stadium is just a drag on the whole park.

  1. Security and flexibility

It was encouraging to hear the proponents are not wedded to every single idea in their plan, such as the aquarium in the Cattle Castle.

On the downside, it is a jarring use in a period exhibition hall. On the upside, however, it's a recognition that Lansdowne needs a year-round attraction to bring people to the park in the depths of January.

The 250-room hotel, similarly, is a ready way to get human traffic right on the site year-round.

In terms of financing, it is a blank slate. The city is in the envious position of being able to sign lease agreements that will assure it of a revenue stream, while off-loading the operating costs of the stadium and retaining ownership of the land.

The proponents want the city to upgrade the stadium. It is not an unreasonable request, since it sits in public hands, but surely there is room to negotiate on who pays for what.

  1. Momentum

Lansdowne finally has some. Bog this down with two years of gum-flapping and you may as well kill it now. These private-sector players will not be endlessly patient. There's lots of other things they could be building.

In an ideal world, it may not be the best proposal. But you know what? It's the best thing on the table, mostly because of one great attribute: It's do-able. Now.

Contact Kelly Egan at 613-726-5896 or by e-mail, kegan@thecitizen.canwest.com[/i]

Wouldn't this decrease the chances of hosting a Grey Cup, due to the seating? It would be pretty hard to add temporary seating.

Right now, I'd settle for hosting a regular season game. :wink:

But you're probably right. It doesn't look like the sections in either endzone can be removed and replaced with temporary seating. I don't know taht this is the final version of the stadium though.

As frustrating as it was to see Doucet's jackassedness at work, it's good to see it come back and bite him. I have not seen anyone who agreed with what he and his posse of geezers tried to pull that day. They just ended up looking selfish and foolish.

On TV he referred to the Hunt group as sharks. Here are these guys who are local, have contributed all kinds of money to charitable acts, have bent over backwards to accomodate all tastes for their proposal, are willing to throw 120M towards the plan, and he treats them that way. It's wrong and he deserves whatever bashing he gets in return.