Melnyk to Build Soccer Stadium in Ottawa

It has been reported on that Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk plans to apply for a Major League Soccer franchise for Ottawa and intends to build a soccer stadium. One hopes that the owners of the new Ottawa CFL franchise can convince him to build in the capability to play football as well.

The link did not work but here is the report as quoted:

"Ottawa to announce MLS bid
Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ottawa Senators' owner Eugene Melnyk is looking to start a new Battle of Ontario through MLS soccer.
According to, a group including Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk will hold a Tuesday press conference to announce a MLS expansion bid and plans to build a world-class soccer stadium in the Nation's Capital. SPORTSNET.CA

According to, a group including Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk will hold a Tuesday press conference to announce a MLS expansion bid and plans to build a world-class soccer stadium in the Nation's Capital.

Ottawa will be the third Canadian city to show interest in a MLS franchise, hoping to cash in on the success displayed by Toronto FC in only its second season.

The link between MLS and NHL ownership runs deep in U.S.-soccer as Colorado Rapids operator Stanley Kroenke owns the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets of the NBA among other teams, while AEG, investor-operator of the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo, own the Los Angeles Kings, and Dave Checketts and Sports Capital Partners, operator of Real Salt Lake, own the St. Louis Blues.

Earlier in the summer NBA star Steve Nash announced he would help try to bring a franchise to vancouver. The Saputo family of Montreal is the other city hoping to attract professional soccer to town."

Something along the lines of 20-25, 000 would be perfect for Ottawa football, increase the demand like in Montreal.

Except that it won't be used for CFL football. If you read the article in todays Ottawa Citizen it said that Eugene Melnyk wants to have a stadium like BMO "Soccer Only".
The potential CFL group and Melnyks group are working on entirely different projects.

Unfortunately, chis101 that would increase
the price of the Ottawa franchise's tickets, too,

and prevent them from possibly earning
some big profits from hosting Grey Cups.

Guys please read the article - no connection at all with CFL football. Two entirely different projects and stadiums.

Just announced on the 11AM news this moring that Melnyk will build a 30,000 seat stadium next to Scotiabank place in Kanata. He will pay for it himself cost roughly $100m plus!
It's going to be part of his own soccer complex with real grass and a soccer-only config. There's also going to be a major soccer facility with dozens of grass fields attached.

Meanwhile, the Jeff Hunt group is still looking at an upgrade to Lansdowne Park and bringing a CFL team to Frank Clair.

Wow! 100m private funds in a single tennant facility who's been around for 2 years! If this soccer league goes the way of all the other ones. This will be the prettyest Flower pot in the country

The MLS probably gets about as much attention when football season is on in the US, and baseball, as high school sports in the US. Maybe there is money to be made in the MLS though, I don't know? Must be if someone is pouring that much money into a soccer specific stadium.

Maybe its just a plant to skrew with the other guys attempt to convince the people of Ottawa to rebuild a stadium downtown...
Why do we need two stadiums? Look he's paying for it himself...see where this is going...

I must be missing something here. Do people really want to see soccer? I mean, I try to be as objective as possible, but I see limited appeal for that sport in a country that boasts Hockey and Lacrosse as national sports.

I know its a great game to play, and participation (fueled by a cheap cost of entry) is enormous.

But are there enough people in a city like Ottawa to show up, 20,000 strong, every game? I doubt it.

Look he's paying for it himself...
and me, and you and the rest of us.........

I'm not sure either but he says he was really encouraged by the attendance last year at the FIFA U21 at Frank Clair, every game was sold out 25,000 plus. And when the Female World Cup qualifiers were held at Frank Clair the crowds averaged 20,000.
He also says that there are 50,000 registered soccer players in Ottawa by far the fastest growing sport.
He's got the money and don't forget that he owns ScotiaBank Place its not city owned.

It's too bad that he's not pushing for an upgrade to Frank Clair, this will give the city council and the locals around Landsdowne to say "see you don't need a stadium here you can play football out in Kanata"

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Sure you might get some soccer fans for some one off events, but how is attendance going to be after a few years of sub 500 records? I guess Melnyk has the funds to subsidize the team.

slodrive2 wrote:
"I must be missing something here. Do people really want to see soccer?"

It pains me to say this but soccer could become one of the major sports in North America. Just look at how many kids are playing soccer don't have to be big or need a lot of equipment. Add the immigration factor in to this and it looks to me like soccer is the way of the future.
I find it boring as hell (now rugby...thats much different!) but its played around the world and its probably only a matter of time before it becomes huge here in North America.
That's one of the reasons why I fear for the Blue Team. They are being squeezed by the NFL and the growing fan base for soccer. The next 10 years will be crucial for the CFL if Ottawa and Montreal get soccer franchises and new stadiums too.
Hope I am wrong.

Everyone with dreams of a sucessful sports entertainment empire and without the money or market to play in the bigs is looking at the surprise success of FC in Toronto and, being a bunch of egomaniac billionaires, are convinced that they're savvy enough to replicate it wherever they happen to be. They could be right but I doubt it.

From reading the various articles, it would appear and no surprise that Melnyk wants quite a bid of taxpayers money for his so called "private" project upwards of $140M.
While the Hunt group are estimating only $40M for their venture and nothing from the taxpayers.
Who do you trust.
To me its obvious.

"A city like Ottawa?" I'd be interested to know what kind of city you consider Ottawa to be. I would say, yes. 20 000 easy.

I really don't like the fact that Melnyk jumped in here the week before the Hunt group unveils their revamped Landsdowne Park. Melnyk is just not interested in CFL football.
I think having a stadium downtown at Lansdowne is the answer.

Here's the pictures and the article in today's Ottawa Citizen -

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Couple rich guys fighting over how they slice up the goverment/taxpayer handouts. I like how it always says something to the effect of "the mlse model". That should raise alarm bells right there.

Beetlejuice, at least in Canada we are talking about million dollar handouts instead of billion dollar bailouts.