Ottawa CFL dead: Citizen

Now THAT'S the kind of enthusiasm a guy wants in an owner! :thup:

melnyk seemed cold on the idea of sharing the stadium with the CFL team because of how they'd work out who gets naming rights, concession money, parking dollars etc....

if melnyk owned both teams, then melnyk would get all money regardless of who is playing. if melnyk was getting money 2 or 3 games a week from hosting soccer, then why not add 1 more game a week for a CFL game and make extra money from that date?

it would be in melnyks best interest to keep that stadium as busy as, this may be his only way to get the stadium.
he cant get a stadium unless he teams with the CFL group, but wont team with them unless he gets all the money generated from the stadium, which he will get if he owns the CFL team....solves all the issues of everyone involved.

Sounds like the mother of all gong shows erupting....

I think my idea from last week in the main forum about looking across the river to Gatineau, see if the French folks would like a stadium and new development on their side of the river is looking more attractive.

Sounds like "confidential sources" provided the original author with some information designed to undermine the Lansdowne Live bid, primarily because the Kanata bid had thus far appeared to be a non-starter.

Maybe it'll have the effect of spurring this ultimate result, but it's a little questionable at present.

Funny - I pay taxes and seem quite happy with what went on with BMO Field.... The Argos already have a home. A billion dollar home at that. They don't need to move to BMO... They'd be in the same situation - paying rent and not getting any of the stadium revenue. Where is the benefit in that?

On another note - looks like Saputo is changing his tune regarding MLS. Not to say I told you so.... but.....

[url=] ... wLghNg6_bQ[/url]

The addition of Montreal would put a further dent in any plans for an MLS team in Ottawa.

It is easy to see that the sources are the Kanata concilors and Melnyk's peons. I don't have a problem with soccer but these bilionaires asking for handouts are starting to really grate me.

The newest one is Joey Saputo asking for 25 million dollars to expand his own private soccer stadium to buy an MLS franchise for 50 million ! 6 Billion dollars in sales a year and profits (after expenses) of 500 million a year and he has his hand out for taxpayer money to expand a private building. When asked why a man of his wealth was asking for handouts. His reply:

"Everyone is doing it and the money is out there to be had, why not?"

I think the Feds and the provinces should start taxing franchise fees at the tune of 30%. Tim Horton or Sports team dosen't matter. Then take that money and put it in Sports infrastructure. So this year they would have made 6 million on mls vancouver, 60 million when the habs are sold.

Correct me if I'm wrong - those mumbers are for Saputo Inc.... owned/ founded by Lino A Saputo Jr., Not Joey Saputo.
Joey Saputo is not a billionaire. The family is business is worth about $2.7 billion.

[url=] ... _net_worth[/url]

I think Joey Saputo is wrong about the feds handing out money for stadiums etc. The Federal government has been very careful not to appear to be funding sports stadiums for professional of late. I believe BC Place, which is owned by the province is selling off some land to pay for most of it and the other renovations that will be done in time of the olympics are being funded through that.

Likewise Toews wanted to it known that the Federal government was giving money to the University of Manitoba fitness centre or whatever it is and not the stadium itself.

I'm not sure the situation in McGill with their renovations, but you could always claim they are for the university and amateur sport just as much as for the alouettes. The Pan Am games are the only hope for Hamilton and their new stadium and not without Bob dropping a whole bunch of money to get it up to the 27,000-30,000 range.

Even BMO Field got federal funding all tied into the FIFA U-20's, not just for Toronto FC. The government will only spend money on a big event that will leave a legacy. It is ridiculous that they don't consider the Grey Cup such an event, which economically brings in 50-70 million (in the last few years)to a city.

Don't give up ain't over until the final decision is made and who knows what may happen if the two groups are forced to compromise and work together. Stranger things have happened. Just don't give up hope.


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Mayor vows to improve Lansdowne, with or without a stadium

Last Updated: Thursday, April 16, 2009 | 5:01 PM ET Comments0Recommend0CBC News

City councillors are committed to rejuvenating Ottawa's Lansdowne Park but that doesn't mean a new sports stadium will be coming to the Glebe, says Mayor Larry O'Brien.

Even if the city decides to put a stadium somewhere else, O'Brien said the renewal of Lansdowne Park will be a priority.

"We could, in fact, rejuvenate Lansdowne Park — without a football or soccer stadium — in such a way that it would again become a very important part of our city," the mayor said.

The city could concentrate on greening the property and fixing up the Civic Centre.

Up until now, much of the talk about fixing up Lansdowne Park has revolved around repairing the aging Frank Clair Stadium that currently sits on the property.

As part of that discussion, councillors have been considering two stadium proposals they've received – one to build a football stadium at Lansdowne and the other to build a soccer stadium in Kanata, both in the hopes of attracting a professional sports team.

A report provided to councillors on Wednesday indicated only the first 30 rows of the north side stands at Frank Clair Stadium are safe. Repairing the steel beams in those stands would cost an estimated $2 million.

One option presented in the report is to tear the stadium down.

"I've now reached the opinion that the stadium should go," said Clive Doucet, the councillor for Capital Ward. "There's no question Ottawa needs a stadium, a city of our size needs and deserves a stadium, but Lansdowne Park is not the place for it to be.

"I want the stadium out of there. And I want the design competition relaunched and a new vision that can really animate the centre of our city."

City councillors vote next week on what to do with the two stadium proposals they've received – whether they'll move ahead with one, both or neither of them.

Regardless of the final plan, O'Brien said it will cost the city $25 million over the next 10 years to keep Lansdowne Park functioning safely.

I think those numbers are old. 2.7Billion were Canadian sales in 2004 since then they bought Vachon, Permalat and some large US transformer. When I tallied everything up the numbers were appr. what I posted. Yes it is a family business...

One of the ones that turns into a car, or the ones that turn into planes? :stuck_out_tongue:


Good on the Lansdowne Live-ers for sticking up for themselves in the media:

Lansdowne group responds to engineer's report

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By SHANE ROSS, Sun Media
Thu, April 16, 2009

[i]The Lansdowne Live group says the “leak? of an engineering report detailing structural problems with the north side stands could be perceived as an attempt to undermine their proposal to renovate Frank Clair Stadium and revitalize the city-owned park.

But John Ruddy, one of four businessmen behind Lansdowne Live, said their $97-million proposal already took into account the engineer’s report.

“Our plans for the reconstruction of the stadium and our $97-million budget for the total cost of the project takes into account an upgrade-to-code of the raker beams and all other structural elements of the stadium and Civic Centre,? said Ruddy. “Of course a stadium built in the 1960s does not meet the building codes of this decade, and of course we took that into account when we drew up plans for the stadium renovation.?

Another partner, Roger Greenberg, smelled a rat. The report was released to all councillors Wednesday, just four days before his group and their competitor, Senators Sports & Entertainment, are scheduled to present their proposals to a special committee.

“Some might interpret the release of this information, without putting it in proper context for city councillors and members of the general public, as an attempt to undermine our bid,? said Greenberg. “Hopefully it’ll have the opposite effect. The reality is that the stadium is in pretty good shape and we will upgrade it to not only meet today’s building code standards but to be one of the world’s great stadiums. We look forward to making our Lansdowne Live presentation to council next week and answering any and all questions they may have about our proposal to renovate and rejuvenate Lansdowne Park, which, as the engineering report indicates, is long overdue.?

Council is scheduled to make a decision on the stadium proposals on April 22. [/i]

The story is also covered in the Citizen:

[url=] ... story.html[/url]

City hall 'leak' of engineering report on the health of the stadium structure looks like an attempt to 'undermine' proposal: Developers

By Jake Rupert , The Ottawa Citizen

April 16, 2009 6:01 PM

A group of developers hoping to win city council approval for development of Lansdowne Park, including a revitalization of Frank Clair Stadium for a professional football team, say the city hall “leak? of an engineering report on the health of the stadium structure looks like an attempt to “undermine? their proposal.

With city council set to decide what to do with their proposal and another group’s unsolicited idea for a stadium near ScotiaBank Place next week, the developers feel somebody at city hall is trying to torpedo their ideas, and they are urging the public not to be fooled.

They say they the engineering report was done late last year, given to them months ago, and that all the repairs the report suggests were incorporated in the costing of their $97-million estimate of what the city has to spend to upgrade the facilities at the site for them. (The city estimates $125 million.)

Roger Greenberg, CEO of the Minto Group, one of the Lansdowne proponents, said he doesn’t know who leaked the engineering report, which was given to several media organizations, but he can’t help being suspicious of the leaker’s motives.

“It’s kind of suspicious that it didn’t come out in an open transparent way,? he said. “I can’t see why a report that’s been around for months couldn’t have been released along with the city staff report on the proposals.?

The Citizen asked the city for the report months ago, and several times recently, before being given a copy Wednesday.

“Some might interpret the release of this information, without putting it in proper context for city councillors and members of the general public, as an attempt to undermine our bid,? Greenberg said.

“Hopefully it’ll have the opposite effect. The reality is that the stadium is in pretty good shape and we will upgrade it to not only meet today’s building code standards but to be one of the world’s great stadiums.?

The developers propose the city fix up Frank Clair Stadium for the Canadian Football League franchise team they have conditional approval for and allow them to build a mixed-use development at Lansdowne Park, including an office tower, a hotel, shops, restaurants, at least one large store and movie theatres.

The other proposal for development including a stadium comes from Ottawa Senators Sports and Entertainment owner Eugene Melnyk. This idea is for a soccer stadium in Kanata at Scotiabank Place along with a large retail, commercial and residential hub. Under this proposal, three levels of government would pay for the $110 stadium for a professional soccer team Melnyk hopes to bring to Ottawa.

A much-anticipated city staff report on the proposals last week found that going with either could cost taxpayers big — $150 million over 30 years, including borrowing costs for just a stadium, and up to $300 million over the same period if extras aimed at public use are added.

The report said with repairs at Lansdowne, the Civic Centre and stadium can last another 28 years. A new rink-stadium complex would cost about $185 million and last 70 years, the report said.

The cost to taxpayers are higher than expected and gave sticker shock to some city council members, who must now decide what to do during a series of meetings next week.

The report said, in light of the numbers, city council should decide first whether such a sports facility is even a priority when compared to other pressing needs, given the city's continuing financial crunch.

This didn’t sit well with the proponents, and it has sent many on council, including Mayor Larry O’Brien, to float several alternatives. These include scraping Frank Clair Stadium altogether and improving the park in others ways, combining the proposals, and rejecting both and looking for another place to build a stadium near the city’s planned rapid-transit network.

The engineering report included that Frank Clair Stadium, which has already had it’s lower-deck, south-side stands condemned and demolished, has issues on the north side too. The report found the beams supporting the stands aren’t showing sign of stress or cracking but that they aren’t up to current building codes either.

The report concludes that until about $2 million in repairs are made, the north side stands should only be used to 60-per-cent capacity because if they were full, the weight of the people would be 14 per cent higher than the beams can safely handle.

John Ruddy, president of Trinity Developments and another Lansdowne backer, said the report shouldn’t shock anybody, and that under their plan all structural issues at the park buildings will be dealt with.

“Of course a stadium built in the 1960’s does not meet the building codes of this decade, and of course we took that into account when we drew up plans for the stadium renovation,? he said.


At least they sound passionate and enthusiastic about the project, not at all like a bunch of guys ready to hand their franchise over to Eugene Melnyk. I think if they can go before council and say "we guarantee that the city's contribution won't exceed $97M, and that we will cover any overruns above this amount" then by the city's assessment ($125M), the Lansdowne Live group is making a contribution to the stadium worth $28M. I wonder if this will be enough, considering that the cheapest alternative is still going to cost the city $30M. They basically get the Lansdowne Park problem solved, $120M in new private sector investment, a multiuse football stadium in a downtown location, and at least one (possibly two) professional sports franchises, all for $67M extra.


That's one screwy mayor you guys have in Ottawa. Yesterday he's saying "Forget Lansdowne Live" now it seems like he's behind it again:

Stadium debate to be settled next week

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April 17, 2009 5:38 a.m.

[i]City Hall Ottawa’s stadium debate should be settled by next week.

Proponents for both the soccer stadium in Kanata and the football stadium at Lansdowne Park will make their pitch to the city’s finance and planning committees Monday.

Council votes on the issue Wednesday.

Mayor Larry O’Brien said he wants the priority for the city to be on fixing Lansdowne Park, including a new arena for the Ottawa 67’s, maintaining trade show space, and improving Bank Street.

Any developments at Lansdowne will have to honour the 67’s lease for the Civic Centre that guarantees 2,200 parking spots.

[b]“We can’t do anything at Lansdowne before 2012 without co-operating with the Lansdowne Live Group,? O’Brien said.

“From that perspective we would have to engage in discussion to see what we could accomplish in a manner that would be tax neutral for citizens.?[/b]

Randy Burgess, vice-president of the Ottawa 67’s Hockey Club, said they are focusing on going forward with the Lansdowne Live proposal and would not comment on other alternatives before council makes its decision.[/i]

I don't know the mayor but sometimes media people can take snippets of information and string them together that changes the overall meaning of what someone is trying to say over the course of days and weeks.
On the other hand, maybe he is trying to play devils advocate and trying to get response back from the community to see the direction?

Boy if there was ever a need for a rally in front of the town hall and the crooked politicians, this is it.
All those wanting the CFL back with amateur football in Ottawa people would be crucial.

Perhaps this could be thrown in as a good measure

2009-02-12 13:00:00 by Mark Cohon

To the people of Ottawa:

You and your elected representatives are engaged in an important discussion. It revolves around a new sports stadium, where it should be located, and who should play there. But it’s really much bigger than that. This is about building a stronger Ottawa, by building a special place for you to gather as a community, and showcase what is best about your city.

You know what I want to see. I love Canadian football, and the Grey Cup, and I very much want to help bring both back to our nation’s capital. So do the Governors who run our league.

But the purpose of this letter is not to detail the stadium proposal brought forward by our partners in Ottawa. It’s to share with you some facts about our league, and to correct some of the misinformation that has made its way into the public discourse.

The decision you face is far too important to have it influenced by outdated perceptions or claims that simply do not hold water. It is my sincere hope that this information adds in a very positive way to the debate. And I thank you for considering this information, at this important time:

Claim: Canadian football might not be around 25 years from now.

Fact: Canadian football’s signature event – the Grey Cup – has endured two World Wars, the Great Depression, and more than a few cynics who have predicted its demise only to be proven emphatically wrong time and again by Canadians. In fact, in a 2008 survey conducted by Ipsos-Reid on behalf of the Dominion Institute and the federal Department of Citizenship and Immigration, Canadians identified the Grey Cup as number seven on their list of defining events for Canada, behind Confederation and Vimy Ridge. Last year’s Grey Cup was played in front of 66,308 fans in Montreal, the second largest live audience in its history, which spans 96 Grey Cup Games. It was watched on TSN and RDS television by 3.65 million* Canadians. The suggestion that the Grey Cup and Canadian football have somehow run their course is clearly not based on fact.

Claim: It would take six Grey Cups to generate $50 million in economic activity for the local economy.

Fact: According to a news release issued July 3, 2008 by the Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance, the total economic activity (GDP) generated by the 2007 Grey Cup in Toronto was more than $80.1 million throughout the province, with $52.9 million occurring in Toronto. The Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance reported that these expenditures generated more than $25.6 million in wages and salaries, and supported nearly 624 jobs, of which 475 occurred in Toronto. These are their numbers, not the CFL’s. Mayor Miller is eager to have the Grey Cup back in Toronto.

Claim: The CFL has lost its fan base over the years.

Fact: Today’s CFL is strong and stable. In 2008, we averaged 28,914 fans per regular season game. By comparison, Toronto’s BMO Field, home to Toronto FC of the MLS, seats 21,000 people. Our total regular season attendance last year exceeded two million fans for the seventh straight season. (In case you’re wondering, this matches our attendance in what some consider the CFL’s glory years, 1976 to 1982.) On TV, the CFL continues to experience great success. Last season on TSN, the CFL averaged 393,000* viewers per game, second only to hockey in Canada.

*Source: BBM Nielsen Media Research

Claim: CFL football in Ottawa failed before and today’s Ottawa is not the city of the Riders glory days of the past.

Fact: Unlike some previous owners, Bill Shenkman, Roger Greenberg, John Ruddy and Jeff Hunt have deep roots in Ottawa, a commitment to local charitable and civic causes that has been proven over several years, deep financial resources, and a strong commitment to the success of the CFL in Ottawa. In that sense, they are an excellent match for a city that is bigger, more dynamic, and more successful than it was 20 years ago, yet still has a deep respect and affection for its roots and traditions.

Claim: The people of Ottawa must choose between football and soccer, and a Major League Soccer team playing between 19 and 23 games each year makes more sense than a CFL team with only nine home games.

Fact: The CFL has no objection to the proposed facility being shared with other major tenants, soccer or otherwise, as this is done in many of our existing stadiums already.

A CFL team plays 10 or 11 home dates, excluding Grey Cups, which are traditionally rotated among our teams. That means a Grey Cup in Ottawa approximately every eight years or so.