A $100-million "red flag" was raised yesterday over the open-air stadium debate: Who will pay for it?
Councillors were shocked to learn there is no commitment from the provincial and federal governments to share in the cost of a stadium, and that any money given to the city may have to compete with other infrastructure projects such as rapid transit.
"It's certainly a significant challenge when you have a stadium competing against water and sewer projects. We need to know where the public stands on all of those," said Coun. Peter Hume, chairman of the city's planning committee. "Do they want us to delay our public transit program to invest in a new stadium? I think the answer to that would be no. This is a significant twist in this interesting saga of a new open-air stadium for the City of Ottawa."
This comment, while not favourable to stadiums in general, does more damage to Melnyk's bid than to the Hunt group's. Going with Lansdowne would mean the city would get to forego the $5M per year they put into Lansdowne Park to maintain the broken stadium and parking lot. That's money that could replace any designated for the stadium project. Supposing the city was paying interest rates of 5%, that's the same as the interest financing on a $100M loan (i think).
Melnyk wants ALL NEW funding, and much more of it is contingent on federal and provincial involvement. Plus the city would still be stuck paying $5M per year, with no plan for Lansdowne in sight.
Nonetheless though, I shouldn't be surprised anymore, but I can't believe that they just assumed the money would be there to do whatever they wanted with.
Along the same lines as what dmont is saying, the federal money is supposed to be to repair existing infratructure (if I understand correctly). The city has to make the case that this is exactly what they are doing with Lansdowne Park. One of the examples given for the use of that money was hockey arenas. Well, that's exactly what sits under the northside stands of Frank Clair stadium.
They can not make that claim with the Melnyk bid because they're not repairing anything; the land being asked for is a snow dump.
This might be good news disguised as bad news. Like the decision date for this being pushed back to April 22nd. It looked lousy at first because of the CFL's deadline, but MLS will likely have announced their expansion teams by then and if Ottawa is not among them, Melnyk has no wind in his sails (at least for a while).
There's an article in the Ottawa Sun today (actually posted on their site last night) to the extent that if Ottawa wants money for a stadium, all they need to do is include on their wish list. Apparently, the provincial government is on board with that too.
Seems our esteemed city council ws unclear on the procedure. :roll:
i'm just wondering why someone would put so much time and energy behind first,being adamant that there not be two rough riders in a nine team league? to suggest ottawa re-invent itself as the stinkin riflemen, but at the same time spend that very same energy to contradict themselves and create the cambridge lions.you know who you are-great imagination and creativity-don't get me wrong but chatham-kent? c'mon.
Because everyone thinks it's stupid to have an eight team league with two teams called the rough riders.
Because "Riflemen" is a totally badass name.
The Cambridge Lions, Guelph Bears, and Chatham-Kent Cougars are not fantasy CFL teams, they are existing varsity-level teams in Ontario. Cambridge and Guelph play mostly out of the OVFL, whereas Chatham-Kent is in (i believe) the SCOFL. I offered to redesign their logos, and the team presidents took me up on it. The Cambridge and Chatham ones have been accepted, the Guelph one is under review.
Hahaha yeah I know, i didn't think any of you fellas would let that pass before calling me out on it. That was one of the first logos I made, I think I might redesign it if the Lasdowne Live situation unfolds favourably.
HAMILTON - The CFL has given the group looking to bring pro football back to Ottawa a six-month extension to reach a deal with the city on a new stadium.
CFL commissioner Mark Cohon made the announcement Tuesday at the league's annual congress. Cohon established a firm deadline of Sept. 18 with the hope that the Ottawa group can secure a stadium agreement with the city by that time.
The Ottawa CFL group, given a conditional expansion franchise in March 2008, is one of two in the city competing to build a new stadium. The other is one headed up by Eugene Melnyk, the owner of the NHL's Ottawa Senators that's received a conditional MLS franchise.
The condition for both groups is being able to secure a place to play.
Hunt's group is looking to renovate Frank Clair Stadium as part of a redevelopment of Lansdowne Park. Melnyk is proposing to build a new 20,000-seat soccer-only venue in nearby Kanata, Ont.
Ottawa civic officials are weighing both offers and will ultimately decide which one to follow through with.
"There's a window of opportunity now where we have a committed group of owners there who want to get this deal done," Cohon said. "You're in an economic environment now where there's potential stimulus money from the government to make it happen.
"It's incumbent upon the City of Ottawa now to make some decisions."
The CFL's conditional franchise agreement with the Ottawa group was set to expire March 18.
Canadian Press got something wrong: Ottawa has NOT received a conditional MLS franchise. All they have is a quote from the MLS commissioner saying it was "almost inconceivable" that Ottawa wouldn't get a franchise if a stadium deal was put in place. That is not clear or binding, and includes no timetable.
The original seven bid cities for MLS expansion are down to four, with the quitters either loosing their shirts in the recession or balking at the outrageous expansion fee... or both.
Yeah...When Garber went and said that it was "almost inconceivable" that Ottawa would not get a team if it had the stadium, many took that to mean that we conditionally had the franchise. Never mind that Garber said that about every bid.
I don't know if it was posted here, but came across a blogger who claimed that he askeg Garber about it later on that day and Garber went from "almost inconceivable" the Ottawa's chances being "pretty good". Not quite the same thing.
Anyway, now soccer fans are shouting "bring the MLS to Ottawa!" thinking that merely acgreeing to build the stadium out there will guarantee a team. I guess what Garber and Melnyk wanted to create kind of worked, because up to that point, soccer fans were fairly quiet. But they took that dangling bait and jumped all over it.
Well whatever, but really soccer fans should come out and say they want a franchise, I have no problem with that and Garber and Melnyk can go around saying what they want.
What I want and I think most of us here and the CFL is some clear direction and leadership from the city of Ottawa as to what they want to do with Lansdowne and the Hunt groups plans and whether or not they can go forward with this. The people in power in Ottawa have to clear a path through this statement or that statement from MLS, the CFL etc. and sit down and analyze what they want and where and then, do it.