Support growing for two stadiums
Councillors trade stadium support
By SHANE ROSS, Sun Media
Ottawa could wind up with two stadiums, one at Lansdowne for a CFL team and one in Kanata for an MLS team, or none when the dust settles at City Hall today.
Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson said this morning she now has support from Mayor Larry O'Brien and College Coun. Rick Chiarelli to support her motion to give 30 acres of city-owned land near Scotiabank Place to Eugene Melnyk, as well as $17-million in cash and support from the city to solicit funds from other levels of government.
In return, she and fellow west-end Coun. Shad Qadri will support Chiaraelli's motion to partner with the Lansdowne Live group to negotiate a plan for Lansdowne Park, which would include refurbishing Frank Clair Stadium for a CFL team and the Civic Centre for the 67's. The city would also help that group secure funding from the federal and provincial governments.
"I think two stadiums could work," Wilkinson said. "They would serve different needs."
The Kanata stadium could host the "big, noisy concerts," she said, and the highway would act as a sound buffer for residents. With the addition of other minor soccer pitches, it would serve more as a community sports centre. The Lansdowne stadium would be used for football and other events appropriate for its downtown location.
Each motion needs 13 votes to pass. Neither may have enough support.
Both motions come with a timeline and conditions such as revenue sharing. Other motions and amendments are expected to be tabled in what is shaping up to be a long day.