This is getting weird

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.


and this ... :S

Kanata councillor revises motion, puts both proposals in jeopardy


Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson threw a curve ball at the stadium debate last night -- one that could see the city miss out on both proposals.

She's prepared to table a motion today that would give Eugene Melnyk $17 million cash, 30 acres of city land and support in securing additional funds from the other levels of government.

A City Hall source told the Sun that Wilkinson said she's "prepared to pull her support at the risk of seeing nothing happen on (either) proposal and is encouraging other west-end councillors to do the same."

On Monday, Wilkinson and Stittsville-Kanata West Coun. Shad Qadri had worked out a deal with other councillors to support the Lansdowne motion if they supported her motion.

Wilkinson reiterated last night they will only support Lansdowne if councillors support her revised motion.


"These guys are trying to hold council for ransom," said one city councillor, who didn't want to be identified.

Earlier yesterday, Melnyk said in a written statement that there will be no soccer stadium or MLS team in Kanata without the full support of the city.

"The motion as proposed is void of any support of council that most certainly would be required to be successful with the other levels of government and with Major League Soccer," Melnyk wrote of the original motion. "We are confirming to council that this motion is not workable and, in our view, has no chance of success."

The motion he was referring to -- put forward by Wilkinson on Monday -- calls for the city to hand over 30 acres of city land and $10-million in cash to Melnyk, provided he could secure an MLS team. He would be responsible for the remainder of the $110-million cost of the stadium.

Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder said she hopes councillors don't cave in to Melnyk's demands.

"The focus has to be what's best for the city overall, and that's Lansdowne," she said.

Melnyk said he tried to reach a compromise last week to build a stadium for both MLS and CFL, but "the risk was too high -- and I was not prepared to put the stability of the whole organization on the line for a last-minute deal -- however tempting it was."

For me, the weird part is why anyone would choose soccer over football, but hey, that's just me.

All reports about today's activities continue to say that they expect the LL motion to pass, so...

In a good bit of news, Doucet once again tried to get the design competition going and got skunked 15-8. I guess both sides got a rouge. :stuck_out_tongue:

Put the stability of what organization on the line? Your MLS organization? The one that doesn't exist?!?

I still see no point in building a stadium out in Kanata when a stadium at Lansdowne would accomplish the exact same thing, and more (in that it could host football too). Not to mention Lansdowne would be guaranteed a tenant, while Kanata would not.

God I hope they pass the motion to redevelop Lansdowne Park, and in particular, the stadium.

No vote on LL until Friday it seems according to this

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I agree with you Kev about getting the stadium done Kev.

You're missing the point though, Wilkinson's motion is a veiled attempt at railroading the LL proposal. If council is unsure of 'needing' one stadium, surely they will balk at the idea of two, right? And bank of public outrage over funding TWO stadiums, she knows it will not fly with citizens. Then, since the LL group has said they will walk away if nothing is resolved immediately, guess who is left standing with the only stadium proposal?

And then FCS at Lansdowne gets completely bulldozed I guess, no? And a park or whatever? Maybe still a Civic Centre for the 67's?

They should be voting on the main motion within the next hour...the old intractables want to have their last two cents.