Touche, Melnyk... CFL 1, Melnyk 1.


Melnyk plans ‘entertainment village’
Project would include offices, restaurants, bars, apartments, hotels for area near Senators’ arena

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[i]OTTAWA — The company that runs the Ottawa Senators, and wants to see a stadium for professional soccer built next to the Senators’ arena, intends to build offices, restaurants, bars, apartments, and even a couple of hotels on the property it owns around the arena.

Eugene Melnyk’s company, Senators Sports and Entertainment, wants to build on to its existing recreation hub — Scotiabank Place and the Sensplex nearby — by seeing the city build a stadium that would house a Major League Soccer franchise, creating an “entertainment village? that would attract something in the order of four million visits a year.

In tandem with that project, the Senators organization plans to build somewhere between 900,000 square feet and 1.5-million square feet of office space, between 300,000 square feet and 500,000 square feet of retail and entertainment building, and up to 450 residential units.

The development would occur on about 30 hectares of land around Scotiabank Place, including four hectares that the company is in the process of purchasing. The land is bordered by the Queensway to the north, Palladium Drive to the south and Huntmar Drive on the west. The development would be carried out in stages, with the first stage worth about $120 million, built around the same time as the proposed stadium.

Cyril Leeder, chief operating officer of the Senators organization, said that it only makes sense to add some different kinds of development to make that part of Kanata more of a community — where there’s a mix of people working in offices, working in stores and restaurants and living nearby. He said that adding a substantial amount of office space is an efficient use of parking because daytime office workers usually leave in time for nighttime visitors for entertainment such as hockey and concerts.

One of the features of the proposed stadium is a permanent stage for concerts that could entertain up to 30,000 spectators.

Part of the plan is that the Scotiabank site would see construction of parking garages so that some of the existing parking lots — 8,000 spaces around the arena —could be the sites of the buildings.

Mr. Leeder noted that the proposed developments, which could total $500 million when complete, date from the original vision of Senators founder Bruce Firestone, who two decades ago wanted to build a community called West Terrace on 200 hectares around the NHL arena.

That vision included millions of square feet of office space, several thousands homes and retail space the sized of the Rideau Centre.

It was put on hold when the approval of the NHL hockey arena on farmland in Kanata West was fought at the Ontario Municipal Board. Mr. Firestone pledged not to build the community around the arena for 25 years. His dream of an NHL team playing at a new arena became reality, but he eventually lost control of his firm and the team due to financial problems.

Eventually, Rod Bryden, Mr. Firestone’s successor, pushed for development of the property and Ottawa Council agreed, approving a development plan for lands all around the arena. Development has recently been stalled by controversy over possible flooding of the Carp River. Landowners in Kanata West nevertheless feel development around the NHL arena is inevitable.

Mr. Leeder says that all of the building of transportation links to Scotiabank Place — including the current expansion of the Queensway, the building of an extra highway interchange and Palladium Drive — amounts to $150 million worth of roadwork that should be used for more than just trips to hockey games and other events at Scotiabank Place.

Geoff Publow, director of strategic development for the Senators, said that the idea of “entertainment villages,? with residential and commercial development surrounding pro sports facilities, is becoming a popular style of development around North America.

“You have sport entertainment. The city grows around it,? says Mr. Leeder. “Mass gives you more. It makes a lot of sense to put these assets together.?[/i]

So be it. I still think the major of the city would rather take a 5 minute walk downtown for a day of fun than a half hour drive to some farmland outside the city. In my opinion, LL still has the upper hand.

The problem with Melnyk is his statement "my proposal doesn't include CFL football"

At least with the Hunt group they say "we can accomodate soccer too"

Exactly, not an inclusive plan at all for both. It should be dismissed therefore.

The moment that "can" becomes "will", they'll win this thing.

I wish MLS would get around to announcing their two new teams. Officially skip Ottawa, and Melnyk's bid has little hope. Even with a team awarded he would be no slam dunk because of location. And its not as though he can change his mind about housing football now. How insincere would that look??

The USL looks like such a better fit. I think the reason that MLs is being treated like the second coming here right now is because it's what's being offered. If the LL people offer up USL, I think it'll get eaten up.

My perception is that people aren't in love with the MLS as such, just with the possibility of having a higher class of soccer than we have now. Anyone involved with the Fury (who are already affiliated with USL) would back LL, I would imagine, so some of the soccer crowd would definitely be on board with Lansdowne Live rather than Melnyk's little daydream.

Melnyk as well as being anti Canadian, anti CFL and a turncoat is certainly not acting like a smart businessman, unlike his pharmaceutical line.
It would not surprise me is he is in the same bed with Rogers, MLSE and Larry Tannenbaum for the NFL nonsense?

MLS franchise fee is 750,000 dollars. Average operating costs are around 2.5 million. It is doable for the Hunt group.

More like $40 millions... Unless you are speaking of USL-1

sorry I meant USL.

I thought the big issue with the MLS not wanting to play in a football stadium is that they mandate having seating right up to the sidelines? And so playing on a field with an endzone between the stands and the goal is unacceptable? To me this is moronic - especially since the MLS has teams playing in football stadiums already (Giants stadium in NY comes to mind). In Canada, it makes far more sense to build multi-purpose stadiums. Forcing Ottawa to choose between the MLS and CFL (if that is the case) is a shame.

I agree its too bad that Melnyk's group is willing to have money thrown into everything but retrackable seating for the sidelines, it sounds more like greed and control then anything else. The idea of all or nothing for a sport that has no guarantees that 20,000 fans will support for MLS is foolish. I hope Ottawa city council makes the decision ito allow a new stadium in Kanata it would have to allow a lease for life for the Ottawa CFL franchise as a guarantee. I would, there's no guarantee that the Ottawa public will support this new MLS team long term, there's no history soccer fans would fill up a 20,000 stadium on a game to game basis.

remember -they said that about Toronto as well.

The only team without plans to move to SSS is New England... there is a method to their madness with respect to revenue/ expense control. Everyone else is well on their way to building an sss (or at least have plans drawn up).

[url=] ... r_stadiums[/url]

Red Bull New York are moving to Red Bull Arena - 2010

While I agree multi-purpose stadiums are sensible from a capital spending point of view, you have to realize that they really aren't the best at providing great sightlines for all sports. Soccer stadiums - much like hockey or basketball arenas are designed to make the atmosphere more intimate and enhance the fan experience.

alpha, crock of pooop I say about needing sss in order to succeed if you're playing in a stadium around 20,000-40,000 as far as I'm concerned. I see games in Europe on the tube where there is a track and the stadiums are packed. Not ideal but the fans do show up over there.

Also, Vancouver looks like it will get an expansion franchise and they are planning on playing at BC Place, correct? This isn't a sss.

Obama's in town today. He'll straighten all this out.

Well Since Ottawa City Counsel is going to decide by Apirl 22nd, I think that hurts the Ottawa MLS bid, As the CFL time line is more flexible

Toronto FC has only been around for 2 years. Also, the Argos get about 30,000 to each of their home games. Plus, Toronto is a very international city. And when the Renegades were around, they usually got at least 20,000 in attendance.

Just because soccer is (currently) working in Toronto does not necessarily mean it will work in Ottawa.