Well it's official as we heard a few days ago. Eugene Melnyk has made the announcement and it is only for the dying MLS as he wants to build a soccer only stadium in Kanata.
The guy had a chance to get involved with Ottawa football and decided against it.
What's up with this guy, is he a typical wanabee only American type franchises. I guess so as living in Toronto.
Now will this put the nail in the coffin to the plan for the Hunt group and their hopes of rebuilding one half of the new stadium at Frank Clair.
What a mess.

[url=http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080916.wsptmls1609/GSStory/GlobeSportsSoccer/home]http://www.globesports.com/servlet/stor ... occer/home[/url]

LOL! At least he’ll have a building to show for his “poor” investment better then the L.A guy who gets the husband of retired girl band poser

You're overreacting.

One article I read quoted Melnyk as saying that they could fit football in. The stadium would be built for sonner primarily but that doesn't mean it could not accomodate other sports. Look at how many NFL teams have played (and still do) on baseball diamonds.

Though I personally dont think it helps, it doesn't put any nail in any coffins in regards to Hunt. Most feel it is unlikely that Melnyk will get the team anyway, so this stadium may never exist.

OK, maybe…possible.
Having said that, I want the Hunt group over this turncoat Melnyk any day of the week.
I want the Hunt group to build and be charge of their stadium and not being held for ransome by some Amarican wanabee. Similar to here in Toronto where MLSE fleeced us the taxpayers for the soccer stadium and then build it with our money by keeping the Argos and other minor football groups out.

I don't know what to make of the MLS actually, not a clue. But people want franchises so maybe it'll last for a while.

Melnyk lives in Barbados. A CBC article says that he wants to bring "the world's game" to Ottawa. Strike while the iron is hot.

Soccer will fail in Ottawa, especially in Kanata. Ottawa had hard times selling out Palladium/Corel Centre/ScotiaBank Place for a long time in a hockey crazed city.

What makes them think they will sell more tickets to a less popular, borderline fringe sport.

I kind of hope Melnyk fails because I can foresee this potentially really hurting Ottawa's football bid.

I used to think Melnyk could do no wrong. I no longer feel that way.

He doesnt want a CFL franchise because there's been two attempts there with no success, while the MLS is hot right now, new stadium in Salt Lake and in New York, plus Toronto FC having the best attendance in MLS its a growing league.

here we go again.......
Nothing ever changes on this board.

Maybe there are new stadiums and new franchises coming.
But we have had many discussions on the state of the MLS. The fact remains the league is hemorrhaging big time, with the vast majority of current teams losing big time.
There is no major TV deal, the average attendance is around 12,000(with many of these freebies or 2 for 1 giveaways) so I don’t get it either.
The finances are so bad that the model does not work.
Go figure though, there are su. kers lining up for teams?

The problem though the MLS faces is what it wants to be, if they have to go after a name like Beckham with big dollars, I don't know. The key in the MLS as I see it is the new soccer specific stadiums, the more they get the better, it distances themselves from the NFL, college and high school gridiron.

I doubt that. I think those kinds of people don't think that way. They always think that they have what it takes when the people before them couldn't make it happen.

As an example, how often have "rival" pro football leagues started up in the States? No matter how many fail, another batch of millionaires always seem to line up with the thinking that they have the magic formula.

Maybe.... the thing the MLS financial picture is improving - not hemorrhaging big time as our friend argotom says. That's what gets these guys interested. They didn't want in 12 yrs ago... but now the picture is better and theres a chance to make a profit the want in. Hence the $40 million franchise fee. Hype, yes, good business - you bet.
The hype feeds the business - in turn that generates more business.
I've argued this before but was shouted down for it.... like I said the CFL could learn a thing or two here.

btw - looks like the Mets want in as well for a second franchise in New York

Some info from Forbes

[url=http://www.forbes.com/2008/09/09/mls-soccer-beckham-biz-sports-cz_kb_0909mlsvalues_slide_2.html?thisSpeed=15000]http://www.forbes.com/2008/09/09/mls-so ... peed=15000[/url]

Apparently the ownership group for the proposed CFL franchise in Ottawa is set for its own announcement on a new facility with in the coming week

Column: Ottawa sports stadium game heats up
Wayne Scanlan , The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This amounts to a referendum on the future of Ottawa sport.
What's your pleasure, CFL football in the city, astride the Rideau Canal, or MLS soccer in Kanata, as part of a sports "node" encompassing Scotiabank Place and the Bell Sensplex?

Two distinct, competing visions on two distant city-owned properties. Each reliant on strong community support.
However fierce the competition on the field/pitch may be in years to come, the battle in the boardrooms is heating up.
It has already featured one blindside hit, figuratively speaking, and behind-the-scene grumbling.
The race is on, and Eugene Melnyk got out of the blocks smartly. Yesterday, in front of dozens of eager young soccer players and a large media gathering, Melnyk shared his personal connection to Toronto Ukrainian soccer as a child, then his more recent dream of turning a city snow dump in Kanata into a world-class Major League Soccer venue. The site is just down the street from the NHL arena that houses Melnyk's Ottawa Senators.

This is where things get interesting: A partnership of three major corporate players in this region - Bill Shenkman (Shenkman Group), Roger Greenberg (Minto Group) and John Ruddy (Trinity Development) - have their own proposal to build an open-air stadium, having already won a conditional Canadian Football League franchise last spring.
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In stark contrast, their vision is for a downtown stadium in Lansdowne Park - on the site of the half-demolished Frank Clair Stadium. The CFL partners, fronted by Ontario Hockey League Ottawa 67's owner Jeff Hunt, were days away from presenting their stadium concept and proposal when they were upstaged by Melnyk's bid Tuesday.

It gets better. (Or is it more bitter?) Two of those Ottawa CFL partners, Shenkman and Greenberg, were original investors in the Senators franchise when it began play 16 years ago. Greenberg poured millions of dollars into the hockey club to help keep it afloat during the early years of the franchise, prior to Melnyk's rescue five years ago.

Ruddy maintains a $200,000 suite at Scotiabank Place.
And now they are in opposing corporate camps. Though the football group is saying little on the record, they are privately ticked that Melnyk would put a competitive stadium proposal on the table.

While the football group was first to go public last spring, there has been little buzz lately while their plans and municipal meetings have proceeded out of view. After his slick presentation ... Advantage Melnyk on the momentum front.

Not coincidentally, the news conference was staged at the same Gate 1 foyer used for Melnyk's arrival in 2003. Senators COO Cyril Leeder, Melnyk's point man on the bid, confirmed that the proposed soccer venue in Kanata could also accommodate CFL football (though they prefer to call the planned stadium "soccer specific.")

Look for the football group to take a similar stance at their unveiling next week - that their downtown proposal to build a classy football stadium at Lansdowne could also be used for soccer.

"Nothing changes for us," Hunt said Tuesday afternoon. "We are days away from making our own proposal and we think it will succeed on its own merit.

"We'll present a very exciting vision for Lansdowne in the coming days."
The gauntlet has been laid down. Melnyk's conceptual stadium, designed by Rossetti Associates - creators of Scotiabank Place and Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium in New York - is spectacular, with its horseshoe design and permanent stage.

Melnyk said he would seek corporate partners, plus support from all three levels of government for a project that will cost roughly $140 million - $100 million for the stadium and $40 million for the franchise fee.

Melnyk's proposal must be submitted to the MLS by Oct. 15. Months later, the league will announce its two successful expansion candidates for the 2011 season from among nine competing cities. Vancouver and Montreal are the other Canadian cities with bids.

The CFL group pegs its project at $40 million to $60 million.
The city government, already invested in the Lansdowne Civic Centre facility and Frank Clair, will be asked to declare its preference for a stadium location, if not a preference for "footie" versus Canadian football.

It's entrepreneur beware on the political front. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has said privately he would not provide provincial funds for a soccer stadium and the federal government recently refused to commit money to a CFL stadium proposal in Quebec City.

Leeder, though, is no stranger to battling odds to land a sports franchise - he was the strategist in the successful Senators bid of the early 1990s.

"If hockey is a sure bet in this country," Leeder said, in an interview, "the next-best bet in the next 10 to 15 years is soccer."

That presents another intriguing debate. Does the national capital region share ethnic Toronto's passion for MLS soccer or do the roots of CFL football prevail?

While past CFL and soccer ventures here have both known failure, the FIFA under-20 World Cup games last summer at Lansdowne were a big success.

The CFL group says this shows the merits of a downtown stadium. The soccer group says it shows the popularity of soccer.

How things change. It wasn't long ago that we were lamenting the sorry fact the nation's capital had no functioning outdoor sports stadium.

Now, there are proposals for two - one west, one central, in what should be one heck of a horse race.
Subscribers can read previous columns by Wayne Scanlan at ottawacitizen.com . He can be reached at wscanlan@thecitizen.canwest.com

Definitely NOT the end of the world.

  1. Stadiums are always sold on the idea that they can be used by "the community". Melnyk's proposal is most certainly a private venture, built specifically for summertime soccer (recall, real grass = no inflatable bubble = only six months of use per year). If Hunt has a strong community selling point, which from the sounds of his recent interviews, he seems to have, he'll be able to offer something that Melnyk can't. The Gee Gees still play out of Frank Clair, right? There’s some community involvement right there.

  2. Melnyk's stadium will likely seat 20k initially with some vague intention to expand to 30k in the future. This means that for the first ten years or so, Melnyk won't be able to offer concert promoters very much more seating than Scotiabank place. Given the uncertainty surrounding weather, they'd likely opt to move indoors. Hunt's stadium would be able to offer more seating (even if it were temporary) and if he develops the area like he says he will, it will be better able to handle large crowds (bars, restaurants, transit, etc) than Melnyk's. Look at how often BMO field holds concerts... exactly once: Genesis, and they have a fieldturf field. Melnyk's natural grass would get torn to shreds if he held a concert there.

  3. BC, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Montreal all have stadiums capable of holding a Grey Cup, which everyone knows is a moneymaker for the city. Melnyk's stadium would be able to hold 30k at most, not nearly enough for a Grey Cup. Furthermore, Ottawa has made noise in the past about Commonwealth Games bids etc etc etc, and this represents a perfect chance to ensure that the city has a venue of suitable size to handle a major international sporting competition.

  4. I firmly believe that Melnyk will NOT get an MLS franchise before at least four other cities, and potentially six others. The decision will be made late this year or early next year, hardly enough time to stall the CFL's return to Ottawa for too long. Although I hope Melnyk goes after a USL-1 franchise in the event that his MLS bid fails. USL-1 is a respectable league, and should be a springboard into MLS.

From reading the various articles, it would appear and no surprise that Melnyk wants quite a bid of taxpayers money for his so called "private" project upwards of $140M.
While the Hunt group are estimating only $40M for their venture and nothing from the taxpayers.
Who do you trust.
To me its obvious.

Ottawa won't be granted an MLS franchise. Plus he's probably wanting to make an entertainment type of facility (lol in the suburbs!), that's how this venture could be profitable. With international matches, friendlies, rugby, concerts. MLS alone is a waste of money.

MLS is the “in” thing right now, especially in Canada with the success of Toronto “Not-Argonauts” Football Club. These would-be sports moguls (Acquilini in Vancouver, Melnyk in Ottawa, Montreal, ect) think they can just build a stadium and plop down their $40M franchise fee, and fans will flock to the MLS like Toronto…and they can cross-market with their NHL teams. This is also a chance to get on the ground floor of a “hot” new sport…and in 20 years hopefully flip the MLS team for $500M (like the old AFL guys who paid $25k for the franchise, now worth $1B in the NFL)

The fact is the MLS is all bluff and bluster. The level of play is mediocre at best…and attendance in U.S. cities is sparse. The cash flow of even the most successful MLS teams is only a small fraction of a CFL team. The CFL gets way more fans,(with attendance & TV ratings at record levels) and generates much more revenue. The CFL SMS has kept salaries and operating costs under control. Most CFL teams are reporting profits, especially now with the new TV deal.

I would say the $5-7M franchise fee for a CFL team would be a better investment than $40M for the MLS, but the CFL offers less upside and glamour for these billionaire gamesmen.


Melnyk on McCown, decidedly UNENTHUSIASTIC about sharing a stadium (or the city, for that matter) with a CFL team:

[url=http://www.fan590.com/ondemand/media.jsp?content=20080916_182023_10880]http://www.fan590.com/ondemand/media.js ... 2023_10880[/url]

Just wants to duplicate the TFC thing as close as possible to get the TFC success.