Yes just another American “world class major league” wanabee.

Who gets a new stadium first, Winnipeg or Ottawa? Should be interesting. And who gets to hold the GC first?

Ottawa has little chance of getting a MLS team. It's doubtful that a city the size of Ottawa would have many people willing to pay to watch soccer. They call themselves a soccer city because they drew good crowds for a handful of games in the FIFA under 20 tournament (or whatever it was called). The truth is that many of the people who went to those games probably came from Montreal and southern Ontario, given their proximity to Ottawa and the fact that this was a rare opportunity for people to see players from their homelands compete.
Melnyk, like many other sports owners, enjoys the limelight. This is likely just a way to get himself in the media in a positive way(especially with the Senators in decline).

Good, then what we need are mls stadia built all over the country, so when the league folds, they can be converted to the CFL.

Put MLS teams in Hamilton, Quebec, Moncton, Saskatoon for all I care.


Oh, I hope the Ottawa politicians pick up on this:

Proposed Ottawa soccer stadium faces environmental hurdle

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/story/2008/09/17/ot-stadium-080917.html]http://www.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/story/2 ... 80917.html[/url]

[i]No development is allowed for at least the next year at the site chosen for a proposed soccer stadium that would be home to a potential Major League Soccer team in Ottawa.

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk announced Tuesday that he is bidding for an MLS team for 2011, and unveiled plans for the 30,000-seat soccer stadium on 15 hectares of land southeast of Scotiabank Place in Kanata West.

The location is on the Carp River flood plain, an area under a provincially imposed development ban.

All housing and land development in the area is frozen for at least a year while environmental studies about the potential for flooding are reviewed with the city and the province.

However, Senators chief operating officer Cyril Leeder said that fits with the timeline for the bid.

"Anytime there's a regulatory review … you have to be worried and concerned," he said, "but at the same time it's something that will get dealt with in due process."

Leeder said the Senators group has not looked into an alternative location for the stadium.

The MLS is expected to award two new franchises by the end of this year or the beginning of 2009.

Melynk has said he believes Ottawa's chances of getting a franchise are "very, very high."[/i]

Soccer stadium in Kanata could cause chaos: councillor

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/story/2008/09/17/ot-soccer-080917.html]http://www.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/story/2 ... 80917.html[/url]

[i]Building a 30,000-seat soccer stadium near the Kanata arena used by the Ottawa Senators would create horrific traffic jams unless the city makes major transit improvements, says the city councillor for the area.

"I just see chaos and a nightmare," Peggy Feltmate said Wednesday, predicting what would happen on nights when soccer and hockey games overlapped.

"People would be so frustrated and there would be accidents and the whole west end of the city would be shut down."

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk unveiled plans for the $100-million suburban soccer stadium Tuesday.

It would be home to a Major League Soccer team that Melnyk is bidding for and would sit on land in Kanata West that is owned by the City of Ottawa and used as snow dump.

Melnyk wants the city to give up that land and is looking for partnerships from all three levels of government, including a financial commitment from the city by Oct. 15.

Felmate said there's not enough information right now.

"I want to know what kind of partnership they're suggesting with the city and the implication on the city budget."

Hunt supports downtown stadium
Felmate added that she can't imagine the stadium going ahead so close to Scotiabank Place, home of the NHL's Ottawa Senators, without major transportation improvements such as mass transit going directly to the area.

Meanwhile, another group says having a stadium downtown makes the most sense.

Jeff Hunt, owner of the Ottawa 67's Ontario Hockey League team, is seeking support to help renovate Frank Clair Stadium to house a CFL team.

"You look around North America and find out where their major sports attractions are and they're always in the downtown area for no other reason maybe than just accessibility," he said.[/i]

Good posting dmont.
This appears to have Melnyk well behind the ball and is not a popular move.
Good on him as I see this politician sees the same thing that I did about a “partnership”. These are famous words, we want to fleece the taxpayers for a vast majority of the tax dollars.
Meanwhile the Hunt group will use their money and have the history behind them and the best location.

What is the deal with Kanata, isn't Ottawa supposed to be the city, why do they keep putting these stadiums so far away, is it to save on taxes ? Then just build it in Kuujuak it'll brobably be tax free there. I live in Gatineau and it takes almost 1 hour to get to Bank Scotia place with the 417 traffic.

Now don't get me wrong I would never bother the drive for soccer. Not that there's anything wrong with it.... (Seinfeld quote :lol: )

There's room, and it isn't real close to residential.

I went to a concert a couple of weeks at Scotiabank Place. Getting there is not half the fun.


By the way, here's a couple of things Melnyk is definitely lying about:

  1. His plans show a permanent stage going at one end of the stadium. In real life, that stage will NEVER materialize. Soccer teams are extrememly anal about the quality of their grass pitches. You think any owner's gonna book a U2 concert and let thousands of people stomp the grass into mud? Not a chance. The stage is just a way for Melnyk to get tax dollars, claiming it's a multi-use facility that will get lots of use by the community. That end would be left open in the initial 20k seating configuration and would likely get filled in with new seats if the stadium were ever upgraded to 30k.

  2. For those of you who listened to him on McCown's show, he promises that his stadium will generate $50-60M per year in economic activity.... he must really think we're all stupid. I hope Ottawa politicians don't fall for that one.

Whats with the MLS dictating to us in Canada what kind of stadiums we can build? This isn't like the US of A where they spend a billion on a baseball stadium while half the people in the country have no health care.

I can't imagine the people of Ottawa spending their tax money to build a soccer only stadium. Especially when this MLS is not a sure thing to last three more years.

Just because Toronto is doing well means squat. Half the teams in teh US struggle to get 10,000 fans a game. If they start folding, the MLS is dead. Then Ottawa is stuck with a 30,000 seat soccer stadium with no tenant.

Let MLS build all of these stadiums.... obviously people take the CFL for granted.... When the MLS goes Tits up in a couple of years....we'll have new stadiums to move into.....
Let's face facts..... The CFL gets no respect!!!!!
The fact that we outdraw the MLS on TV yet our population is 1/10th of the states proves the point ( I am refering to ESPN's viewers...not TFC's)

How any businessman worth his salt could invest 50million plus a stadium for an MLS team is beyond me. The calibre of play is lousy, the business of the league is just as bad. In fact, it's a joke is what it is. MLS doesn't make in the top 20 leagues in the world.

Soccer is not popular in North America, just like Hockey's not popular in the Southern States. Let's move on!

Well, maybe he thinks council is stupid, in which case he's probably able to make a strong case. :stuck_out_tongue:

Guys, I tell you, this is a Melnyk (Sens) and Tannenbaum (MLSE, Leafs) deal as Tannenbaum wants an NFL team bad and probably said to Melynk to try and screw Ottawa out of getting a CFL team and new/renovated Lansdowne. As I said in the 'Gades forum, wouldn't surprise me in the least. NHL buddies sticking together on this.

A good old fashion conspiracy you say, Earl.
Wouldn't put it past them.

Well argotom, not sure if I'd say a full blown 100 percent conspiracy but maybe some results of Eugene talking with Larry about the MLS and all of that and Larry saying "go for it Eugene for an MLS team, that would be great" and Eugene not realizing it had anything to do with the CFL & NFL.

Hmmm, well, maybe conspiracy afterall, don't think Mr. Melynk is actually that daft I don't think. :wink:

Im looking at it this way, maybe the reason he is pushing the stadium in Kanata, is hopes Ottawa will build a train out there (Since Ottawa is building a train system for most of the city) and make it a sports complex (Like philly has) maybe that where the CFL team should go too

An interesting perspective on Ottawa's chances:

Sounds good for CFL fans. If it's really "Ottawa or Montreal", Montreal is the frontrunner out of all nine bids for the next two MLS expansion teams.

Knight: It's Ottawa vs. Montreal
Ben Knight, Globe&Mail, today at 10:12 AM EDT

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080918.WBsoccerblog20080918101209/WBStory/WBsoccerblog]http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ ... soccerblog[/url]

[i]Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has loudly and suddenly joined the Major League Soccer expansion race. His announcement that he's ready to build a soccer stadium in the vast tract of concreted-over trees and scrub land in Kanata; complicates things.

Previously, Montreal and Vancouver were in the hunt for the two 2011 expansion slots; with an ever-growing list of American rivals. Now, three Canadian cities are clawing for the prize, all with solid stadium plans and deep-pocketed ownership.

Geographical proximity makes it hugely unlikely; I think; that Ottawa and Montreal will both get the nod. But either of them might, which puts them in a very real competition against each other.

Let's take this apart, shall we?

Montreal has a charming, delicious new stadium, which right now has clumpy, fly-away grass and lots of empty seats. I know the stadium looks full, but multiple allegations walk the night that not all of those seats are actually being paid for.

The Montreal Impact are the feel-good surprise story of the Canadian soccer season, vaulting past Toronto FC, the Vancouver Whitecaps and Real Esteli of Nicaragua to claim a coveted spot in the inaugural CONCACAF Champions Cup. They opened their campaign last night with a well-won 2-0 triumph over Joe Public of Trinidad. The grass tore up in clumps, and there were a lot of empty seats.

Montreal's not really a good news/bad news situation. More like great news/nagging doubts.

Meanwhile, up the 417 in Ottawa; okay, miles and miles west of Ottawa in Kanata; Melnyk is looking to turn a municipal snow dump into eastern Ontario's soccer field of dreams.There are a lot of problems with this idea, but let's dismiss a non-problem first.

For anyone who thinks MLS can't go there now because it's not Ottawa's turn; because Montreal and Vancouver are further ahead in planning and experience; it wasn't Toronto's turn either. Toronto jumped the queue because every level of government from FIFA to the Toronto Department of Parks and Recreation conga-lined through MLS commissioner Don Garber's office, belching up money.

(Horrible image. Sorry.)

The Ottawa deal has some basic similarities; not governmental (yet), but the local NHL team is deeply involved, as is the case in Toronto. But, once again, let's talk geography.

Toronto FC has 16,000 season-ticket holders, and could probably lift that to 23,000 if BMO Field was expanded. But they draw those fans from all over southern Ontario, by far the most densely populated region of Canada.

Melnyk, by contrast, happily says the greater Ottawa area is home to 10 per cent of Canada's registered soccer players. Let's say that's 85,000. Realistically, that's no more than 50,000 families. Melnyk's stadium will initially seat 20,000, with plans to expand it to 30,000 as needed. Compared to all of southern Ontario, that's nowhere near enough people.

That's okay. Ottawa is a big, big town. But the stadium won't be in Ottawa.

I do not believe the Toronto FC phenomenon would exist if BMO Field was built in the empty north end of Oakville, Ont.; the Golden Horseshoe's equivalent of the Ottawa-Kanata situation.

Yes, Ottawa packs Kanata for Senators hockey. But that's a hugely corporate crowd. MLS draws families and soccer fans, and Kanata is simply not an easy and inviting place for them. Aside from a very few expensive, glitzy sports bars, there is nothing there. Even after 16 full NHL seasons, Scotiabank Plaza stands achingly alone.

Melnyk says he also wants his soccer stadium to double as a 25,000-seat concert facility. Interesting plan, given that it will be built directly across the parking lot; from a 25,000-seat concert facility.

But I'm quibbling now.

The Ottawa bid has flash and professionalism. Montreal, by contrast, is a small and scrappy second-division pro soccer club. I can definitely see Melnyk turning MLS's head. Meanwhile, far to the west, Vancouver bubbles along with NBA superstar Steve Nash fronting billionaire Greg Kerfoot; very quietly.

If I'm MLS, I love this. Three orders of rich, serious Canadians landing on the buffet table just before dinner time. Oh, and the New York Mets just wired in to say they want a second MLS franchise for the Big Apple.

I take Eugene Melnyk very seriously; but I still can't see how MLS will work better in Kanata than it will in Montreal. Hook Ottawa's bid into a well-designed rebuild of Lansdowne Park/Frank Clair Stadium on the banks of the Rideau Canal, and I think it would look a lot more like real soccer.

Montreal's in the fight for real right now, with a real team. So is Vancouver. Ottawa, by contrast, is nothing more than a business deal. Again, though, that's the Toronto model, and MLS is hugely pleased with how that particular business deal worked out.

Welcome to the race, Kanata. Hey; where can we take the kids after the game?



Mixed reviews from Ottawa policymakers:

Council asks for details on soccer arena plan
'A million questions' still to be answered before any position can be formed

Patrick Dare, Ottawa Citizen
Published: Wednesday, September 17, 2008

[url=http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=8eb4d421-3010-4b0d-acc1-2072afd54f68]http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/new ... 72afd54f68[/url]

[i]Ottawa city councillors are excited about the prospect of a professional soccer stadium in Kanata, but they want to see Eugene Melnyk's detailed plan before taking a position on the project.

Mr. Melnyk is eyeing 12 hectares of city-owned land in Kanata West, southeast of his Scotiabank Place arena, as the location for a 30,000-seat stadium. But there are a lot of questions about the project: how it's affected by the floodplain of the nearby Carp River, what the city would get in exchange for the land, and what the implications might be for other sports properties.

City officials say they haven't seen a scrap of written information on the proposal.

"There are a million questions. Put it all on paper and tell us what you expect," said Alta Vista Councillor Peter Hume, who is chairman of the planning and environment committee.

"People are excited about it. It's a great debate to have. It's about city building. But right now, we're debating a press conference."

On Tuesday, Mr. Melnyk went public with his idea to build a soccer stadium and five practice soccer fields, to be located on Palladium Drive north of Maple Grove Road. The concept is to create a sports-entertainment hub with a main street along Palladium Drive connecting the NHL hockey arena to the soccer venue.

The City of Ottawa owns 25 hectares in the area, including 6.5 hectares at a works yard on Maple Grove Road that was recently upgraded, six hectares meant to be used for stormwater management ponds, about half a hectare for public transit and 12 hectares to be sold for development. Part of the city land is used as a temporary snow dump.

The 12 hectares intended for development have been expected to bring in $7.5 million for the city, which could be used to pay for a permanent snow dump elsewhere, as well as some of the works yard costs.

The suggestion this week, however, is that the city's contribution to a Major League Soccer franchise would be the 30-hectare site.

Councillors said they are happy to see the project, but not especially keen to give their land away.

River Councillor Maria McRae said she has "an open mind," but believes such giveaways will lead to other organizations coming forward and asking for city land. She said the city has its own stadium in Lansdowne Park and it might not make sense to be handing out millions of dollars' worth of land when its own asset needs refurbishment.

Councillor Rainer Bloess, an occasional soccer player, said the city has been chastened by recent experiences with sports facilities such as the Ray Friel Centre and the Sensplex, where the city had to step in to keep the facilities afloat financially after deals with private partners went sour. He said the city has to also keep in mind its obligations to keep Lansdowne Park and its Coventry Road baseball stadium going.

"Council is more cautious these days on any of these outside things," said Mr. Bloess.

OTTAWA-Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson said the stadium proposal is "great," well sited on reasonably flat land, but that building a stadium would apply more pressure on the city to supply more public transit to the site more quickly. She said that if the city kicks in its 30 acres, it must get something back, such as some long-term use of the soccer fields and perhaps of the stadium itself.

Bay Councillor Alex Cullen said he doesn't want to be handing land over to a private business. He said the city has recently given land to Algonquin College and La Cité Collégiale for expansions, but he said Mr. Melnyk's company is not in the same public category.

"We're not in the business of subsidizing private, for-profit ventures," said Mr. Cullen.

Councillor Shad Qadri, who represents Kanata West, knew nothing of the project until he was called by a reporter on Tuesday. He wants to hear all details before taking a position.

Mr. Qadri said such a project would be a tremendous economic development instrument for the Kanata area and great for soccer players because "we're crying for soccer fields." But he said there is a development freeze in Kanata West, the 725-hectare commercial and residential development project around Scotiabank Place.

The city has hired a consultant to do a third-party review of the approvals process for Kanata West after errors were found in floodplain modelling for the area and questions were raised by city auditor general Alain Lalonde about the propriety of the approvals process. The review is expected by the end of the year.

Ontario Environment Minister John Gerretsen was sufficiently perturbed about Kanata West to send a strongly worded letter to the city this summer setting out extra planning and engineering work he wants done before building happens. The development approvals process has already dragged on for seven years.

One of the key environmental issues is the handling of stormwater. Specifically on the city's land, the June 2006 master servicing study for Kanata West shows a stormwater pond on the same land that is being proposed for two of the practice soccer fields. The stormwater facility on the city's land is supposed to drain 239 hectares, about one-third of the whole Kanata West development.

While the city is preparing to get a proposal from Mr. Melnyk's group, it is also awaiting a proposal from another development group, a partnership of businessmen who want to bring a Canadian Football League franchise to Ottawa and redevelop Lansdowne Park in the process. One of the businessmen, Minto Developments president Roger Greenberg, said yesterday that the group is working on its plans "vigorously" and they should be ready within about two weeks.

The city confirmed yesterday that it is assessing the structures at Lansdowne Park in preparation for discussions about the park's future. Steve Finnamore, executive director of business services with the city, said he believes the Civic Centre and north side stands for Frank Clair Stadium are "in pretty good shape," but the city wants to ensure there are no big surprises as it considers Lansdowne's future. That report is expected in late September or early October.[/i]