So the Gliebermans have given up, Eugene Melnyk has given it a pass, and it looks like pro football in Ottawa will take another hiatus this season.
But can someone answer us this: Why doesnâ€™t football work in this town?
Itâ€™s a question that has us scratching our helmets. And try as we might, the more we look at the potential for this sport to succeed and be profitable in our city, the more we canâ€™t figure out why it isnâ€™t already â€? and hasnâ€™t been since its glory days about 25 years ago.
Itâ€™s true that eastern Canadian teams in Hamilton and Toronto have struggled, only recently getting back on track. But business has boomed in the west, particularly in Edmonton.
So why not Ottawa?
Donâ€™t we have a strong population base, with one of the highest personal disposable incomes in the country? Donâ€™t we have knowledgeable and passionate sports fans who love both their Senators and their 67â€™s? And donâ€™t we have great football facilities, smack-dab in the middle of downtown?
Supporting football in Ottawa is not really a big commitment for most fans. There are nine home games, and tickets sell for relative peanuts.
Think of the financial commitment many hockey fans make to their Ottawa Senators, who sell out their farflung west-end home night after night, and football seems like it should be an easy sell.
Yet for some reason it fails. Is it a management issue? Perhaps, and thatâ€™s why we would have liked Melnyk to take up the reins of the sport and create some real synergies with his existing interests in this town. Melnyk the savvy businessman obviously saw something he didnâ€™t like or didnâ€™t want, and now the Renegades must look to another saviour.
Weâ€™d like to keep our football team, and weâ€™d like it to be successful, both on the field and in the front office. But maybe before that can happen, we need to answer this nagging question: Why not here?