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Deez
Jan 24, 2008, 4:03 AM
http://www.ottawa.ca/residents/public_consult/lansdowne/index_en.html

Let the ideas flow.

clynnog
Jan 24, 2008, 4:30 AM
http://www.ottawa.ca/residents/public_consult/lansdowne/index_en.html

Let the ideas flow.

Isn't the fact that the NCC is now a 'partner' the kiss of death on this project.

Deez
Jan 24, 2008, 4:43 PM
Fortunately, the partnership is "limited". The NCC has only agreed to consider integrating the land that it owns adjacent to the canal into the plan...not to have a decisive say in the plan's outcome.

clynnog
Jan 24, 2008, 5:32 PM
Fortunately, the partnership is "limited". The NCC has only agreed to consider integrating the land that it owns adjacent to the canal into the plan...not to have a decisive say in the plan's outcome.

Oh, you are so naive if you think that is where the NCC's seat at the table will start and end.

Deez
Jan 24, 2008, 6:35 PM
Meh. Cynicism hasn't led me very far in the past. May as well start anew with naivety.

Ottawade
Jan 24, 2008, 6:50 PM
It's such a fantastic spot in the city with so much potential. I'm somewhat unaware of what types of ideas have been forwarded. I dislike the casino idea. I also am unsure of conference center idea. I think cleaning up city center would be better for that kind of project. More room for a high-rise hotel and other services plus good access to transit.

I guess I would really hope that this could be turned into a public space that people could use on a very frequent basis.

Jamaican-Phoenix
Jan 24, 2008, 7:33 PM
I guess I would really hope that this could be turned into a public space that people could use on a very frequent basis.

Read as "more grass and trees".

Mille Sabords
Jan 24, 2008, 7:39 PM
Read as "more grass and trees".

I'm afraid Jamaican Phoenix is right. We have to cram the consultation website with comments from the public demanding more than grass - the canal-side has to be BUILT-UP - it has to be developed (yes, DEVELOPED) so as to bring people close to the water, and people doing more than just jogging. An extra inlet of water through the site wouldn't be all bad, though, if it's given a hard edge and lots of activity onto it.

AuxTown
Jan 24, 2008, 9:44 PM
I know I've said it already, but I really liked the proposal put forward late last year in that Ottawa Citizen article (the one Scary Larry was all over). It really made the most of the site with many different land uses and I'm sure it would also make the grass/trees/flowers/jogging/annoying people happy as well. The only thing that I would change is to have the parking garage on the East side of the stadium and putting the 2 condo towers in its place. It would be awful to have a parking structure adjacent to the canal. I think this plan illustrates another important point that this development has to integrate seamlessly into the Glebe neighbourhood to the North using medium-density residential. Thems are powerful NIMBYs in that neighbourhood and we best make them happy.

http://img503.imageshack.us/img503/6812/lansdowneparkwf7.jpg http://alameda.files.wordpress.com/2006/08/nimby.jpg

adam-machiavelli
Jan 24, 2008, 9:51 PM
That plan seems okay except that the high-rise residential area in the southeast part seems to be too disconnected to the rest of the project. People living in that area will find it an inconvenience to walk to Bank Street or a bus stop.

Deez
Jan 30, 2008, 2:24 AM
Over the past week or so I've been chipping away at a draft plan of what I would like the park to look like...and here it is:

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2/Reersmeer/Lansdowne.jpg

Guiding Principles


Seamless integration with surrounding area: I wanted the plan to make Lansdowne feel as if it was part of the Glebe, rather than some fenced off area that hosts football games. To accomplish this, I imagined street-friendly row housing with Vancouver-style rear laneways fronting Holmwood. To further achieve continuity, I extended Adelaide and O'Connor right into the park and angled the modified grid pattern of the roads to match patterns in the Glebe.

More than just a once-a-week destination: More than anything else, Lansdowne's huge surface lot shows that the park is a place where a bunch of people come all at once for a short time and then leave immediately afterwards. I wanted to maximize the use of the land by introducing a variety of uses. Firstly, the supermarket (which I imagined as a Rideau St. Loblaws kind of facility) would help attract people from all over central Ottawa to show off what the park has to offer. As an added bonus, the parking required for this building could be used to accomodate cars for football and hockey games. Next, a mix of employment, residential and commercial buildings will help keep the streets vibrant at all times of day...rather than just after a game. Finally, the addition of the public soccer field adds some sorely needed amateur sport infrastructure to the City's core and pays homage to Lansdowne's sports past.

Attractiveness to pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users: I think one of the strengths of my plan is the multi-use pathway crossing the canal (and the Rideau River). This crossing would not only help to establish the Park as a walkable/cycleable neighbourhood, but it would also link the pathways along the canal with the pathways along the Rideau River. Also, the Riverside Hospital transitway station is less than a kilometer away following Avenue Road. This makes getting to games by transit much more viable than relying on a clogged up Bank St. Speaking of which, the north side of the Civic Centre could be set up as a pick-up/drop-off point for local buses (with the roundabout making it that much easier for access/egress).

I'd love to hear any and all comments.


PS: The southwest corner was intentionally left untouched to allow for redesigned south-side stands. I'd be up for suggestions for that area too.

Mille Sabords
Jan 30, 2008, 1:28 PM
..dp

ajldub
Feb 2, 2008, 2:26 AM
Is there a stipulation that says Frank Clair stadium has to stay there in some shape or form? I say move it somewhere else. It's so massive that it will still dominate any new development that goes next to it, and nobody in the glebe likes CFL anyways. Send it to Orleans maybe, then we'd have a football team that could sell tickets. And as interesting as a plan to incorporate the canal into the new design sounds, I bet there is some UNESCO rule saying that current world heritage sites can't be expanded or redesigned without heavy consultation from the policy wonks in Geneva or wherever they are.

Mille Sabords
Feb 2, 2008, 3:01 AM
Is there a stipulation that says Frank Clair stadium has to stay there in some shape or form? I say move it somewhere else. It's so massive that it will still dominate any new development that goes next to it, and nobody in the glebe likes CFL anyways. Send it to Orleans maybe, then we'd have a football team that could sell tickets. And as interesting as a plan to incorporate the canal into the new design sounds, I bet there is some UNESCO rule saying that current world heritage sites can't be expanded or redesigned without heavy consultation from the policy wonks in Geneva or wherever they are.

That approach dooms us to having no stadium. It's one thing to repair an old stadium, it's quite another to tear it down and build a new one.

The stadium has to stay. It's in an urban location, which makes it a rare gem. I disagree about your statement about people in the Glebe - there were (and still are) LOTS of CFL fans in that area, they just weren't busy whining to the papers and their councillors about the noise and crowds.

If the stadium were to be removed, never again will we be able to have a downtown sports facility like Frank Clair. Finding space would be almost impossible and, supposing you did, NIMBY's would kill it. Better stick with what we have, which is a stadium that has been there for way longer than all the Glebe whiners, who therefore have no valid argument. They moved knowing the stadium was there. Don't like stadiums? Then, the Glebe ain't for you!

Besides, there's the Civic Centre underneath the stadium. It would be rather bizarre to remove the stadium and leave this half-building just sitting there by itself.

Orleans? Are you in the 1970's still? Since when is a suburban relocation the right answer? If anything we should be looking for ways to move the NHL to downtown Ottawa.

ajldub
Feb 2, 2008, 3:42 AM
Well there weren't enough ticket-buying Glebites to keep the renegades around. Or the roughies for that matter. Now the sens, that's another story. Unfortunately hockey is now a premium event and it costs $100 or more to go to a game; that's an entirely different market. The sens would do quite well in the glebe or closer to downtown. But then again they're doing just fine where they are, financially speaking. Too bad they didn't build the rink on Lebreton Flats back in the 90's; the whole place would have been built up by now.

Did anybody ever catch a sens game at the civic centre? Man those were the days, short-lived as they were...

lrt's friend
Feb 2, 2008, 4:02 AM
That approach dooms us to having no stadium. It's one thing to repair an old stadium, it's quite another to tear it down and build a new one.

The stadium has to stay. It's in an urban location, which makes it a rare gem. I disagree about your statement about people in the Glebe - there were (and still are) LOTS of CFL fans in that area, they just weren't busy whining to the papers and their councillors about the noise and crowds.

If the stadium were to be removed, never again will we be able to have a downtown sports facility like Frank Clair. Finding space would be almost impossible and, supposing you did, NIMBY's would kill it. Better stick with what we have, which is a stadium that has been there for way longer than all the Glebe whiners, who therefore have no valid argument. They moved knowing the stadium was there. Don't like stadiums? Then, the Glebe ain't for you!

Besides, there's the Civic Centre underneath the stadium. It would be rather bizarre to remove the stadium and leave this half-building just sitting there by itself.

Orleans? Are you in the 1970's still? Since when is a suburban relocation the right answer? If anything we should be looking for ways to move the NHL to downtown Ottawa.

Bravo! Well said. I was a season ticket holder for years. Lansdowne's central location with lots of choices of places to eat on the way there, and free parking in the surrounding community was a selling point. Scotiabank Place way out past Kanata was a big mistake. An island in nothingness. You might as well have built a moat around it. Anyway, Scotiabank Place is a pain in the rear to get there and back and we are eventually going to pay a fortune to get rapid transit there. We could have avoided all of this if we had built it at Bayview or Lebreton Flats.

ajldub
Feb 2, 2008, 5:06 PM
I appreciate the fact that a stadium should be central, but what about the fact that two CFL teams there have shown to be not economically viable?

Mille Sabords
Feb 2, 2008, 8:34 PM
I appreciate the fact that a stadium should be central, but what about the fact that two CFL teams there have shown to be not economically viable?

Whether or not the stadium hosts a CFL team should not dictate our decision to have a stadium in the first place. A centrally-located stadium, in addition, makes us a premium city. The aim should be to preserve the city's ability to host major-league sports or world-class sporting events in a central location.

Let me just speak of my own experience. I was a Riders fan, and a season-ticket holder for a couple of seasons when you could get $99 season tickets in the south stand upper deck, and I went to several Renegades games. This, despite 20-plus LOSING seasons. And throughout that time of team futility, they drew 20,000 a game (more early in the season, when hopes were still high, and less as time went on) - but on average we drew about the same as Montreal draws at their tiny Molson Stadium, and more than the Ti-Cats draw at Ivor Wynne most years (and some seasons, about the same as the Argos did in their cavernous stadium).

The fact that the two teams failed financially has nothing to do with the fans, who were out there supporting a LOSING and EMBARRASSING team for two-plus decades, with their money and their cheers. We the fans love football and will never cheer for any other city than ours at that sport.

The teams failed because of inept and indifferent ownership. Period. The CFL brass were idiots to let the Gliebermans back in as team owners, after having killed two teams. The fans here have been insulted and mistreated for so long, they are understandably jaded. The CFL, I've said it before, has to get on its knees and blow us an apology before they put a team back in this city, and they have to find an owner who is committed to winning. Otherwise, forget it. I love football, I like CFL ball, I'd love Ottawa to have a team back, but I'm sick of having doormat teams and having the name of our city associated with "losingness".

That's for the CFL. But, there are also events like the FIFA U-20 World Cup. I attended every game except one here at Lansdowne. It was an incredible tournament. I would not want my city to lose the ability to host events like this, which put Ottawa in front of 650 million TV viewers worldwide and kept us on the map as a major city, capable of hosting big sporting meets.

Personally, I would like Ottawa to get an MLS team (Major League Soccer) especially now that Toronto plays in that league. For that, again, we need a stadium.

And for all those things, the stadium needs to be central. I am NOT going to the sticks for a CFL game, I just won't, I'm sorry - it's Lansdowne or nothing. I'm fed up to the back teeth of the Senators parking jihad and I just won't put myself through that for summer sports, I want to be able to bike or walk to the game.

Plus - I played wintertime touch ball at the bubble there, I can tell you the place gets used every hour of every day and would be sorely missed as a community facility if it disappeared. Again, I am NOT going outside downtown to a facility like this, I want it close to me where it is and where it belongs.

So to recap: the stadium is for much more than the CFL and it's already there, so keep it there, renovate it, and keep the city in the running for sports events and teams. If someone gets a CFL team and makes it work, great. Otherwise, the place gets used already, it just needs refurbishment.

bradnixon
Feb 3, 2008, 3:36 AM
Over the past week or so I've been chipping away at a draft plan of what I would like the park to look like...and here it is:

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e2/Reersmeer/Lansdowne.jpg

Guiding Principles


Seamless integration with surrounding area: I wanted the plan to make Lansdowne feel as if it was part of the Glebe, rather than some fenced off area that hosts football games. To accomplish this, I imagined street-friendly row housing with Vancouver-style rear laneways fronting Holmwood. To further achieve continuity, I extended Adelaide and O'Connor right into the park and angled the modified grid pattern of the roads to match patterns in the Glebe.

More than just a once-a-week destination: More than anything else, Lansdowne's huge surface lot shows that the park is a place where a bunch of people come all at once for a short time and then leave immediately afterwards. I wanted to maximize the use of the land by introducing a variety of uses. Firstly, the supermarket (which I imagined as a Rideau St. Loblaws kind of facility) would help attract people from all over central Ottawa to show off what the park has to offer. As an added bonus, the parking required for this building could be used to accomodate cars for football and hockey games. Next, a mix of employment, residential and commercial buildings will help keep the streets vibrant at all times of day...rather than just after a game. Finally, the addition of the public soccer field adds some sorely needed amateur sport infrastructure to the City's core and pays homage to Lansdowne's sports past.

Attractiveness to pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users: I think one of the strengths of my plan is the multi-use pathway crossing the canal (and the Rideau River). This crossing would not only help to establish the Park as a walkable/cycleable neighbourhood, but it would also link the pathways along the canal with the pathways along the Rideau River. Also, the Riverside Hospital transitway station is less than a kilometer away following Avenue Road. This makes getting to games by transit much more viable than relying on a clogged up Bank St. Speaking of which, the north side of the Civic Centre could be set up as a pick-up/drop-off point for local buses (with the roundabout making it that much easier for access/egress).

I'd love to hear any and all comments.


PS: The southwest corner was intentionally left untouched to allow for redesigned south-side stands. I'd be up for suggestions for that area too.



I like it... the grocery store is a nice touch.

The only thing that I'm not a big fan of is having residential along the canal. The canal could really use a strip of retail and residential fronting right onto the canal and Lansdowne would be a perfect place for this.

What about re-aligning Queen Elizabeth further away from Lansdowne, and putting some mixed-use buildings with retail/restaurants on ground level that front onto both Queen Elizabeth an the canal? There could be a boardwalk on the canal side to carry the pathway. Have 3-4 stories of residential above.

I really think the canal should be the focus for any re-development.

ajldub
Feb 3, 2008, 3:54 AM
'Sens parking jihad' is one of the best expressions I've ever heard...

Mister F
Feb 3, 2008, 4:08 AM
^Great ideas WRT the canal. Much better than the towers in the park proposed a few posts up. Lansdowne Park is such a waste right now. I'd love to see the canal have more Amsterdam style development around it. Probably not going to happen though, the NCC loves having those scenic country roads leading right up to downtown.

Well there weren't enough ticket-buying Glebites to keep the renegades around. Or the roughies for that matter.
You're making it sound like the market for football is limited to a 1 km radius around the park. By that logic there aren't enough fans in any given neighbourhood in Orleans either. The CFL would be a city-wide draw, only a small percentage of fans at any given game are from the local neighbourhood. For any city-wide draw a central location makes the most sense. It's close to the Queensway, local transit, and an easy walk from downtown.

My parents went to an event at the Rogers Centre (Skydome) in Toronto and it let out at the same time as a Leafs game a block away. The traffic at the event wasn't managed very well and the traffic jams were way worse than usual. My parents, being car-dependent exurbanites, were saying they should have built the stadium on the outskirts somewhere. I tried to convince them that that would have made things even worse - poor transit access, way more required parking, no integration with the neighbourhood, few opportunities for after-game nightlife....I don't think they quite understood.

ajldub
Feb 3, 2008, 1:03 PM
Does this mean that Ottawa can't support a CFL team then? Or were the Gliebermans really just that bad?

Jamaican-Phoenix
Feb 3, 2008, 6:44 PM
Does this mean that Ottawa can't support a CFL team then? Or were the Gliebermans really just that bad?


They were really just that bad...

d_jeffrey
Feb 3, 2008, 6:49 PM
With the constant immigration flux, would a pro soccer team fare better?

Deez
Feb 3, 2008, 8:50 PM
^Great ideas WRT the canal. Much better than the towers in the park proposed a few posts up. Lansdowne Park is such a waste right now. I'd love to see the canal have more Amsterdam style development around it. Probably not going to happen though, the NCC loves having those scenic country roads leading right up to downtown.


You're making it sound like the market for football is limited to a 1 km radius around the park. By that logic there aren't enough fans in any given neighbourhood in Orleans either. The CFL would be a city-wide draw, only a small percentage of fans at any given game are from the local neighbourhood. For any city-wide draw a central location makes the most sense. It's close to the Queensway, local transit, and an easy walk from downtown.

My parents went to an event at the Rogers Centre (Skydome) in Toronto and it let out at the same time as a Leafs game a block away. The traffic at the event wasn't managed very well and the traffic jams were way worse than usual. My parents, being car-dependent exurbanites, were saying they should have built the stadium on the outskirts somewhere. I tried to convince them that that would have made things even worse - poor transit access, way more required parking, no integration with the neighbourhood, few opportunities for after-game nightlife....I don't think they quite understood.

I would also love to see buildings right up along the canal, but as you say, the NCC would never let it happen.

WRT stadiums in the burbs, get your parents to go to a Sens game and see how they like the traffic coming out of Kanata. If anything, traffic is much worse with suburban stadiums because way more people drive and everybody is heading home in the same direction.

harls
Feb 4, 2008, 5:35 PM
Everytime I go to a Sens game, I take a shuttle bus from Local Heroes or Darcy McGee's in Bells Corners.. it's something like a buck and you don't have to worry about road-raging your way out of the parking lot.

Mille Sabords
Feb 4, 2008, 5:58 PM
Everytime I go to a Sens game, I take a shuttle bus from Local Heroes or Darcy McGee's in Bells Corners.. it's something like a buck and you don't have to worry about road-raging your way out of the parking lot.

:lmao: That's assuming you can road-rage. Kinda hard to do that sitting in traffic waiting for 10,000 cars to go through the same little intersection with the 15-year-old cops on traffic duty in -45 weather working their way up the ranks by practising their attitude ... :haha:

harls
Feb 4, 2008, 7:21 PM
Sometimes I have road rage episodes at my desk, just thinking about times I've been cut off.

I think I need to visit Curtis E. Bear (http://www.snpp.com/episodes/AABF10) one of these days. :D

bradnixon
Feb 4, 2008, 9:37 PM
I would also love to see buildings right up along the canal, but as you say, the NCC would never let it happen.

WRT stadiums in the burbs, get your parents to go to a Sens game and see how they like the traffic coming out of Kanata. If anything, traffic is much worse with suburban stadiums because way more people drive and everybody is heading home in the same direction.

There's a new chairman at the NCC now... they're on the project team, right?

You never know till you try...

Ottawade
Feb 4, 2008, 10:22 PM
Unless they take the bus! The 403 gets me back from the game faster than any car ever could.

waterloowarrior
Feb 7, 2008, 2:54 AM
http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/photos/greaterottawa/images/168450/original.aspx


from the Greater Ottawa blog...



A Lansdowne concept (http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/greaterottawa/archive/2008/02/06/a-lansdowne-concept.aspx)

Over the transom comes this drawing from John Leaning, a former chief architect for the NCC, among many other things, proposing a general plan for remaking Lansdowne Park.


Seems like a lot of playing fields to me — usable only at certain times of the year, unless they were all bubble-domed — and I wonder where the actual parking lots served by the shuttlebuses would be.
Your thoughts?
If you've got a sketch of your own, send it on over.

Jamaican-Phoenix
Feb 7, 2008, 2:58 AM
:previous: That plan for Lansdowne sucks. Period.

Too much grass and field and a loss of a stadium capable of hosting major world events...

clynnog
Feb 7, 2008, 12:59 PM
With the constant immigration flux, would a pro soccer team fare better?

I would love to see a pro soccer team here in Ottawa as that is my favourite sport. I realize that there are some folks on this board that would love the CFL to be back, but lets face facts (and demographics) here. If you go to any school yard or park in the summertime what sport are kids playing either in an ad hoc or organized manner...soccer. Baseball is no longer the draw it once was, football (non 'association') is too expensive and requires too much equipment to quickly get a game going. Both baseball and CFL have had their go in Ottawa and they didn't make a go of it. Things move on.

bradnixon
Feb 7, 2008, 1:34 PM
:previous: That plan for Lansdowne sucks. Period.

Too much grass and field and a loss of a stadium capable of hosting major world events...

Agreed.

Ottawade
Feb 7, 2008, 2:48 PM
The thing I do like about that plan is storefronts down bank. Otherwise...

Jamaican-Phoenix
Feb 7, 2008, 4:36 PM
The thing I do like about that plan is storefronts down bank. Otherwise...

The store fronts are a problem there for a couple reasons...

#1. Loud, busy, bus-littered Bank St. As you can see in the illustration, there is no real pedestrian action along that section.

#2. The sidewalk is too small and if you read what it says near the street, it says "shuttle buses to parking". Who seriously wants to walk beside a neverending conga line of shuttle buses and regular buses? Way to turn Bank St. into another Rideau St.

#3. This artist also seems to have forgotten a certain bridge that crosses over the canal. The stores would do very poorly if there had to be tucked away behind the rising bridge and parked next to the Queen Elizabeth Driveway.


For me, the only redeeming qualities of this plan are the wide open market, the gateway to the Promenade, and the promenades themselves. Everything else about this plan reminds me way too much of some sort of Disney Adventure Park, and I don't mean in a good way...

Mille Sabords
Feb 7, 2008, 8:34 PM
:previous: That plan for Lansdowne sucks. Period.

Too much grass and field and a loss of a stadium capable of hosting major world events...

I'm with you too dude. It's disturbing that a former high-ranking NCC official would use his stature to pull public opinion toward such a mickey-mouse, selfish, inward-oriented, rural backwater type of daydream, dangerously setting the stage for a false debate between green and urban.

This guy is staking out the "side of the angels" with an unrealistic scheme.

harls
Feb 7, 2008, 10:30 PM
"Should be a nice place to be?"

what is this, 1930?

m0nkyman
Feb 8, 2008, 1:08 AM
I'm guessing that the sketch is from the 1930's... 'cause it sure doesn't fit into the City of Ottawa of 2008.

'Course I'm hoping for a bunch of permanent rides including a ferris wheel and wooden roller coaster, and a farmers market/craft fair type development on the north side, so I'm not one to talk. ;)

bradnixon
Feb 8, 2008, 2:47 PM
The store fronts are a problem there for a couple reasons...

#1. Loud, busy, bus-littered Bank St. As you can see in the illustration, there is no real pedestrian action along that section.

#2. The sidewalk is too small and if you read what it says near the street, it says "shuttle buses to parking". Who seriously wants to walk beside a neverending conga line of shuttle buses and regular buses? Way to turn Bank St. into another Rideau St.

#3. This artist also seems to have forgotten a certain bridge that crosses over the canal. The stores would do very poorly if there had to be tucked away behind the rising bridge and parked next to the Queen Elizabeth Driveway.


For me, the only redeeming qualities of this plan are the wide open market, the gateway to the Promenade, and the promenades themselves. Everything else about this plan reminds me way too much of some sort of Disney Adventure Park, and I don't mean in a good way...

The worst part about it is the pond, which is completely useless. If you're going to create some sort of water feature, at least connect it with the canal, like one of the earlier plans did, so that you can boat right into the park in summer and skate in the winter.

There are ponds like that one in Orleans (Avalon)- they're for stormwater management. Do we really want to turn half of Lansdowne into a stormwater pond? Come on.

AuxTown
Mar 19, 2008, 3:52 PM
Just something I cooked up this morning for what phase 1 of the project could look like. It would be two lanes one-way counter-clockwise around the Aberdeen Pavillion, two oposing lanes of traffic on the smaller roads, and two lanes each direction entering from and leaving onto Bank Street.

http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/1592/lansdowneparkai3.jpg

The stadium would look something like BMO Field in TO except the stands will look a little more permanent and would integrate some form of retail into the side facing Bank Street. The parking structure doesn't have to look completely horrid and I think the one at the airport is a good example of this. The left over parcels of land could be developed in phases with all kinds of uses that have been mentioned in this thread previously.

http://michaelcollins.files.wordpress.com/2006/07/rendering.jpg

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/2852/airportparkingzp8.jpg

Aylmer
Mar 20, 2008, 1:22 AM
I wouldn't mind having the sens play in a new arena there...

Make Glebe the center of the universe (after Aylmer).

:)

FFX-ME
Mar 20, 2008, 1:28 AM
Sens just got a new arena

AuxTown
Mar 26, 2008, 2:21 PM
New Stadium Needed for CFL Kick Off
Josh Pringle
Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Frank Clair Stadium is the main opponent for a CFL franchise returning to Ottawa.

The Canadian Football League has awarded a conditional expansion franchise to the group headed by Ottawa 67's owner Jeff Hunt.

CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon told reporters in Ottawa the stadium is a "condition" to the return of football to the Capital.

Hunt says his group hopes to have some "meaningful discussions" with the City of Ottawa about the future of Frank Clair Stadium.

The lower-tier of the southside grandstand will be demolished this spring over structural concerns.

Hunt says there is no other place his group wants a football team to play than at Frank Clair Stadium.

Mayor Larry O'Brien is a supporter of the return of CFL Football, but insists the City of Ottawa will be prudent with city dollars.

O'Brien told reporters using taxpayers dollars to bring CFL football back is "not-on for me personally."

He adds he doesn't see a situation where the City of Ottawa would have to make an investment.


Please tell me that they're going to tear down that horrid structure and not just the lower stands on the South side. Those stands are a real eyesore for Ottawa and it would be great to see them demolished and replaced with something lower and less brutalist. Just give the Hunt team the contract for Lansdowne and I bet they will do something great with the site. They are all business men from Ottawa who understand the Glebe and it's neighbourhood dynamic as well as it's connection to the Rideau Canal. Having that competition is just a waste of money if we're going to lose any chance of having a CFL team in the process.

If people are serious about wanting a CFL team here in Ottawa we need to start lobying to our councillors to get things moving on the redevelopment of Lansdowne. Clive Doucet seems hell-bent on having a useless city-owned parking lot and dilapidated (and condemned) stadium instead of a privately owned Lansdowne with a new stadium, condos, grocery stores, townhouses, a hotel, etc. The city needs to get their priorities straight, either step up and do something with Lansdowne or step aside and let Jeff Hunt et al do so.

Aylmer
Mar 26, 2008, 4:22 PM
It would be cool it they had a two level stadium;
Sens Hockey arena on the bottom, an indoor football stadium on top!

:)

Acajack
Mar 26, 2008, 4:46 PM
The Frank Clair Stadium North Side (sucks!) stands/Civic Centre structure may not be pretty but it’s still in pretty good shape. So it wouldn’t make financial sense to tear down the whole thing.

And the Senators have invested too heavily in their arena in Kanata for them to ever consider moving to Lansdowne.

The Frank Clair Stadium playing field was actually replaced not too many years ago and a new scoreboard was installed I believe.

The south side stands are the real problem, in that they have been deemed unsafe and may have to be torn down and rebuilt. This is going to be what makes or breaks this new CFL foray since half of the football stadium’s seating capacity is in the south side stands.

A circular, bowl-type design would be cool, but it’s not really needed when your maximum number of spectators (25,000-30,000 in this case) can be seated between the goal lines, which is the optimal place to sit when watching Canadian football.

harls
Mar 26, 2008, 4:53 PM
The Frank Clair Stadium North Side (sucks!)

I got that one, Mister GeeGee. ;)

Acajack
Mar 26, 2008, 5:47 PM
Actually, I was on the other side during the Panda Games. One of the rare francophones on the “dark”, Ravens side. Actually, I was more of anglo at the time to be quite frank...

But you should remember that the “north side sucks” chant is from the Rough Riders/Renegades games.

The Panda chants were something like “What the f****’s a Gee Gee?” or “Na Na Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey-ey, F*** the Ravens”.

And the “pro-Canadian unity chant”, voiced by Carleton students: “Jacques, Jacques, suck my...” You get the picture...

Rathgrith
Mar 26, 2008, 6:04 PM
The U of O is trying to build their own stadium near the Rideau river so that they have full control over who plays when.

AuxTown
Mar 26, 2008, 8:31 PM
The U of O is trying to build their own stadium near the Rideau river so that they have full control over who plays when.

It would be great if they had their own stadium in Sandy Hill. They would get so many more fans out to soccer and football games than they do currently. It would really make U of O feel more like a real university.

Interesting survey results I read on the CFRA website tonight:

How should the city react to the CFL's condition that Frank Clair Stadium be redeveloped with a minimum of 25,000 seats?

The city must replace the south side stands it is tearing down and recover the "mortgage" costs through rent & parking revenue
12.5%

Fast track approval of a private development proposal including private lease or ownership rights for most of Lansdowne Park
28.8%

Don't rush into anything. It would be nice to have a team in 2010 - but don't put public fund or public access to Lansdowne at risk
55%

Other
3.52%

What is it exactly that the public is worried about losing access to at Lansdowne???? This really puzzles me. It's just a giant parking lot, some of it not even paved. It's not like we can wander around the stadium or arena anytime we want and the perimeter of the entire park if fenced in. People are retarded (in my opinion).

AuxTown
May 27, 2008, 4:08 PM
An update from the City today:

Results of public consultations
In preparation for a Design Competition, the Planning Branch undertook public consultation from January to March of this year. The findings from these sessions are now available online (http://ottawa.ca/residents/public_consult/lansdowne/consultations/index_en.html).

Project timeline
The timing of the competition has been delayed as the awarding of a Canadian Football League franchise to an Ottawa business consortium has raised a number of questions related to the future of Frank Clair Stadium and the Civic Centre. A status report will be presented to Planning and Environment Committee on July 8th that will provide options to move forward with the Design Lansdowne process and that will seek direction from Council on this project. At this time, therefore, no date has been set for bringing the Design Brief to Committee.


This survey (http://ottawa.ca/residents/public_consult/lansdowne/consultations/survey_report_en.html) specifically has some very interesting data

Acajack
May 28, 2008, 1:24 PM
Can’t find the article online but LeDroit was reporting this morning that one of the options being considered by the City of Ottawa was to relocate Frank Clair Stadium, preferably somewhere along the Transitway.

Maybe I've missed something, but that’s the first time I’ve heard that one…

Jamaican-Phoenix
May 28, 2008, 1:31 PM
Can’t find the article online but LeDroit was reporting this morning that one of the options being considered by the City of Ottawa was to relocate Frank Clair Stadium, preferably somewhere along the Transitway.

Maybe I've missed something, but that’s the first time I’ve heard that one…

They'd better not mean a part of the Transitway all the way out in the Burbs... :hell: :yuck:

AuxTown
May 28, 2008, 1:53 PM
Hopefully Bayview

eemy
May 28, 2008, 1:56 PM
Hopefully Bayview

That would be a fantastic location for a sporting complex. It's far more accessible and would fit well with the Lebreton Flats redevelopment as well as the resurgence of Mechanicsville and surrounding areas.

What would happen to Lansdowne Park though? To be honest, I'm loath to the typical suggestion of some sort of residential development.

the capital urbanite
May 28, 2008, 1:59 PM
scary...

Build a CFL stadium in Kanata

The Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'd like to propose a solution to several of City Council's current problems.

The solution is to move Frank Clair Stadium from Lansdowne Park to the City's Maple Grove Road municipal works property. Cut to the chase: Invite the Canadian Football League franchise owners to do a public-private partnership with the city on this property.

The stadium would thus be going from the 40-acre Lansdowne site to the 69-acre Maple Grove location. Build a new fleet services garage (if required to replace the existing facilities) in the basement of the new stadium. Use some of the Scotiabank Place parking lots for stadium events.

This would solve a number of the city's problems.

It would give focus to the light-rail debate -- running a rail line west to service Scotiabank Place and the stadium complex would become the priority (and not a tunnel).

It would allow the re-development of Lansdowne without a stadium, continuing the current design competition there. It would solve the conflict-of-interest situation over the Kanata West development by taking the city lands out of the mix. It would challenge the CFL group to demonstrate that public-private partnerships can indeed work to everyone's benefit.

And for synergy, possibly also move the Ottawa SuperEx to the Maple Grove location.

Of course, it would be three to four years before everything could be completed and built. But if the city and the CFL owners want to do things right, then start with a good concept and make it better. All this solution needs is a champion or two on council.

Anyone there looking for a legacy project?

L.E. Mitchell,

Ottawa

Acajack
May 28, 2008, 2:11 PM
How much land does Mr. Mitchell own near Maple Grove Road?

Jamaican-Phoenix
May 28, 2008, 2:22 PM
That's a terrible idea!

We've already seen the problems about getting people out to Scotiabank Place and the fact that nearly everyone agrees that it sucks that it's not more urban like in other cities, which would allow for the after-game celebrations and partying to continue...

Building it at Bayview would be ideal, but I have a hunch that Council will never be smart enough or brave enough to suggest such a thing... :rolleyes:

c_speed3108
May 28, 2008, 4:05 PM
Can’t find the article online but LeDroit was reporting this morning that one of the options being considered by the City of Ottawa was to relocate Frank Clair Stadium, preferably somewhere along the Transitway.

Maybe I've missed something, but that’s the first time I’ve heard that one…

Two come to mind:
Bayview (as already mentioned)
Hurdman

Jamaican-Phoenix
May 28, 2008, 4:40 PM
I'd hardly call Hurdman an Urban area, but it's definately better than Kanata or Orleans or Borehaven...

kingcobra
May 29, 2008, 12:16 PM
scary...

Build a CFL stadium in Kanata

The Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'd like to propose a solution to several of City Council's current problems.

The solution is to move Frank Clair Stadium from Lansdowne Park to the City's Maple Grove Road municipal works property. Cut to the chase: Invite the Canadian Football League franchise owners to do a public-private partnership with the city on this property.

The stadium would thus be going from the 40-acre Lansdowne site to the 69-acre Maple Grove location. Build a new fleet services garage (if required to replace the existing facilities) in the basement of the new stadium. Use some of the Scotiabank Place parking lots for stadium events.

This would solve a number of the city's problems.

It would give focus to the light-rail debate -- running a rail line west to service Scotiabank Place and the stadium complex would become the priority (and not a tunnel).

It would allow the re-development of Lansdowne without a stadium, continuing the current design competition there. It would solve the conflict-of-interest situation over the Kanata West development by taking the city lands out of the mix. It would challenge the CFL group to demonstrate that public-private partnerships can indeed work to everyone's benefit.

And for synergy, possibly also move the Ottawa SuperEx to the Maple Grove location.

Of course, it would be three to four years before everything could be completed and built. But if the city and the CFL owners want to do things right, then start with a good concept and make it better. All this solution needs is a champion or two on council.

Anyone there looking for a legacy project?

L.E. Mitchell,

Ottawa

Kanata? No friggin' way!

Lansdowne Park is still the perfect place for CFL. I really like the location since I used to be one of the Renegades season ticket holders for first two seasons.

Luker
Jun 19, 2008, 3:09 PM
Wow thats FN stupid ^
on a side note.

Melnyk eyeing MLS soccer team for Ottawa: report
Hugh Adami, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Thursday, June 19, 2008
OTTAWA - Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has met with Major League Soccer to discuss the possibility of acquiring a franchise for Canada's capital, accordiing to Gol TV, a soccer-specialty channel.

The report says Melnyk met with MLS president last Thursday to talk about the proposal. An Ottawa MLS club would not be able to begin play until 2010 because Toronto FC has a three-year deal with the league, giving it exclusive rights of operating in Canada.

Coincidentally, the CFL has awarded a conditional franchise to a group of Ottawa businessmen who are hoping to have a football team back in Ottawa in 2010 and playing out of a revamped Frank Clair Stadium.


I feel a mega complex devloping at Lansdowne, New street life, New arena for hunt, new stadium for him and the boys, and a new soccer stadium for melynk, if building all at once and in one project it should be really feasible, hell throw some twin towers on top of it like there doing at the ACC right now.

Can you say LRT?

Acajack
Jun 19, 2008, 3:29 PM
As much as I would love to see this happen, Ottawa isn't going to get into the MLS anytime soon. In the short term, MLS is only going to expand by a few more teams (perhaps 2) and then that will be it for some years. Montreal and Vancouver have the inside track as far as Canadian cities go. Though it's not sure both of them - or even one of them - will even get a team. Don't forget MLS is an American league, and U.S. cities generally come first. Also, Montreal and Vancouver have proven track records of supporting soccer one level below the MLS's, with the Whitecaps and L'Impact. Montreal also has a brand-new, easily expanded soccer stadium and Vancouver is moving towards this as well.

Ottawa supported the U20 World Cup very well last year, it is true, but Montreal's numbers for this event were even more impressive. Games in Vancouver sold out as well, but they were played in a tiny stadium (even compared to Frank Clair).

On the club side, Ottawa's history of support has not exactly been illustrious, with the defunct National Capital Pioneers and Ottawa Intrepid and currently active fourth-tier Ottawa Fury.

For the moment, Ottawa should concentrate on getting the CFL back into a refurbished Frank Clair Stadium (which is true would be a good fit for MLS), then perhaps fill in one of the spots left vacant in the tier-two United Soccer League by a city like Montreal that will likely move to MLS. And then, in the medium to longer term, work on getting into MLS if and when the league takes off and is ready for another phase of expansion.

Luker
Jun 19, 2008, 3:49 PM
mm or we give the fans of this city a proper stadium, with all the features and amenities that othere stadiums and complexs have, link it to the LRT so theirs no traffic, because currently a one lane bank st. is ill equipped for the stadium being their in the first place, and finally ad some retail/commercial/condos in their to sprucen up bank, its about time... I was never really fond with the glebe and bank so much could be done it has very little life, especially at night and outside of 3-7oclock at all. Im sure the incentives would be enough to get people out.

Edit:
P.S
I do agree with you jack, its just I would rather speed up the process, I know MLS is farfetched in ottawa, I dont even like anything but national soccer teams, but still I would like to see the re development of Lansdowne and Bank!

Mille Sabords
Jun 19, 2008, 3:55 PM
As much as Acajack's points are valid, Melnyk is a credible franchise owner and if he sees a business case for an MLS team in Ottawa then I, for one, am elated. By the way, I still have jerseys of the NatCap Pioneers (played at Aydelu Stadium in Aylmer) and of the Interpid (a nice jersey actually and good logo too).

I know Montreal with the Saputo Stadium is probably first in line, and in Vancouver Steve Nash is leading the charge for the MLS but I would place Vancouver and Ottawa on an equal footing when it comes to getting the third Canadian franchise. Vancouver and Ottawa need a soccer stadium, but Ottawa is closer to Toronto and Montreal so the rivalry and travel costs would be to our advantage.

AuxTown
Jun 19, 2008, 4:13 PM
I used to go with my dad and brothers to watch the Intrepid as a kid. Why couldn't the CFL team and a soccer team use the same field? Are none of the American teams doing this at present? Whether it is a MLS or USL team, I think they would be a significant fan draw and would be great for the city. To be honest, I think getting Lansdowne going again should be one of the top 2 or 3 development priorities in this city along with rapid transit (obviously) and Lebreton Flats....seeing that vacant stadium and massive plot of (basically) unused land is really depressing.

Mille Sabords
Jun 19, 2008, 5:39 PM
I used to go with my dad and brothers to watch the Intrepid as a kid. Why couldn't the CFL team and a soccer team use the same field? Are none of the American teams doing this at present? Whether it is a MLS or USL team, I think they would be a significant fan draw and would be great for the city. To be honest, I think getting Lansdowne going again should be one of the top 2 or 3 development priorities in this city along with rapid transit (obviously) and Lebreton Flats....seeing that vacant stadium and massive plot of (basically) unused land is really depressing.

We were probably not too far apart on the stands watching those games. MLS seems to like facilities in the 20,000 - 30,000 seat range which is also the tailor-made ideal CFL park. You're absolutely right. An MLS team would add one more reason to refurbish frank Clair and keep the stadium where it is.

Luker
Jun 19, 2008, 5:41 PM
knowing how Ottawa works would you guys say a completly new stadium redevlopment over a refurbish is a complete pimpdream or just a dream:P

clynnog
Jun 19, 2008, 6:37 PM
As much as Acajack's points are valid, Melnyk is a credible franchise owner and if he sees a business case for an MLS team in Ottawa then I, for one, am elated.

An MLS franchise in Ottawa would be great but do people honestly think that the general malaise that most rabid footie followers here in Ottawa have towards the MLS could be overcome.

I follow the game with a passion and MUFC are my favourite team (born just outside M/CR), and to be honest I can rattle off about 5 MLS players (the corporation known as Beckham, Xavier, Paul Dickov, and a couple of US internationals). With Euro 2008 on now, and the chance for Corsa Italia to be full of part time jump on the bandwagon Azzurri fans we can see the passion that footie has on people. However, most of the adult footie fans follow the games on TV and the internet from their original place of birth (or that of their parents). I'm guilty of it myself and I think it is a big hurdle to overcome in Ottawa. The hard core fans need to be shown that an Ottawa MLS franchise is not just a team of mercenary players on their last legs doing an endless farewell tour (a la Rolling Stones/Beach Boys/Who...insert name of rock band that are on their last legs).

Acajack
Jun 19, 2008, 6:55 PM
I see your point Clynnog but this is also true of anywhere else in North America. I don’t think anyone in New York, Columbus or Salt Lake City is under the illusion that the MLS is anywhere close to the English Premier League, or even the Dutch or French first divisions for that matter.

The U20 World Cup sold out almost all of its games at Frank Clair last summer, and that wasn’t top-calibre either. Just decent calibre - and that was good enough to get the fans out.

This may not have been the case until very recently but at the moment there is a huge untapped market in many areas of North America (including this one) for soccer as a medium to top-level (for North American soccer) spectator sport.

Now getting Ottawa into MLS is a whole other story, but strangely enough whether or not that happens one day or not is not really related to the level of support that a hypothetical team would have.

Luker
Jun 19, 2008, 7:11 PM
You would figure with the canadian demographics of worldcitizens that almost any city would be able to support a team. But youd also figure with the demographics of ottawa and all the long time north americans we would like baseball? but we didnt... even at triple A... Although i still have a inner suspicion that the soccer would do much better?

Mille Sabords
Jun 19, 2008, 7:30 PM
I follow the game with a passion and MUFC are my favourite team (born just outside M/CR), and to be honest I can rattle off about 5 MLS players (the corporation known as Beckham, Xavier, Paul Dickov, and a couple of US internationals). With Euro 2008 on now, and the chance for Corsa Italia to be full of part time jump on the bandwagon Azzurri fans we can see the passion that footie has on people. However, most of the adult footie fans follow the games on TV and the internet from their original place of birth (or that of their parents). I'm guilty of it myself and I think it is a big hurdle to overcome in Ottawa. The hard core fans need to be shown that an Ottawa MLS franchise is not just a team of mercenary players on their last legs doing an endless farewell tour (a la Rolling Stones/Beach Boys/Who...insert name of rock band that are on their last legs).

:haha:
Very good question. I also follow the game and Euro has all my attention even though my parents' homeland is Argentina. I started vaguely paying attention to MLS when Toronto got their team and when Beckham went to the Galaxy. BUT - if I had to venture a rationale for a business case in support of an Ottawa entry, it would be this: I love going to a game. I will always follow Argentina, the Copa America, the Euro and of course the World Cup.

In my day-to-day summer life, I can't watch most of the Euro games because I'm at work, same for the World Cup when it's in Europe, BUT having a hometown team to go watch would be awesome for me to go with my son. I'd get us season tickets in a heartbeat. I'll always take an afternoon off if it's Argentina playing in the World Cup, but I will spend 15 summer evenings at a stadium with my son cheering the Ottawas. One doesn't exclude the other.

Acajack
Jun 19, 2008, 7:31 PM
Good point about baseball, although its decline is not limited to Ottawa. Of course, the Expos left Montreal, but Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton in addition to Ottawa have all lost Triple-A clubs in recent years. Except for Toronto, baseball is really on the decline in Canada. For some reason, the Canadian-born population has largely tuned out baseball.

As well, new Canadians (except for those from a handful of Latin American countries) aren’t into baseball, and prefer soccer big time.

With the Internet and satellite TV, soccer today benefits from a well-oiled international marketing machine that is producing results even in non-traditional markets like Canada. When your 13-year-old old stock francophone neighbour in hockey-mad Gatineau starts spontaneously chatting with you about the Chelsea-Manchester United Champions League final just as the Stanley Cup finals were taking place with Sidney Crosby and company, you know that something’s changing out there.

clynnog
Jun 19, 2008, 7:51 PM
:haha:
In my day-to-day summer life, I can't watch most of the Euro games because I'm at work, same for the World Cup when it's in Europe,

I've heard that a number of people have been taking extended lunches/coffee breaks in the cafeteria of a certain local level government building at either 12h00 or 14h45 and that there was quite a crowd there when Man U played Chelsea in the Champions League final.

clynnog
Jun 19, 2008, 7:53 PM
Except for Toronto, baseball is really on the decline in Canada. For some reason, the Canadian-born population has largely tuned out baseball.


It could have something to do with the fact that there are 162 games in a season and in my eyes it is excruciatingly dull (a la cricket). My kids don't play it and they have no interest in it. For them it is soccer, followed by hockey to watch on TV or play. Basketball is ahead of baseball.

Acajack
Jun 19, 2008, 8:35 PM
It could have something to do with the fact that there are 162 games in a season and in my eyes it is excruciatingly dull (a la cricket). My kids don't play it and they have no interest in it. For them it is soccer, followed by hockey to watch on TV or play. Basketball is ahead of baseball.

Yes, but cricket is still very popular in the UK, Australia, etc., just as baseball remains very popular in the U.S. Canada used to be a very important secondary market for Major League Baseball, and it was in fact pretty much the second most popular sport after hockey (in Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada at least) during the 70s and 80s when I was growing up.

But it’s been ages since I’ve seen a kid in a schoolyard wearing a baseball jersey. In my local sports jersey universe, hockey is the uncontested king. Followed by a smattering of NFL, CFL (always the Alouettes) and European soccer jerseys (Man U, Barcelona, Real Madrid, etc.), and even the occasional NBA jersey. But no baseball.

eemy
Jun 19, 2008, 9:43 PM
I'm under no illusions that Ottawa is first in line for an MLS team, but a motivated owner can make a huge difference - looks at what happened when Ottawa got the Senators, and that was with a pretty unstable ownership situation compared to Melnyk.

AuxTown
Jun 19, 2008, 11:56 PM
First thing, Baseball sucks. I love to play it, but I don't have any inclination to go watch a game and I think that holds true for many Canadians.

As far as fan support, one thing that soccer has that baseball doesn't is a massive pool of amateur soccer players at all ages and levels. I'm sure with the right organization (and reasonable ticket prices) we could fill 15-20% of the stadium every weekend with players from the OCSL, NCISL, and all the various club teams around town (Royals, United, St. Anthony's, Fury....). What about a USL team? I think it's obvious that we'd have to start there just like Montreal and Vancouver are doing. Do you guys think we'd get the support? I know I would be there a few times a summer and would probably buy a jersey.

Bucolic Urbanity
Jun 20, 2008, 12:38 PM
Yes, but cricket is still very popular in the UK, Australia, etc., just as baseball remains very popular in the U.S.

But it’s been ages since I’ve seen a kid in a schoolyard wearing a baseball jersey.

Cricket is probably in 3rd place in terms of interest after footie and rugby. It may be even lower if you include the fascination with Big Brother as a sport.

A few years ago, a new school was being proposed in my n'hood. The local community association rep. was wondering outloud at a meeting to talk about school facilities why there wasn't a baseball diamond being proposed at the adjacent park. Many of the other parents (most born outside of Canada) informed him that there kids didn't play the game and weren't interested in it. I think the baseball strike turned off people a lot.

If you were to go to an adult soccer game versus an adult baseball/softball game in Ottawa the participants at the soccer game would be much more diverse in terms of place of origin versus the baseball game. Baseball in reality is a North American born and bred game and soccer is the world's game.

Mille Sabords
Jun 20, 2008, 1:55 PM
In this morning's Citizen. If they open a season-ticket reservation waiting list I'm signing up!!
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Melnyk to take kick at MLS
Hugh Adami
The Ottawa Citizen
Friday, June 20, 2008

If the city wants another reason for a major overhaul of Frank Clair Stadium besides a new CFL team, how about a Major League Soccer franchise owned by Eugene Melnyk?

The owner of the Ottawa Senators is exploring the possibility of acquiring an MLS club. But he is in a long queue that includes some U.S. cities on top of Montreal and Vancouver. Montreal already has a new stadium and one is in the works in Vancouver -- both having the primary purpose of luring the MLS, the highest level of professional soccer in North America.

Toronto FC, in its second season, is the only Canadian franchise in the league.

The CFL has awarded a group of Ottawa businessmen -- Roger Greenberg, Bill Shenkman, John Ruddy and Ottawa 67's owner Jeff Hunt -- a conditional franchise that could begin play in 2010 if a revamped stadium is ready.

Meanwhile, Melnyk, who met with MLS president Mark Abbott last week in Toronto, is eyeing 2010 as the inaugural season for an MLS team here. That scenario may be too ambitious, though, as the 14-team league expects to grow to 18 by 2012, and has already awarded franchises to Seattle for 2009 and Philadelphia for 2010.

MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche would not say where Ottawa stands in its chances of landing a franchise or even if the city is on the league's radar.

However, Courtemanche said the league is constantly reviewing expansion plans in North America. MLS has the help of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns Toronto FC, the NHL's Maple Leafs and the NBA's Raptors, in identifying possible expansion cities, as well as sponsorship strategies in Canada. Expansion will be on the agenda next month when league and various team executives will be in Toronto for the MLS All-Star Game.

"Right now, we're fortunate there's more interest in expansion in Major League Soccer than in any other point of our 13-season history," said Courtemanche, noting that Canadian NBA star Steve Nash has expressed interest in being an owner, too.

Not being able to secure a team for 2010 would probably be a good thing for Melnyk, who couldn't be reached for comment yesterday.

With a design competition for the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park still months away, it certainly doesn't look as if the stadium would be ready by 2010, anyway. (There's also the possibility that the city may decide it doesn't want a stadium in a new Lansdowne Park, even though that is highly unlikely as it is seen as the centerpiece to the redevelopment.)

Melnyk's interest in bringing MLS to Ottawa may have more to do with a revamped or new Frank Clair Stadium -- some say it should be razed and rebuilt because it's a dump -- in order to expand his entertainment empire beyond Scotiabank Place.

In 2005, there were strong rumours that Melnyk was prepared to step in to save the Renegades, Ottawa's most recent CFL team, if the city was willing to turn over management of some key components of the park, such as the stadium and the Civic Centre, to his company, Capital Tickets.

Capital would have had control over event bookings and revenue from ticket sales, concessions and parking, and presumably used some of that money to offset any losses by the football club. The city balked and the following spring the Renegades were dead.

For now, it appears the city will not allow private enterprise to take over control of a redeveloped Lansdowne Park as was initially suggested by Hunt's group. However, Melnyk, if he is granted a MLS franchise, would likely want that arrangement for at least the stadium and Civic Centre, as he did three years ago. Under that system, the new CFL team's lease would presumably be with Capital, which would also control ticket sales for the team.

Is Melnyk's desire to bring the MLS to sports-fickle Ottawa pie-in-the-sky? Soccer enthusiasts point to Toronto FC and how quickly fans embraced the club and the constant sellout games. They also note that last year's under-20 FIFA world tournament, held in six Canadian cities, including Ottawa, was a huge success. Ottawa came close to a sellout for its five FIFA games held at the 26,500-seat Frank Clair Stadium.

Still, the FIFA tournament was a rare event, so there was probably a higher level of interest. And, in measuring the success of Toronto FC, one would have to take into account the huge population base the club draws from in southern Ontario's Golden Horseshoe, and how ethnically diverse the city is, which is a key to selling soccer in North America.

John Pugh, president and chief executive of the Ottawa Fury, thinks an MLS team has a far greater chance of surviving in Ottawa -- given the growing interest in the game and the success of last year's FIFA tournament -- than actually landing here any time soon.

"Would I love to see it? Yes," said Pugh. "Would I love to see a higher level of soccer than we now have in the city? Absolutely yes. But in the short term, the competition for franchises would make it difficult (for Ottawa to acquire one.)

MLS teams currently play a 30-game regular season -- 15 at home and 15 on the road. CFL teams play 18 -- nine at home and nine away. Though the Renegades had problems drawing big crowds despite only nine home games over four months, CFL supporters contend that a big selling point for Ottawa's next team would be a "world-class stadium."

The city plans to demolish the lower section of the stadium's southside stands in July. The section was condemned last fall. The city is also conducting engineering tests on the northside stands in order to outline what work is necessary for firms entering the Lansdowne Park design competition. Richard Haycock, Lansdowne's general manager, said the tests have so far not found any serious problems.

However, there is a growing feeling among some sports promoters that the city should simply do the job properly by tearing down what's there now, including the Civic Centre, and rebuilding from scratch.

One estimate puts renovation costs at $60 million -- as long as the city finds no other problems with the structure.

Acajack
Jun 20, 2008, 1:59 PM
I think the baseball strike turned off people a lot.


Certainly, the 1994 baseball labour disruption did tremendous damage to the sport in the area I know best: Eastern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. This is the area where the Expos were the most popular or one of the most popular teams. The general feeling was that things were fixed and the season was cancelled because the big bosses of baseball didn’t want to see the Expos win the World Series. Now, I don’t think there’s any truth at all to this, but perception is reality…

So this was pretty much the death-knell for baseball as a mainstream sport in this part of the world, given that in most people’s eyes it was “imported” to begin with, and wasn’t part of the people’s DNA like hockey is. Americans will always forgive baseball for its many scandals and problems, and have returned to ballparks in droves in recent years. The sport is actually very healthy stateside.

I guess what happened to baseball here is similar to the damage inflicted by the NHL lockout on hockey in many areas of the U.S., as opposed to the huge interest in Canada where the fans came back immediately and have stayed with the sport.

Baseball has also totally missed the boat on the international marketing side, certainly when compared to soccer. Baseball has never been able to branch out from its base in the U.S. and offshoots in Japan and a handful of places in Latin America like Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. As we have said, it is actually regressing alarmingly fast in the vital next-door market like Canada where it had made pretty good progress throughout much of the 20th century.

Acajack
Jun 20, 2008, 2:08 PM
In this morning's Citizen. If they open a season-ticket reservation waiting list I'm signing up!!
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Melnyk to take kick at MLS
Hugh Adami
The Ottawa Citizen
Friday, June 20, 2008

If the city wants another reason for a major overhaul of Frank Clair Stadium besides a new CFL team, how about a Major League Soccer franchise owned by Eugene Melnyk?

The owner of the Ottawa Senators is exploring the possibility of acquiring an MLS club. But he is in a long queue that includes some U.S. cities on top of Montreal and Vancouver. Montreal already has a new stadium and one is in the works in Vancouver -- both having the primary purpose of luring the MLS, the highest level of professional soccer in North America.

Toronto FC, in its second season, is the only Canadian franchise in the league.

The CFL has awarded a group of Ottawa businessmen -- Roger Greenberg, Bill Shenkman, John Ruddy and Ottawa 67's owner Jeff Hunt -- a conditional franchise that could begin play in 2010 if a revamped stadium is ready.

Meanwhile, Melnyk, who met with MLS president Mark Abbott last week in Toronto, is eyeing 2010 as the inaugural season for an MLS team here. That scenario may be too ambitious, though, as the 14-team league expects to grow to 18 by 2012, and has already awarded franchises to Seattle for 2009 and Philadelphia for 2010.

MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche would not say where Ottawa stands in its chances of landing a franchise or even if the city is on the league's radar.

However, Courtemanche said the league is constantly reviewing expansion plans in North America. MLS has the help of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns Toronto FC, the NHL's Maple Leafs and the NBA's Raptors, in identifying possible expansion cities, as well as sponsorship strategies in Canada. Expansion will be on the agenda next month when league and various team executives will be in Toronto for the MLS All-Star Game.

"Right now, we're fortunate there's more interest in expansion in Major League Soccer than in any other point of our 13-season history," said Courtemanche, noting that Canadian NBA star Steve Nash has expressed interest in being an owner, too.

Not being able to secure a team for 2010 would probably be a good thing for Melnyk, who couldn't be reached for comment yesterday.

With a design competition for the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park still months away, it certainly doesn't look as if the stadium would be ready by 2010, anyway. (There's also the possibility that the city may decide it doesn't want a stadium in a new Lansdowne Park, even though that is highly unlikely as it is seen as the centerpiece to the redevelopment.)

Melnyk's interest in bringing MLS to Ottawa may have more to do with a revamped or new Frank Clair Stadium -- some say it should be razed and rebuilt because it's a dump -- in order to expand his entertainment empire beyond Scotiabank Place.

In 2005, there were strong rumours that Melnyk was prepared to step in to save the Renegades, Ottawa's most recent CFL team, if the city was willing to turn over management of some key components of the park, such as the stadium and the Civic Centre, to his company, Capital Tickets.

Capital would have had control over event bookings and revenue from ticket sales, concessions and parking, and presumably used some of that money to offset any losses by the football club. The city balked and the following spring the Renegades were dead.

For now, it appears the city will not allow private enterprise to take over control of a redeveloped Lansdowne Park as was initially suggested by Hunt's group. However, Melnyk, if he is granted a MLS franchise, would likely want that arrangement for at least the stadium and Civic Centre, as he did three years ago. Under that system, the new CFL team's lease would presumably be with Capital, which would also control ticket sales for the team.

Is Melnyk's desire to bring the MLS to sports-fickle Ottawa pie-in-the-sky? Soccer enthusiasts point to Toronto FC and how quickly fans embraced the club and the constant sellout games. They also note that last year's under-20 FIFA world tournament, held in six Canadian cities, including Ottawa, was a huge success. Ottawa came close to a sellout for its five FIFA games held at the 26,500-seat Frank Clair Stadium.

Still, the FIFA tournament was a rare event, so there was probably a higher level of interest. And, in measuring the success of Toronto FC, one would have to take into account the huge population base the club draws from in southern Ontario's Golden Horseshoe, and how ethnically diverse the city is, which is a key to selling soccer in North America.

John Pugh, president and chief executive of the Ottawa Fury, thinks an MLS team has a far greater chance of surviving in Ottawa -- given the growing interest in the game and the success of last year's FIFA tournament -- than actually landing here any time soon.

"Would I love to see it? Yes," said Pugh. "Would I love to see a higher level of soccer than we now have in the city? Absolutely yes. But in the short term, the competition for franchises would make it difficult (for Ottawa to acquire one.)

MLS teams currently play a 30-game regular season -- 15 at home and 15 on the road. CFL teams play 18 -- nine at home and nine away. Though the Renegades had problems drawing big crowds despite only nine home games over four months, CFL supporters contend that a big selling point for Ottawa's next team would be a "world-class stadium."

The city plans to demolish the lower section of the stadium's southside stands in July. The section was condemned last fall. The city is also conducting engineering tests on the northside stands in order to outline what work is necessary for firms entering the Lansdowne Park design competition. Richard Haycock, Lansdowne's general manager, said the tests have so far not found any serious problems.

However, there is a growing feeling among some sports promoters that the city should simply do the job properly by tearing down what's there now, including the Civic Centre, and rebuilding from scratch.

One estimate puts renovation costs at $60 million -- as long as the city finds no other problems with the structure.

A couple of points regarding this article:

- The CFL 2010 deadline is coming up fast! Not sure how firm it is and how easy it would be to push it back a year or two. Probably not that big a deal, come to think of it.

- Not sure where he gets the idea that the Renegades had trouble drawing crowds. Renegades attendance was actually pretty good, considering how bad the teams were and the CFL averages across the league for that period.

- It's unlikely the Civic Centre/north side stands structure will be torn down in the near future. It is still in pretty good shape, completely functional, and relatively well-used. People may not find it pretty, but prettiness is not what it's all about when you're talking mega-millions of dollars. More likely is that the entire south side stands structure will be torn down and replaced by something new of a similar size to what was there before.

Mille Sabords
Jun 20, 2008, 2:39 PM
A couple of points regarding this article:

- The CFL 2010 deadline is coming up fast! Not sure how firm it is and how easy it would be to push it back a year or two. Probably not that big a deal, come to think of it.

- Not sure where he gets the idea that the Renegades had trouble drawing crowds. Renegades attendance was actually pretty good, considering how bad the teams were and the CFL averages across the league for that period.

- It's unlikely the Civic Centre/north side stands structure will be torn down in the near future. It is still in pretty good shape, completely functional, and relatively well-used. People may not find it pretty, but prettiness is not what it's all about when you're talking mega-millions of dollars. More likely is that the entire south side stands structure will be torn down and replaced by something new of a similar size to what was there before.

And another point regarding this article: finally someone is saying it in plain language but the idea of having a stadium anywhere else than Lansdowne is ridiculous. Cost-wise and in every other way except to please the cranky Glebites with an axe to grind against people having a good time.

Acajack
Jun 20, 2008, 2:48 PM
And another point regarding this article: finally someone is saying it in plain language but the idea of having a stadium anywhere else than Lansdowne is ridiculous. Cost-wise and in every other way except to please the cranky Glebites with an axe to grind against people having a good time.

Yes, it would be ridiculous to move it anywhere else.

As for the Glebeites, well unless they moved in between 1888 and 1908, they can't really complain. Lansdowne Park has been used for large public gatherings (exhibitions, fairs, sporting events) for close to 120 years!

Mister F
Jun 20, 2008, 3:26 PM
Don't forget MLS is an American league, and U.S. cities generally come first.
From what I've heard it was formed specifically to give the US a pro soccer league. Canada is just piggybacking, just like the NHL, NBA, etc. If there's enough support for a top tier soccer team in cities like Ottawa, and Vancouver and Montreal are trying to get into MLS, maybe it's time to think about a Canadian league. It was tried before and didn't work, but the game's a lot more popular now than 20 years ago. The Canadian Championship (the Canadian MLS and USL teams) seems to be getting more imporant, so I could see that evolving into something more substantial. A Canadian league wouldn't have to be isolated from the US, it could even be a Canadian division whose teams regularly play American teams. I think if MLS and USL got together and formed a promotion and relegation system like every other league has it would really progress things. In the meantime Eugene Melnyk should focus on getting a team in the USL.

As for baseball, it's doing okay in Toronto but it still takes a backseat to other sports. Toronto FC are the big deal now in the summer. Even the Argos outdraw the Jays.

Acajack
Jun 20, 2008, 3:39 PM
From what I've heard it was formed specifically to give the US a pro soccer league.

It was a condition imposed by FIFA in exchange for allowing the U.S. to host the 1994 World Cup. Work began on creating MLS in 1993, but actual play didn't begin until 1996.

Cre47
Jun 20, 2008, 5:24 PM
That would probably draw some interest, probably especially when the LA Galaxy will be in town (if that happens), although not sure if David Beckham would still be playing by then with the club in 2010 or 2012.

Mille Sabords
Jun 21, 2008, 1:30 AM
From what I've heard it was formed specifically to give the US a pro soccer league. Canada is just piggybacking, just like the NHL, NBA, etc.

I have to correct you here. The NHL was a Canadian league at birth (1917). It added its first US expansion team in 1925. Its headquarters were in Montreal until not too long ago. The Stanley Cup was created in Ottawa.

Mister F
Jun 21, 2008, 2:51 AM
Be that as it may, it's an American league now and it puts American interests first.

Rico Rommheim
Jun 21, 2008, 5:43 AM
Be that as it may, it's an American league now and it puts American interests first.

Canada piggybacking on the NHL? Are you kidding me? Canada is carrying the NHL, it was created here and its HQ'd in TO as well as NY), the hall of fame is here and 50% of NHL players are canadian. 1/3 of revenue comes from the 6 teams and the overwhelimg majority of tv viewership is centred in canada. Really...:shrug:

Mille Sabords
Jun 21, 2008, 10:55 PM
Canada piggybacking on the NHL? Are you kidding me? Canada is carrying the NHL, it was created here and its HQ'd in TO as well as NY), the hall of fame is here and 50% of NHL players are canadian. 1/3 of revenue comes from the 6 teams and the overwhelimg majority of tv viewership is centred in canada. Really...:shrug:

Thanks Rico - couldn't have said it better. :tup:

Mister F
Jun 22, 2008, 7:24 PM
Tell that to Gary Bettman. The focus is on the United States and it has been for decades. Every decision is made to further the game in the United States, and Canada is an afterthought. It's shown in everything from tv contracts to expansion to new rules.

It could be argued that Canada is getting more influence in the league again, but if that's the trend (a big if) the league is being dragged in that direction kicking and screaming.

AuxTown
Jun 22, 2008, 8:09 PM
With the economy in the US right now and the general lack of interest for hockey in 80% of the markets, I forsee a major shift back to Canada in the next few years, including at least one more team here (i.e. Winnipeg, Quebec, Hamilton, KW).

KitchenerBitcher
Jun 23, 2008, 2:57 AM
KW, KW, yes we'll take one please!!!!!!!

Acajack
Jun 23, 2008, 2:50 PM
Tell that to Gary Bettman. The focus is on the United States and it has been for decades. Every decision is made to further the game in the United States, and Canada is an afterthought. It's shown in everything from tv contracts to expansion to new rules.

It could be argued that Canada is getting more influence in the league again, but if that's the trend (a big if) the league is being dragged in that direction kicking and screaming.

What Mister F said. Although Rico's point are all valid, no one seems to paying attention at NHL head office. Just look at the consideration CBC gets for TV-friendly game scheduling compared to U.S. networks. It's outrageous when one considers how much of a "cash cow" the NHL's contract with CBC is, at least compared to the U.S. deals which are often close to being giveaways of broadcast rights.

Radster
Jun 23, 2008, 6:02 PM
USL team or MLS team in Ottawa, doesn't matter to me, I will be the 1st in line to get season tickets, a jersey and to form a travelling fan club!

The new MLS stadiums being built stateside have capacities of 15,000 to 30,000 people. Demolishing the south stands of Frank Clair Stadium, replacing them by something that is less of an eyesore and actually nice to look at should not be too costly, look at how little it cost to build the Saputo Stadium in MTL. Plus, the new stands don't have to be as HUGE as the current South stand. The North stands / CIVIC centre could certainly be refurbished to look newer and less depressing for a small cost.

What is the capacity of the North Stands? 12,000? If so, then the East, South and West stands would not have to be as massive, perhaps 8,000 for the South and another 5,000 shared between the East and West so as to have a total capacity of 25,000. Filling in the East and West sides with stands so that we can actually have a full oval stadium should be a no brainer, then we can actually do the wave during matches, plus the overall atmosphere during events would be more exciting and loud!

I can't wait to see the new proposals and ideas.

c_speed3108
Jun 23, 2008, 6:35 PM
USL team or MLS team in Ottawa, doesn't matter to me, I will be the 1st in line to get season tickets, a jersey and to form a travelling fan club!

The new MLS stadiums being built stateside have capacities of 15,000 to 30,000 people. Demolishing the south stands of Frank Clair Stadium, replacing them by something that is less of an eyesore and actually nice to look at should not be too costly, look at how little it cost to build the Saputo Stadium in MTL. Plus, the new stands don't have to be as HUGE as the current South stand. The North stands / CIVIC centre could certainly be refurbished to look newer and less depressing for a small cost.

What is the capacity of the North Stands? 12,000? If so, then the East, South and West stands would not have to be as massive, perhaps 8,000 for the South and another 5,000 shared between the East and West so as to have a total capacity of 25,000. Filling in the East and West sides with stands so that we can actually have a full oval stadium should be a no brainer, then we can actually do the wave during matches, plus the overall atmosphere during events would be more exciting and loud!

I can't wait to see the new proposals and ideas.



Currently:

North: 14542 (Mostly backed-bench seats, some individual in the middle, some wheelchair)
South Lower: 6414 (backed-bench seats)
South Upper: 7870 (bench seats)

The north stands go from football back line to back line.
The south stand go from football goal line to football goal line (also soccer goal line).

The key when designing something (shape wise) is that particularly for football all or the majority of the seats fall between the goal lines (or at least the back lines a la the north side).

The other consideration is that sufficient space is left around the stadium (usually the endzones) to allow for 25-30k temporary seats to be installed to host special events such as the Grey Cup where 50-55k is needed.

Acajack
Jun 23, 2008, 6:47 PM
Currently:

North: 14542 (Mostly backed-bench seats, some individual in the middle, some wheelchair)
South Lower: 6414 (backed-bench seats)
South Upper: 7870 (bench seats)

The north stands go from football back line to back line.
The south stand go from football goal line to football goal line (also soccer goal line).

The key when designing something (shape wise) is that particularly for football all or the majority of the seats fall between the goal lines (or at least the back lines a la the north side).

The other consideration is that sufficient space is left around the stadium (usually the endzones) to allow for 25-30k temporary seats to be installed to host special events such as the Grey Cup where 50-55k is needed.

Yeah, bowl-type configurations (which I prefer, actually) are usually only used when stadium capacity is much higher than Frank Clair, and putting all of the seats between the goal lines would result in some seats being way too high (nosebleed city), so they expand into the end zones, which may not be optimal, but at least people are closer to the action.

AuxTown
Jun 23, 2008, 7:35 PM
I mentioned this in another thread, but I think Lansdowne would be great for a U-shaped stadium like BMO in Toronto:

http://michaelcollins.files.wordpress.com/2006/07/rendering.jpg

The stands would wrap around the West side along Bank street and a couple stores or restaurants could be incorporated into the structure so that they open up onto the street as well as the stadium. On the East side that is left open in TO, I imagine a parking structure similar to the one at the Ottawa Airport:

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/2852/airportparkingzp8.jpg

This would buffer some of the stadium noise from what will surely be residential towers on the East side of Lansdowne along the canal. A big screen could also be affixed to the structure which would be pretty convenient and would make the stadium feel more intimate as opposed to having openings on each end.

AuxTown
Jul 10, 2008, 11:02 PM
Update from the city of Ottawa:

In November 2007 Council initiated a design competition process for Lansdowne Park based on the Rights to Development approach. Since this time issues surrounding the future use of Frank Clair Stadium, the Civic Centre, and the parking area have arisen in the context of the awarding of a conditional Canadian Football League franchise to Ottawa.

At this time staff would like to advise that the Design Lansdowne initiative is on hold until mid-Fall 2008 pending a complete review of building conditions of the Frank Clair Stadium and the Civic Centre, and a review of the Shenkman business plan/CFL proposal.

Economic and Environmental Sustainability branch staff are expecting receipt of the Shenkman business plan/CFL proposal mid-July which will detail any expectations the sports consortium has of the City.

A Fall report to a joint meeting of the Corporate Service and Economic Development and Planning and Environment committees will identify what is proposed by the Shenkman business plan/CFL proposal, including financial terms as well as any potential requests for development rights on the site, and a recommendation to Council to accept or reject the proposal. A second report will seek direction from Council on whether to proceed with the Design Lansdowne competition, and in the event that Council wishes to proceed, propose modifications to the competition process based on the results of the public consultations.


I wonder if the Shenkman business plan/CFL proposal in mid-July will be made public??