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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:02 pm 
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The long and short of it (pulled from landsdownelive.ca:

"On March 25, 2008, the CFL Board of Governors awarded a conditional franchise to an Ottawa group that includes 67's owner Jeff Hunt. The franchise will be condition free when the Hunt group negotiates a stadium deal with the City of Ottawa. ..We're also looking to have between 24,000 and 25,000 fans in our stadium....The franchise fee is $7 Million... "

They were selling $25 seat licenses to fans wanting season tickets. Even without the stadium, I have read they have over 2000 sold which all things considered is pretty decent when you don't officially have a stadium or a franchise and only need to sell 20K seats to break even.

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Picture of proposed stadium upgrades in action.

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The Hunt's group plan appears to be to modify the existing Frank Clair twin double deck stadium by adding in luxury boxes at the top of each of the upper tiers and along the edge of the feild. (Basically all of the blue areas would have luxury boxes).

Here's another picture from lansdownelive.ca.

Image

Additionally the hunt group are working in conjunction with local builders who want to turn the surrounding area around the stadium into the community entertainment center of Ottawa (or one of them anyway). They intend to bring in $120M dollars to develop the area. It went to a vote on November 12, 2008.

http://www.ottawasun.com/News/OttawaAndRegion/2008/11/12/7385621.html

The end result appears to be positive. Landsdowne Live (the hunt group) has 6 weeks to really sell their proposal to the city and try to get this done.

http://capitalregionfootball.info/blog/?p=450

IMO, the plan is pretty sweet. i hope the City goes for it.


Last edited by finiteman on Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:43 pm 
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older article discribing planned improvements.

"Behind the plan to bring the CFL back to town
Housing, shops, movie theatre and hotel part of consortium's ambitious ideas

Randall Denley
The Ottawa Citizen

Friday, September 28, 2007

If the recent proposed Lansdowne Park redevelopment plan goes through, any housing would be buffered from the rest of the site with green space, including a pond linked to the Rideau Canal.
The people behind the Lansdowne Park redevelopment plan say their idea has it all; a better Bank Street, high-end commercial space in the Cattle Castle, housing on two sides, a direct connection to the Rideau Canal, more green space, the same amount of parking the site has now, a Canadian Football League team and a revamped Frank Clair Stadium that would be the best in the league.

The consortium behind the deal was caught off guard this week when bits of information about their idea started to leak out. They had hoped to secure a conditional football franchise before going public with the redevelopment plan, says group spokesman and Ottawa 67s owner Jeff Hunt. In response to negative initial reaction, they decided late yesterday to release their idea.

Lansdowne Park is poorly managed now and crying out for capital investment the city can't afford, Hunt says. He argues that his partners, Minto's Robert Greenberg, William Shenkman of Shenkman Corp. and John Ruddy of Trinity Development Group, have the money and experience to make the most of the unique site on the Rideau Canal.

The developers are willing to put about $15 million into replacing the south-side stands with a bowl that will connect to the existing north-side stands, Hunt says. They have already retained a "top sports architectural firm" to plan the new stadium. It would offer better seating, modern concessions and washrooms and the luxury boxes a team needs to succeed. They are well advanced in negotiations with the CFL for a team to take to the field in 2009 and Hunt says the league is "salivating" at the prospect of such a well-heeled ownership group. Hunt would act as CEO for the football and hockey operations.

The stadium and the team themselves aren't money makers, though, and that's where the redevelopment of the rest of the site comes in. The developers would generate capital by building townhouses on the Holmwood Avenue frontage of the property and seven eight-storey apartment towers looking out on the canal.

"People don't want a football stadium in their back yard," Hunt says, so the housing would be buffered from the rest of the site with green space, including a pond that would link the site directly to the canal. It would be located in a different spot than indicated on the accompanying illustration.

"There is a lot of green space," Hunt says "(Councillor) Clive Doucet ought to like that."

On Bank Street, the developers would build and lease commercial space that would provide a continuing stream of income for the project. They are hoping for a movie theatre and restaurants on Bank, Hunt says, and possibly a hotel that would overlook the stadium. The Cattle Castle must be retained because of its heritage designation and Hunt says his group is negotiating with a large American retailer that would be a perfect fit for the Glebe.

Lansdowne now provides 2,100 parking spaces and the developers aim to deliver the same number in two parking structures, one above ground and one below. The total cost of the stadium upgrade and the parking buildings will be between $20 million and $30 million, Hunt says. Including the housing and commercial space, the entire project will be in the $200-million to $250-million range.

Once the developers' plan is fully in place, the city would get about $15 million a year in property taxes instead of losing $1.5 million on operating the park, Hunt says. This would be a near-complete privatization of Lansdowne. The only piece of property that would remain in public ownership is the land beneath the football stadium, and it would be on a long-term lease.

The developers initially didn't want to own all the property, Hunt says, but Mayor Larry O'Brien told them it was all or nothing. The group has been dealing with the mayor behind the scenes to get its project moving.

Hunt says he hopes to get conditional approval from the CFL within a month. Then the developers must persuade city council, and the public, that their proposal is a good one. While the plan is certainly more interesting than it initially sounded, that could be a difficult challenge. City councillors Clive Doucet and Peter Hume want an international competition to determine the best use for Lansdowne. The problem is, the city doesn't have the money to follow through.

Before making a decision, councillors and city staff must determine the value of the land they would be giving up and compare it to what the public would get in return. The site offers the public substantial utility as it is. The changes proposed would almost certainly mean the death of the Ex and some consumer shows would be displaced by the new use for the Cattle Castle. The city doesn't have to do anything, but it is in a somewhat weak position because the south-side stands are falling down and require a $6-million reconstruction. Without a football team, it's hard to see the value of that.

The developers' plan is a city-changing idea that would forever alter the last large piece of open space downtown. It merits careful, but cautious, consideration."

more recent article

http://www.cfra.com/?cat=1&nid=63221

Saturday, February 21, 2009

interesting article with two highlights

"...A new report ranking the best sites in the city for an outdoor stadium put Lansdowne Park at number 6, followed by Scotiabank Place, the proposal from Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk...."

This is funny. the two sites being pushed ---the existing stadium --- and the proposed soccer stadium are ranked 6th and 7th...I hope to locate this "report". It sounds just bugnuts. Did they let respondents just chose anywhere in the city?

"...After public consultations, city council will make a final decision on April 22nd."


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:54 pm 
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http://www.cfl.ca/article/canadian-foot ... -to-ottawa

3/3/09

blah, blah, blah...a lot of CFL owner blowhardiness in support of the Hunt group..."...An Ottawa ownership group consisting of Bill Shenkman, Roger Greenberg, John Ruddy and Jeff Hunt had earlier been granted a conditional CFL franchise, with a condition being that they reach a suitable stadium agreement with the city of Ottawa by the deadline of March 18..."

The timing of the article makes me think the CFL won't have a problem stretching that deadline to April.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:57 pm 
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Location: Portland! (and about time!)
Since the CFL lacks options, they'll have to wait.

In all likelihood, a vote in Portland tomorrow makes the Ottawa soccer stadium a moot issue. The city council will vote on a package of bonds and private contributions for a renovation of PGE Park and construction of a new baseball stadium at the Memorial Coliseum site. It appears passage is a 60-40 chance in favor. We'll see how this boils down.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:51 pm 
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http://sports.yahoo.com/cfl/news?slug=c ... 0337740026

CFL grants Ottawa expansion franchise a six-month extension
Dan Ralph, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Mar 3, 9:16 pm EST

HAMILTON - The CFL's board of governors gave the group looking to bring pro football back to Ottawa more time to secure a deal with the city on a new stadium.

CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said Tuesday the board gave the Ottawa group until Sept. 18 to complete negotiations with the City of Ottawa on a stadium deal. In March 2008, Cohon awarded Ottawa 67's owner Jeff Hunt and local businessmen Bill Shenkman, Roger Greenberg and John Ruddy an expansion franchise on the condition it secure a place to play.

The Hunt group is looking to renovate Frank Clair Stadium as part of a re-development of Lansdowne Park. Trouble is, Ottawa civic officials also have a proposal from a local group headed up by Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk for a new 20,000-seat soccer-only venue in nearby Kanata, Ont., to be home to a Major League Soccer expansion club.

Ottawa city council is weighing both offers and will ultimately decide which one to follow through with.

"There's a window of opportunity now where we have a committed group of owners there who want to get this deal done," Cohon said. "You're in an economic environment now where there's potential stimulus money from the government to make it happen.

"It's incumbent upon the City of Ottawa now to make some decisions."

The CFL's conditional franchise agreement with the Hunt contingent was set to expire March 18.

The Hunt group is attempting to bring a third CFL franchise to Ottawa. The former Rough Riders club folded after the '96 season while the Renegades returned under new ownership in 2002 but was suspended by the league four years later.

The Ottawa CFL group has maintained its stadium proposal would allow for a revamped Frank Clair Stadium to be shared with an MLS franchise. However, the facility in Kanata would be for soccer only.

Cohon said he hasn't dealt with Ottawa councillors about the stadium issue but was hopeful it would be resolved sooner rather than later.

"I'm not going to speculate whether we would have to extend it another six months," he said. "But clearly this is an indication that the time is right now to act upon on the opportunity.

"We owe it to our fans in Ottawa not to drag them along. We have an opportunity now for the city to react to an ownership group that is willing and able and has a great plan for the city."

The CFL-MLS stadium debate in Ottawa has prompted some verbal jousting, with Melnyk saying a CFL franchise might not remain in Ottawa 25 years from now. There were also suggestions it would take as many as six Grey Cup games to draw the $50-million this year's world junior championship event drew in Ottawa or the estimated $50-$60 million annually an MLS team would bring to the city's economy.

That prompted Cohon to issue an open letter to the people of Ottawa to share some facts of the league as well as clear up misinformation he said had surfaced as a result of the stadium debate.

Cohon and Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young also told reporters the CFL board also voted in favour of amalgamating the CFL's website with its member clubs. It would form one big network that will make it easier for football fans across Canada to navigate through the various team sites due to increased shared content.

From a league perspective, this would make it more attractive for advertisers due to increased consumer traffic as a result of the amalgamation.

Notes: The CFL announced Tuesday that the Toronto Argonauts have moved their game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from July 30 at 6:30 p.m. ET to Aug. 1 at 1:00 p.m.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:46 pm 
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"Football has edge over soccer in Ottawa stadium debate

BY DON CAMPBELL, CANWEST NEWS SERVICE, APRIL 6, 2009

OTTAWA — In the world of sports, it’s usually easy to tell the winners from the losers. Not so, apparently, when it comes to the Ottawa stadium debate.

On Monday, there initially seemed to be a clear winner in the contest to build Ottawa’s next professional sports franchise. However, the two competing parties both left city hall Monday equally confused and frustrated, and a little less confident in the political process. The plan to revamp Frank Clair Stadium for a new football team received higher marks from city staff than a plan to build a suburban soccer stadium for a possible Major League Soccer franchise. That’s not to say, however, there will be a Canadian Football League game in Ottawa any time soon.

“My reaction is mixed,” said Roger Greenberg, one of the backers of the football stadium. “On one hand, I’m pleased our proposal is favoured. On the other hand, there’s no real direction to move forward. I’m disappointed in the report in that it doesn’t offer any steps to move forward.”

Just across the aisle in the visitors’ gallery sat Ottawa Senators Sports and Entertainment chief operating officer Cyril Leeder, representing Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and his proposal to build a soccer stadium. If Greenberg was exasperated, Leeder looked downright beaten up after watching and listening to city staff state that the business plan in the Melnyk bid was “too optimistic” with regard to anticipated revenue.

Leeder does not agree with that assessment, but said he would be updating MLS commissioner Don Garber that things don’t look positive. “To use a hockey analogy, I’ll be telling him (council) is ragging the puck,” said Leeder, suggesting council is merely stalling.

More than anything, Greenberg was looking for a clear desire to get things rolling, but he came away thinking he won’t see that in the foreseeable future. “We submitted our proposal in late September and looked for an answer in the new year,” he said. “Then came the proposal for the soccer stadium in February for (western Ottawa). That was fine, but it’s now April. I’m not sure council is going to be able to get this done.”

Ottawa Citizen"


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:50 pm 
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editorial

"Denley: Staff offer a study in failure

BY RANDALL DENLEY, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN, APRIL 6, 2009

OTTAWA — Ottawa has the great good fortune to have two proposals for new stadiums and major-league sports franchises. Either would enhance the city, either would clarify the future of Lansdowne Park. Instead of helping councillors and the public decide which of these ideas is better, city staff have created a road map for failure. It’s a disgrace that’s likely to solidify Ottawa’s reputation as the can’t-do capital.

City staff did say Monday that the plan to redevelop Lansdowne Park scored higher than a competing proposal to build a Major League Soccer stadium near Scotiabank Place, but then went on to make both plans seem unaffordable and ill-advised. To reach that conclusion, staff relied on a stunning display of false comparisons, inflated figures and faulty thinking.

The Lansdowne football proponents say they can rebuild both Frank Clair Stadium and the Civic Centre for $97 million. Developer Roger Greenberg, a partner in the Lansdowne group, says his team is willing to stick with that figure and absorb any cost overruns.

That assurance wasn’t good enough for city staff. They say the stadium reno could cost $125 million. Maybe so, but if the city can tie Greenberg’s group to a fixed figure, there is no risk for the public.

The actual cost to the city of the Lansdowne proposal would be just under $3 million a year. As Greenberg points out, the city would collect about that much in property taxes from the commercial development on the site. It is fair to say that the public would face some costs for adding a parking structure at Lansdowne and greening the site, but if we want to improve Lansdowne, we can’t expect to do it for nothing.

City manager Kent Kirkpatrick had councillors grabbing their worry beads with his repeated citing of $100-million-plus figures for a new stadium, but the proper way to look at the cost is the same way you’d look at a mortgage. It’s the affordability of the annual payments that matters. The worst-case scenario for stadium cost would eat up about one per cent of the city’s capital spending annually. Alternatively, the city could increase property taxes about 0.75 per cent one time to provide enough to cover the cost of the stadium over 30 years. That’s peanuts for the value offered.

City staff are also working on the premise that the entire stadium cost would be borne by Ottawa taxpayers. The alternative would be to seek federal and provincial money to cover two-thirds of the cost. The city can ask for that money, and get it, but it would mean choosing the stadium over some other needs. This is actually the kind of decision councillors make all the time, but to listen to Kirkpatrick and some councillors talk, putting a stadium at the head of the list would be some kind of catastrophe.

Kirkpatrick chose to compare the stadium plan to council’s beloved transit expansion. Dollars spent on a stadium will mean fewer dollars for transit, he warned. OK, but the stadium offers are an unexpected opportunity that requires a quick response and a relatively modest expenditure. The transit plan is a long-term deal that will cost up to $2.1 billion just for the first phase. The $65 million in federal and provincial money that could potentially be directed from transit to the stadium won’t make or break the transit plan.

Having done all they could to dissuade councillors from acting on either one of the real proposals in front of them, staff suggest that a good Plan B would be to spend more time and money developing new plans for Lansdowne and searching for alternative sites for a new stadium, a Junior A hockey rink and trade-show space. Not that the city would have the money to build any of these things or any tenant for the stadium, but there’s nothing that excites bureaucrats more than a good study.

Despite the impression that city staff were using the months they’ve spent studying these plans to recommend a winner, this report only goes as far as suggesting more study of the details of both plans, if councillors are willing to pay for a stadium. An actual final decision is nowhere in sight.

Councillors don’t have to follow this lame advice, of course, but the fact that it’s out there will make action more difficult.

It’s generally said at City Hall that the stadium decision is “a city-building exercise.” It should be, too, but if councillors follow their staff’s advice, they won’t be building a thing and the city will continue to piddle away an estimated $3.8 million a year to keep the Lansdowne buildings from falling apart.

The proponents of both the Lansdowne and Kanata development plans were dismayed at city staff’s negative approach to their proposals, and so they should be. Staff’s job is to help make good ideas work, not to imagine reasons why they might fail. The approach taken on this vital issue is not prudence, it’s rigor mortis."


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