Think again: Double-A bid not the end

Collision at the plate takes place during a Rapidz game in 2008 (source)

Collision at the plate takes place during a Rapidz game in 2008 (photo courtesy Pearl Pirie)

Local media outlets had recently been reporting that the latest restart of the Ottawa Double-A baseball bid (yes, the process has been restarted) is the last shot at seeing baseball in Ottawa. A report out of the Montreal newspaper La Presse suggests that the Can-Am League is ready to give Ottawa another shot and is armed and ready in the case that the Double-A baseball bid falls through.

Une annonce officielle concernant cette expansion sera émise en septembre prochain. Les marchés potentiels comprennent les villes d’Atlantic City et Sussex au New Jersey, Worcester au Massachusetts et Montréal et Ottawa au Canada.

En ce qui concerne Ottawa, M. Wolff a précisé : «Les responsables de la Ville ont envoyé une demande d’offres à la ligue Can-Am et nous ont demandé d’y répondre. Nous comprenons que la Ligue de l’Est (Eastern League) est actuellement le premier choix d’Ottawa, mais nous sommes prêts à intervenir si la proposition de la Ligue de l’Est échoue.»

The latest reports on Ottawa baseball have garnered the interest of Jays blogs with Drunk Jays Fans – a prominent Blue Jays news and analysis site – picking up the story last week, as it looks as though a deal to bring a Jays Double-A affiliate to Ottawa is closer than it’s ever been. I’ve also heard from a source that the city and Mandalay are very close to striking a deal to move an existing EL team to Ottawa – however let’s not jump the gun once again, as the possibility of the deal falling apart is still there. In the event that it does, many are reporting that baseball in Ottawa will have seen its last glimmer of hope washed away.

This is clearly not the case, as noted above and I’m not sure as to why some seem to think that this is the last chance for baseball.

There is clearly interest from the Can-Am League and according to the La Presse report linked above, there could be other leagues inquiring to the city about utilizing Ottawa Stadium in the event that the Double-A bid falls through such as the new independent Diamond League and the revamped Northern League. I believe these leagues are just as good if not better options for the future of baseball in this city.

If you’ve been keeping track of the baseball situation through the news, just know that the Double-A bid is not the last chance for baseball to succeed. If the Can-Am League came in to Ottawa Stadium under the guidance of Miles Wolff, it would thrive. Add in the new rivals from Trois-Rivieres and potentially Montreal, and things could get as heated as a Saturday night Fat Cats-Majors game.

Another plus for Can-Am baseball would be the cost to taxpayers. As opposed to the cost being tossed around now, Miles Wolff stated that they would only spend the money needed to bring the stadium to operational standards. Far less than the current price tag of $10-30 Million, which we all have to admit is a little pricey regardless of our stance.

While things are looking pretty solid at the Double-A camp right now, if the deal does end up falling through I hope the city opens themselves to other opportunities. Councillor Bob Monette is already on our side, going on record saying that he wants “the stadium open for decades” – so let’s hope that some other council members are of the same opinion, as the indy route is more than viable.

While uncertainty continues to rule, one point that isn’t subject to change is that I can’t wait to write about baseball once again.

    • Pierre
    • July 29th, 2013

    If this latest attempt to bring a AA team to down fails, I don’t think it’s the last shot of baseball in Ottawa. There are other leagues, both affiliated and independent, although the pickings are slim. The CanAm is interested, that should tell people something and leagues like the ICBL, although a pro team would be preferable.

    One problem is getting the stadium upgraded. I don’t know what’s going on over there, I’m afraid to go take a look, but there doesn’t seem to be anything going on. The pilons for a pedestrian bridge were put up last year but nothing since. I seems nothing will be done until next year. That means a team, no matter the league, will not move in until 2015 at the earliest.

    No owner is going to come here until the stadium is renovated or a firm confirmation that it will be. The ball in is Ottawa council’s court. They have to make the first move and frankly, I’m not optimistic they will.

    • Pierre
    • September 24th, 2013

    CBC just announced that Ottawa accepted a bid from the Can-Am to start playing in 2015. We have one more summer to wait for the return of baseball, hopefully for a long time.

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