Will Ottawa go CanAM for 2011?
I was planning this post for quite a bit. However, just what I was all set to go, everything changed. Our fellow fan blog, Around the IBL, came out with this post. It was regarding the Ottawa Fat Cats, talking about how their ownership group was ready to pull the plug on the the entire Fat Cats Organization, because it wasn’t financially viable to keep it afloat.
Now, this post is entirely rumor-based and many Fat Cats fans–including Litter Box reader, Pierre–still figure that Ottawa will be back for another season. The jury is still out for me, though. My reasoning being this:
Ottawa’s City Council granted the OSG Group the one-year lease on the Stadium on one condition. There had to be baseball played there. OSG’s goal was to get a Pro Team to play here in Ottawa, however they didn’t manage to get that opportunity, as the CanAM League went to Pittsfield instead(where they’re enjoying a stunning average attendance of 893), and the GBL… well, were they ever serious about that anyways?
Since that all fell through, we got the Fat Cats. Now, both I and many others in the Ottawa Baseball World are very satisfied with the Fat Cats. The only problem is how short the IBL season is, which is where Pro Baseball comes in.
OSG’s main target was Pro Ball in the first place, and with the recent CanAM League Regular Season games played at Ottawa Stadium, the water is starting to leak through the cracks. However, this is why I am taking the recent rumors about the Fat Cats’ demise so seriously. My thinking is that when CanAM comes into Ottawa, IBL goes out.
Not being financially viable isn’t what it’s all about. If these rumors are true, I think that this may be a case of the OSG simple wanting a Pro Baseball team here. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, it’s a good thing to bring the Pros back in here, but couldn’t the IBL and the CanAM League coexist?
I’m absolutely sure that they could for at least a few years, but if they couldn’t, I have a solution.
Since the IBL’s plans are to extend to the East, the Hotel Expenses for visiting teams that are currently on the Fat Cats’ tab should eventually disappear in 3 or 4 years when teams like Peterborough or Valleyfield start popping up, unless the new Northern teams will be required to find a Concierge that’s ready for a challenge as well.
However, assuming that the existing teams will be told to handle the expenses themselves, then a whole lot of pressure would be lifted off of the Fat Cats’ Shoulders. They won’t need the ticket and sales revenue that they currently need, and will be allowed to move into a smaller playing field, like Heritage Park (with some nice, new Bleachers installed).
Onto the Possibility of Pro Ball returning.
Will we see it next year? I certainly think that it’s more than possible. Miles Wolff of the CanAM League has always been interested in Canada, and since Montreal doesn’t have a suitable stadium for the CanAM League, the 2 options for Wolff are Trois Rivieres, Quebec; and Ottawa.
Trois Rivieres has a rich baseball history, and already seems to have a suitable stadium, Stade Fernand-Bedard. It is basically a carbon copy of the Stadium that the Quebec Capitales play in. The only downside to Trois Rivieres as an Indy Baseball Market, is the fact they they were part of the Canadian Baseball League in 2003.
Most know that the CBL was a complete disaster, and that they didn’t even get to finish their first season, right? Well, TR was the ugly duckling of the league. Their team, the Saints, averaged a total of 163 people per game. No typo, folks. They make the Pittsfield Colonials look like the New York Yankees.
This is where the 613 may come in and take the Prize. Miles Wolff already has always wanted the league to come back after the Rapidz’ demise, once they found suitable ownership. Ramapo, New York is said to be the 7th member of the league next season, and Ottawa the 8th. Will it happen? If so, will the Fat Cats still have a home here? We’ll have to wait and see.
My god, I feel like a Phoenix Coyotes fan.