Archive for April, 2011

Future Of Our Stadium, And Team, Up In the Air

City Staff wants to send Ottawa Stadium's land away to developers

This morning, the Ottawa Citizen reported that City Staff has recommended to the City Council to turn our Stadium into an outdoor concert venue. This would mean that semi-pro baseball, and the hopes of landing a pro team, would more than likely leave Ottawa for a very long time.

The Article in today’s paper contained information that suggests that the City Staff wants to send our Stadium’s away to developers. The city staff report is to be released next week, and it states that the land in and around our stadium is “a prime location for mixed development”. When they say mixed development, they are referring office buildings and real estate.

The one thing that really irks me about this report, is that it seems that the Staff is entirely clueless to the fact that there is actually something occupying that land. That thing happens to be something that is valuable to the community, and sport in general in Ottawa.

Our last city council was anti-sport, voting against Lansdowne time and time again. This new council that we elected in the fall seems to have a much different mindset than the old one. Hopefully, they will realize that baseball is still alive and well in Ottawa, and vote against this proposal.

Wouldn’t we still be able to host outdoor concert venues in the stadium with baseball still occupying it? If the Staff doesn’t think that the Cats can financially support the stadium–which is the main reason for not having baseball in the Stadium’s future–how about keeping the stadium for baseball, while having the outdoor concerts and “other options” at the park at the same time? Would baseball bring sustainability down by simply giving the stadium a tenant? Theoretically, wouldn’t it help keep the keep Stadium sustainability up?

Now, I wouldn’t mind this proposal if baseball was included in the plan. Why doesn’t it? The reason that the Staff is providing in their report, cannot be used (as already proven above). Baseball is a great entertainment option for anybody looking for something to do on a Summer afternoon.

Onto the next process. As fans, we need to get our voices heard. Here are a few things that you could do.

Sending an email to the council is something that some fans have already done, and that I plan to do as soon as this post is live. Let the council know that what Staff is telling them to do is wrong, wrong and wrong.

As a group, we must band together and show them our opposition. An online petition would do the trick, but it would only work if everybody signed it, to make an impression on the city and make them say “Wow, there really is a lot of people backing this!”

There could be a battle brewing here, folks. Without your help, we won’t win.

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