My reply to “Time to wake up and sell field of dreams”
For those of you who haven’t had a look through Elizabeth Payne’s editorial, here’s your opportunity, because I’m getting straight to the point here.
A lot of Ottawa’s ball fans have been very polite in disagreement with Ms Payne on her take. It says a lot about the class that you guys have, as not many fanbases would deal with someone basically calling for the extinction of their team and sport like you guys have.
Unfortunately, I’m not of the same nature. Let’s break things down.
Baseball doesn’t seem to want Ottawa and Ottawa doesn’t want baseball. So why does the same city that has just voted to close a municipal equestrian park still own a white elephant baseball stadium?
Oh boy. We’re off to a bad start, Liz.
I’d like you to tell the record-shattering attendance numbers of the Ottawa Fat Cats that baseball doesn’t belong here. The only team that can occasionally (once or twice a year) draw as well as the Fat Cats in this league are the London Majors and even then their numbers barely come close to those of the Fat Cats.
Last fall, a semi-pro baseball team stuffed almost 8,000 people in their home stadium to watch a game. You couldn’t find another city or town in this country that would manage that.
Before the Fat Cats came the Rapidz. For some reason, the media likes to claim that the Rapidz left because of a lack of fan support. This isn’t the case, as you should know. The league-owned Voyageurs (formerly the Rapidz) left the city as a result of the Atlantic City Surf not finding an owner for 2009. The Can-Am League told the public that they couldn’t operate with 7 teams, or financially support both the Surf and the Voyageurs.
After the move, Can-Am League commissioner Miles Wolff said “We would love to come back to Ottawa next year.”
And so Ottawa holds on to Ottawa Stadium, a field of dreams that long ago began looking more like an island of wishful thinking — with semi-pro ball players washing their dishes and living part-time in VIP boxes for an added touch of low-rent colour.
The second part of this blurb really gets me. It’s obviously not ideal, but these players are trying to get somewhere within the game of baseball and are clearly doing whatever they can to do reach their goals, as shown here. If it was their choice, they wouldn’t be living in those suites, but they want to get somewhere, so they make that sacrifice.
All this and you’re making fun of them for it? It’s absolutely shameful for you to pull BS like that, Ms Payne. Do you think that they’re proud of their living situation? Definitely not, so why are you using their struggle to get by as an attempt at a joke? Crossed the line right there. Hopefully you retract that horribly insensitive comment.
Ottawa Stadium, a state-of-the-art acility built in 1992 for $17 million, is now an underused, even misused facility that still manages to cost taxpayers money based on the hope that it will someday again serve the purpose for which it was built
Alright, I’m putting my superb math skills in use for this one. As Andrew previously mentioned, the NCBL puts Ottawa Stadium to use very frequently. Last I checked, they’ve played 60 games per year at Ottawa Stadium for the past few seasons.
The Fat Cats play 18 home games every season. Add those together, and you get 88 different baseball games being played at a stadium which primary use is baseball in one season. The Lynx only played around 72 games per season.
If a baseball stadium is being misused while it’s hosting more baseball games than it ever has before, than I’d like to know what has to be done for it to be used properly!
This year there was hope in the form of Beacon Sports Capital Partners, a group that wants to bring double-A baseball to the city, as part of a Toronto Blue Jays affiliate, if possible. For many local baseball fans, it was the first real ray of hope in awhile that professional baseball would return to the city. But then the Blue Jays announced they had other plans and would keep a double-A affiliate in New Hampshire, at least until 2014. What will happen after that? Who knows.
Actually, there are many who know what’s going on. The Jays are going through a minor-league transformation right now. I would be shocked if the Jays weren’t using this extra time to get their AAA team out of Las Vegas. Setting up a new AAA team in another market would take… hmmm… about 2 years if you started the stopwatch now.
If I were the Jays, I wouldn’t want to be moving 2 minor league teams in the same span either. Once AAA is moved somewhere more suitable, then the Ottawa team comes into play. Of course, this is all just speculation but if Ms Payne can do so about Ottawa not getting the team in her editorial—Payne: “The Beacon Sports proposal would cost $452,000, if it goes ahead, which seems unlikely”—then I don’t see why I can’t.
I could go on and on when it comes to this editorial. Ms Payne has a couple different spurts of apathy, cold-heartedness and just downright ignorance in her piece. One has to wonder how this got on the front page of the paper.