The Ottawa Sun is doing cartwheel this morning over a message MLS commissioner Don Garber sent to Ottawa Senators’ owner Eugene Melnyk.
“It’s highly unlikely and almost inconceivable that with a stadium deal in place we would not grant an expansion team to Ottawa,” Garber said yesterday.
The Sun and Melnyk clearly think these are encouraging words. But any new stadium in Ottawa – whether out in Kananta or down at Lansdowne Park – would have to be multi-purpose enough to include a gigantic CFL playing field if it wants one red cent of public funding.
Given Garber’s vampiric hunger for soccer specific stadiums, the top man of Major League Soccer may as well have said “build it under a red sun so we can all be Superman, ‘cos who wouldn’t love to be Superman?”
With these words, now, Garber has just told Ottawa it won’t be getting a $40-million expansion team in 2011. The deal is there to be made in the future, apparently, for a soccer-only park in the suburbs – which Melnyk would have to pay for because public cash will not be there.
That’s good to know – and don’t think Vancouver didn’t just sit up and took notice, because maybe the border isn’t such a big issue after all, and maybe this could be the last extra bit little bit of leverage needed to get the Vancouver soccer stadium deal done?
But as a clear understanding of the present Ottawa situation … well, who wouldn’t love to be Superman?
There’s a part of me that can’t help chuckling when local newspapers turn “It’s not working. I’m dating someone else” into “I love you! When can I move in?”
Sorry, Ottawa. Garber’s … just not that into you.