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Ottawa MLS bid could be dead for the next 30 years


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This is from a very good article from CBC New. Ottawa has been trying to get an MLS team and the new stadium deal with Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group may prevent that from happening for 30 years if the sign the new stadium deal the way it is currently written.

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June 25, 2010

Lansdowne developers get stadium 'monopoly'

By CBC News

Anyone who wants to build a professional soccer stadium in Ottawa in coming decades will likely be unable to get city support, thanks to a clause in the city's Lansdowne Park redevelopment deal.

Anyone who wants to build a professional soccer stadium in Ottawa in coming decades will likely be unable to get city support, thanks to a clause in the city's Lansdowne Park redevelopment deal.

The agreement with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group states that if the city does back a new sports facility with more than 5,000 seats in the next 30 years, OSEG has the right to:

* Walk away from certain agreements with the city concerning Lansdowne Park's Frank Clair Stadium.

* Be the first organization given the opportunity to lease the new facility for its Canadian Football League franchise or Ontario Hockey League team.

Coun. Christine Leadman is unhappy with the clause, revealed just four days before city council is supposed to vote on whether to approve the deal.

She questioned city manager Kent Kirkpatrick about the implications Thursday.

"So is the city granting a monopoly on football and stadiums to the CFL partnership for 30 years?" Leadman asked.

"The answer is yes," Kirkpatrick responded.

OSEG has formed a public-private partnership with the city to redevelop Lansdowne Park near Bank Street, just north of the Rideau Canal. As part of that redevelopment agreement, OSEG will build condos, offices, shops and restaurants at the site, and the city will fund the renovation and upgrade of the hockey arena and football stadium.

OSEG member Jeff Hunt currently owns an Ontario Hockey League team, the Ottawa '67s, which is based at Lansdowne Park. The group has also been awarded a CFL franchise conditional on the organization reaching a lease agreement for a renovated Frank Clair Stadium.

Competing stadium would be 'detrimental': Greenberg

OSEG member Roger Greenberg, CEO of Minto developments, said the non-compete clause makes sense.

"We don't believe that there are many opportunities for filling up a stadium, and we don't believe that our partners should be competing with us - it's a conflict of interest."

The construction of another stadium would have a "very detrimental effect on the existing stadium," he said.

The clause is intended to lay out how a dispute over a new stadium would be resolved so it doesn't wind up in court, Greenberg added.

One of Leadman's concerns is that it isn't clear what type of support for another facility - such as tax breaks and the waiving of development charges - would trigger the clause. The city has traditionally provided that kind of support for facilities such as Scotiabank Place in Kanata, which is home to the NHL's Ottawa Senators.

Leadman added that it also isn't clear what agreements with the city OSEG would be able to walk away from - just the stadium or also the commercial developments. She doesn't think the city could afford to allow the agreement to be broken, and said the city would likely end up saddled with running a money-losing sports team or having to find a sports team to act as a tenant for Frank Clair Stadium.

"We're hardly in a position to be operating a sports franchise."

'Soccer may not come'

The owners of Scotiabank Place and the Ottawa Senators have proposed building a professional soccer stadium in Kanata, and Leadman said those plans could be affected by the Lansdowne Park deal.

"Soccer may not come as a result of these limitations that are in the contract."

Such implications led Cyril Leeder, chief operating officer for the Ottawa Senators, to raise the alarm in an email to west-end councillors Thursday.

"This is not only bad public policy - it is inappropriate and likely illegal," he said. "It will certainly have major negative consequences for the Ottawa Senators and the city.... In addition, it would appear that the language is so far-reaching that it might prevent council from working with the Senators in the future."

Leeder said councillors should withdraw their support for the deal unless the "restrictive covenants" are removed.

In September 2008, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and his Senators Sports and Entertainment group unveiled plans for a west-end professional stadium that would seat as many as 30,000 people. It was intended to be home to a Major League Soccer franchise that Melnyk was bidding for, and it was hoped that the city would offer support, perhaps providing the land for free.

In the end, Vancouver and Portland beat out Ottawa's bid for an expansion team in 2011, and Melnyk agreed to postpone his request for city support for a stadium until after the Lansdowne redevelopment was settled.

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Its and election year the stadium deal with monopoly revealed .. will not go through no matter how much Kirkpatrick as city manger thinks he can do as he pleases..the councillors are going to wake up .. at least till the election is over....

No Lansdowne Mall.... no stadia for CFL football ... fall back for city 12 million investment in a land swap with Senators and a 20k soccer stadium next to the Corel Centre.. new downtown 10k hockey rink to follow and Lansdowne becomes park with 2k community stadium with artificial turf, 12 tennis courts and 12 mini soccer pitches configured on futsal size.

This is from a very good article from CBC New. Ottawa has been trying to get an MLS team and the new stadium deal with Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group may prevent that from happening for 30 years if the sign the new stadium deal the way it is currently written.

http://license.icopyright.net/user/viewFreeUse.act?fuid=ODg5OTU2NA==

June 25, 2010

Lansdowne developers get stadium 'monopoly'

By CBC News

Anyone who wants to build a professional soccer stadium in Ottawa in coming decades will likely be unable to get city support, thanks to a clause in the city's Lansdowne Park redevelopment deal.

Anyone who wants to build a professional soccer stadium in Ottawa in coming decades will likely be unable to get city support, thanks to a clause in the city's Lansdowne Park redevelopment deal.

The agreement with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group states that if the city does back a new sports facility with more than 5,000 seats in the next 30 years, OSEG has the right to:

* Walk away from certain agreements with the city concerning Lansdowne Park's Frank Clair Stadium.

* Be the first organization given the opportunity to lease the new facility for its Canadian Football League franchise or Ontario Hockey League team.

Coun. Christine Leadman is unhappy with the clause, revealed just four days before city council is supposed to vote on whether to approve the deal.

She questioned city manager Kent Kirkpatrick about the implications Thursday.

"So is the city granting a monopoly on football and stadiums to the CFL partnership for 30 years?" Leadman asked.

"The answer is yes," Kirkpatrick responded.

OSEG has formed a public-private partnership with the city to redevelop Lansdowne Park near Bank Street, just north of the Rideau Canal. As part of that redevelopment agreement, OSEG will build condos, offices, shops and restaurants at the site, and the city will fund the renovation and upgrade of the hockey arena and football stadium.

OSEG member Jeff Hunt currently owns an Ontario Hockey League team, the Ottawa '67s, which is based at Lansdowne Park. The group has also been awarded a CFL franchise conditional on the organization reaching a lease agreement for a renovated Frank Clair Stadium.

Competing stadium would be 'detrimental': Greenberg

OSEG member Roger Greenberg, CEO of Minto developments, said the non-compete clause makes sense.

"We don't believe that there are many opportunities for filling up a stadium, and we don't believe that our partners should be competing with us - it's a conflict of interest."

The construction of another stadium would have a "very detrimental effect on the existing stadium," he said.

The clause is intended to lay out how a dispute over a new stadium would be resolved so it doesn't wind up in court, Greenberg added.

One of Leadman's concerns is that it isn't clear what type of support for another facility - such as tax breaks and the waiving of development charges - would trigger the clause. The city has traditionally provided that kind of support for facilities such as Scotiabank Place in Kanata, which is home to the NHL's Ottawa Senators.

Leadman added that it also isn't clear what agreements with the city OSEG would be able to walk away from - just the stadium or also the commercial developments. She doesn't think the city could afford to allow the agreement to be broken, and said the city would likely end up saddled with running a money-losing sports team or having to find a sports team to act as a tenant for Frank Clair Stadium.

"We're hardly in a position to be operating a sports franchise."

'Soccer may not come'

The owners of Scotiabank Place and the Ottawa Senators have proposed building a professional soccer stadium in Kanata, and Leadman said those plans could be affected by the Lansdowne Park deal.

"Soccer may not come as a result of these limitations that are in the contract."

Such implications led Cyril Leeder, chief operating officer for the Ottawa Senators, to raise the alarm in an email to west-end councillors Thursday.

"This is not only bad public policy - it is inappropriate and likely illegal," he said. "It will certainly have major negative consequences for the Ottawa Senators and the city.... In addition, it would appear that the language is so far-reaching that it might prevent council from working with the Senators in the future."

Leeder said councillors should withdraw their support for the deal unless the "restrictive covenants" are removed.

In September 2008, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and his Senators Sports and Entertainment group unveiled plans for a west-end professional stadium that would seat as many as 30,000 people. It was intended to be home to a Major League Soccer franchise that Melnyk was bidding for, and it was hoped that the city would offer support, perhaps providing the land for free.

In the end, Vancouver and Portland beat out Ottawa's bid for an expansion team in 2011, and Melnyk agreed to postpone his request for city support for a stadium until after the Lansdowne redevelopment was settled.

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Monopoly dropped from the deal:

A clause that would make it difficult for any new stadium in Ottawa to get support from the city during the next 30 years has been eliminated from the Lansdowne Park redevelopment deal.

City council and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group agreed Friday to remove the controversial clause from the public-private partnership agreement. City council is scheduled to vote on the entire deal on Monday.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2010/06/24/lansdowne-stadium-football-monopoly.html

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