CFL Returning To Ottawa With City Council Approval Of Lansdowne Park Stadium Plan
The Ottawa City Council yesterday approved plans to “build a stadium, plus a residential and retail complex, on the site of Frank Clair Stadium,” according to Matthew Scianitti of the NATIONAL POST. The vote passed 21-3 and was “the final hurdle for the league and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) to bring a CFL franchise back to Ottawa for the first time since 2006.” CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon in March ‘08 announced that an ownership group “had been tentatively awarded a CFL franchise.” Cohon in a statement said, “We have pursued expansion to Ottawa in a prudent and businesslike manner, determined to ensure we had the right owners and the proper conditions in place for success in the nation’s capital, which will ultimately make all of our teams stronger. I am confident that, with today’s news, we are achieving our goals” (NATIONAL POST, 10/11). In Ottawa, Jon Willing reports the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park “includes a renovation of Frank Clair Stadium and the Civic Centre, plus new condos, townhouses, retail stores and an urban park.” The city and OSEG will be “pushing hard to meet that 2014 deadline to have Frank Clair Stadium "renovated for the CFL season” (OTTAWA SUN, 10/11). Also in Ottawa, Tim Baines notes Cohon was “all smiles, shaking hands and accepting congratulations.” Cohon: “It’s a go. The CFL is coming back to the nation’s capital. To say this is a happy day would be an understatement.” He added, “It’s been 100 years for the Grey Cup ... and there’s no better way to bring in the next 100 years.” Baines writes the announcement "is not just good news for the football community; it's a huge step in the right direction for the fabric of this community" (OTTAWA SUN, 10/11).