(Update: Here's a load off for the CFL fans. The wheels are in motion to write a motion to enter into negotiations with Lansdowne Live.)
That might mean it was not such a risk on Friday:
"(Greenberg) said council has to make a 'decision in principle" to support his group's proposal when it meets next week. He said if council postpones a decision and asks for more studies as city staff recommended, his group will walk.It's understandable that Greenberg would go that route, although it seems possible the Citizen might have picked up the ball and run with it just a bit. (It's early in the game, so perhaps Greenberg takes it down a notch between now and next Wednesday, you never know.)
" 'We want a decision now from council. If council approves another study for six months we are out,' Greenberg said.
" 'What is a deal breaker is if our proposal is rejected.'
"Greenberg, who has teamed up with a group of Ottawa businessmen to redevelop Lansdowne Park for a Canadian Football League franchise, said he is not interested in playing football at the proposed soccer stadium in Kanata, which is being promoted by Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk." — Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa residents, knowing how things are run in this city, probably are right to fear that a largely dysfunctional city council might make Greenberg, et al., take their ball and go home. This also kind of does lay bare that Lansdowne Live is really about big business than recapturing the glory days of Tony Gabriel going deep for a long bomb from Tommy Clements, but you knew that already. That's not an anti-CFL sentiment, it's just an acknowledgment this is business first, sports second. The CFL is not that high-dollar a league.
Meantime, Greenberg seemed more even-handed when talking with the Ottawa Sun. He described the one compromise the city has floated — put a stadium in Kanata and a hockey arena at Lansdowne Park — "a win for (Eugene) Melnyk, it would be a win for our group financially ... it would be a loss for the city of Ottawa."
In all honesty, and this a personal opinion, an arena at Lansdowne and a stadium at Scotiabank Place sounds like chasing two rabbits and catching none writ large. The point is Greenberg's ploy, if that was what it was and not someone talking his words out of context, is justifiable. People are also right to worry the city might get its back up, but surely they realize this is bigger than them.
It's come to the point where one humble suggestion from a no-doubt frustrated netizen on the Paper of Record's website was that Ottawa could save the $100 million it would be throwing toward the CFL and save it up in case they have to pay Siemens damages in the lawsuit over the cancelled light-rail project. That way, he reasoned, we'd only be out about $100 million, "sort of."
That's the kind of cynicism everyone will have to work to overcome when the city does get a summer team (baseball, football, soccer) again.
One more poinis that as much as the NIMBYers want to call a stadium a luxury, Ottawa cannot afford to not build something. The Regina Leader-Post's Rider Rumblings noted a comment from Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall, with regard to a new stadium that would house the Roughriders:
"Now is the time to do it, with steel prices low and construction costs a little bit low. There's interesting things around the world. In Stockholm, they're building a stadium like the University of Arizona or University of Phoenix. It's smaller — 30,000 seats with a retractable roof — for around $350 million, which is a lot of money, but the costs are coming down." (Emphasis mine.)(Apparently, they haven't started building yet in the Swedish capital, but a point is a point.)
Indecision and a lack of vision (Chris Stevenson, Sun Media)
Lansdowne stadium group confident (Shane Ross, Sun Media)
Take our Lansdowne proposal now or we walk: developer (Mohamed Adam, Ottawa Citizen)