MLS soccer expansion club still wanted in Ottawa – Metro US

MLS soccer expansion club still wanted in Ottawa

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has reconfirmed his commitment to bringing Major League Soccer to Ottawa, in light of Portland being awarded the last remaining MLS franchise for the 2011 season.

“Absolutely nothing has changed with respect to the level of effort and resources Senators Sports and Entertainment is placing toward our MLS expansion and stadium efforts in Ottawa,” he said in a release.

“The main hurdle for us is to gain the city’s support for our proposed world-class stadium. We continue to work very closely with council and city staff in securing a favourable decision by its meeting on April 22.”

City council is mulling two $100-million stadium proposals. One group is proposing a development of Lansdowne Park that would host a CFL franchise. Melnyk is proposing a stadium next to Scotiabank Place in Kanata.?

Both groups will make their case to a joint meeting of the city’s corporate services planning committees April 6.

?Melnyk was hoping to secure one of two expansion franchises to begin playing in the 2011 season, but those were awarded to Vancouver and Portland.?

“In the coming days, I am confident commissioner Don Garber will be able to turn his focus to the league’s expansion plans beyond 2011 and reaffirm that Ottawa remains under active consideration,” said Melnyk.