Professional baseball can work in Ottawa, but it cannot happen in a vacuum, according to the man hoping to revitalize the city’s baseball stadium.

David Butler, chief executive officer of Bytown Trolley Company, delivered his “Baseball plus” business proposal to the city yesterday.

“We envision having some events such as concerts, some theatre, some space dedicated to retail for companies related to baseball,” he said.

Butler said he was hoping to work out a lease with the vacant baseball stadium for at least 10 years with an option for another 10 years afterward, in order to bring a Can-Am league baseball team back to Ottawa.

Butler’s partner in the Ottawa Stadium Group, Duncan MacDonald, said it was a shame that a city that produces national champion players cannot watch them perform. To make it work, MacDonald said city council has to recognize that the stadium is part of the community fabric that can bring entertainment, festivals, amateur sport and even Winterlude activities.

“It’s a two pronged approach,” he said. “Baseball, with the right facilities and other things will make sense.”

The OSG proposal is being championed at city hall by Orleans ward Coun. Bob Monette, who said it should not be difficult to attract the 2,500 to 3,000 necessary to make a Can-Am league franchise viable.

“Every time you have a professional team it creates energy. It creates excitement and it creates a sense of pride in your city,” he said. “There is a lot of potential for this stadium.”

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