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CFL returns to Ottawa

<p>The Canadian Football League will announce today it is planning to have a franchise back in Ottawa for the 2010 season.</p>

But hurdles remain, including repairs to Frank Clair Stadium


The Canadian Football League will announce today it is planning to have a franchise back in Ottawa for the 2010 season.



Whether that happens, though, will be up to local politicians. They’re the ones who must decide whether another CFL franchise here is worth the cost of a new or refurbished stadium.



"We’re hoping that a formal announcement (today) might put some pressure on those guys (Ottawa councillors)," said a CFL source who confirmed for Metro yesterday the league’s intention to grant a franchise to a local group fronted by Ottawa 67’s owner Jeff Hunt.



"Not that we have any major worries," he said. "We feel this is something that can be worked out."



Hunt, who is backed by wealthy developers John Ruddy, Roger Greenberg and William Shenkman, has been negotiating with city councillors for several months about the possibility of upgrading Frank Clair Stadium so their new franchise can be up and running in time for the 2010 season.



"There’s no way this franchise will become official until there are extensive repairs or maybe even a brand new stadium," the CFL source told Metro. "I doubt the councillors will put enough money into this for a new stadium, but the repairs, especially on the southside stands, must be (done)."



The lower portion of the stadium’s southside stands are condemned and due to be demolished this summer.



CFL commissioner Mark Cohon will make the announcement this afternoon at Lansdowne Park, but he has gone on record as saying there won’t be a new franchise for Ottawa unless there is an adequate stadium.


–with files from Torstar News Service
















third time’s a charm?




  • A new team for Ottawa would mark the CFL’s third stint in the capital. The Rough Riders were formed in 1876, but folded after the 1996 season. The CFL returned to Ottawa in 2002, this time as the Renegades.


 
 
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