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Lansdowne Park makeover mulled

Amid announcements of another professional soccer team in Ottawa andtwo new alternative proposals, residents finally get a glimpse of whata new Lansdowne Park could someday become.

Amid announcements of another professional soccer team in Ottawa and two new alternative proposals, residents finally get a glimpse of what a new Lansdowne Park could someday become.

Today, city council will review development proposal that the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group negotiated with city staff since late April.

“I’m very excited about it. I think it’s a beautiful blend of economic prudence and world-class artistic design and suitability for the city of Ottawa,” said Mayor Larry O’Brien. “Now it’s a matter of the community getting involved, the community reviewing it. There are a lot of things left to happen.”

O’Brien said today’s presentation was only the start of the list of up to 50 different approvals needed move the program forward.

The proposal includes a plan to rebuild Frank Clair stadium in order to host a CFL franchise.

Yesterday, the OSEG announced it had applied for a United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) franchise that would share the stadium.

The USL First Division is a professional league that is considered a step below Major League Soccer. In fact, several franchises, such as the Vancouver Whitecaps, have used the USL as a stepping stone into the MLS.

Senators Sports and Entertainment had been attempting to bring an MLS franchise to Ottawa, but President Cyril Leeder said they are not interested in a USL team.

In the past week, two alternative plans for Lansdowne Park have been announced.

While Capital Ward Coun. Clive Doucet, unveiled a plan for the park by Ottawa architect Lester Johnson, local computer consultant John Martin launched Vitally Ottawa — Absolument Ottawa, in reaction to the cancellation of the Design Lansdowne competition.

Martin is also advocating for competition to redesign the park and he said the stadium should be located at Bayview Yards.

Doucet said the “sole source” arrangement with the OSEG was destructive to the whole city.

“How are we going to ask the provincial and federal governments to participate in funding the renaissance of Lansdowne Park when we’re using a process which is illegal at their levels?” he said.

 
 
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