'Gades staffers get boot

ALEX HEBERT -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

Ruffy, the Ottawa Renegades' beaver mascot, will have to continue his winter hibernation through the football season -- and hundreds of others who depend on the team for employment have also been left out in the cold.

Phil Kershaw, a Renegades consultant who oversees the front office, said yesterday all of the team's 60 or 70 full-time workers will be out of a job as a result of the 2006 season being suspended.

That does not include part-time staff, concessions staff, security, parking officials and city workers at Ottawa-owned Lansdowne Park and Frank Clair Stadium.

"I estimate that a CFL football team probably brings $25 million to $30 million in direct and indirect economic activity each year that they play," said Kershaw.

While a city spokesman said it's too early to tell whether there will be layoffs, onsite staff weren't optimistic.

REDUCED WORKFORCE

"There's no way all the part-timers will keep their jobs," said one city worker who was sweeping trash yesterday.

A spokesman for Aramark, the company in charge of concessions at Frank Clair Stadium, says it employs 250 people every game and they'll also "be working with reduced full-time staff."

Coun. Clive Doucet says the city breaks even with the Renegades but he expects to see fewer kids wanting to play football.

There were 2,600 season tickets sold before Sunday's announcement, which works out to about $850,000 in revenue. Former owner Bernie Glieberman has said he would reimburse buyers but for some fans, that wasn't enough.

"I'd be surprised if I got my money back," said John Higgins, who was trying to return his two season tickets yesterday.


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