Brewer hops into town

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

Frank D'Angelo, in yet another unexpected move, stormed into Ottawa yesterday for the first time since boldly announcing his interest in reviving CFL football in this city.

"I go big, or I go home," said the Toronto-based entrepreneur.

No kidding.

D'Angelo, impeccably attired in a dark pin-striped suit, arrived in the morning for a tour of Frank Clair Stadium and the offices which formerly held the administration and football staff of the Renegades.

He was accompanied by Phil Kershaw, who served as a consultant to ex-Renegades owner Bernie Glieberman. The two met briefly for an informal chat with Rick Haycock, the GM of Lansdowne Park.

D'Angelo claimed on Wednesday afternoon he had secured a rendezvous with Mayor Bob Chiarelli, but the meeting was cancelled at the city's request.

Since D'Angelo, president and CEO of Steelback Brewery and D'Angelo Brands, had already made travel arrangements to arrive from Toronto, he continued with the journey to the nation's capital for an up-close view of the place he hopes will become mission control of his football venture.

Speaking with reporters at city hall yesterday, Chiarelli said he admired D'Angelo's enthusiasm about football in Ottawa.

"But his exuberance is premature," said the mayor, who spoke with CFL commissioner Tom Wright yesterday morning.

"The CFL has not determined a process yet and hasn't set a price (for the team)," said Chiarelli. "The league hasn't decided what it will do with the franchise."

D'Angelo's trip to Ottawa won't be viewed well from the league's headquarters, where Wright would prefer a more subtle approach to negotiations for ownership of an expansion franchise.

On Wednesday, D'Angelo revealed the new jersey and colours of the team he hopes to put on the Frank Clair field in 2007, and also announced his intention to name the team the Ottawa Steelback.

The CFL responded with surprise to D'Angelo's latest bold step, saying any move by a prospective owner of a team would be "exploratory only."

D'Angelo had an "informal" conversation with Wright earlier this month after the league and its eight governors voted to kill the Renegades.

They had rejected a plan from Glieberman, who offered to cover a portion of the team's financial losses for the upcoming season.

"I've got to sit with them and find out what's in their head," said D'Angelo yesterday. "I don't know their mindset, but I want to find out and work with them on this."


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