Good news for CFL bidders ... stands OK

SHANE ROSS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:46 AM ET

An engineer's report that shows the north side of Frank Clair Stadium is structurally sound is good news to the group hoping to revitalize Lansdowne Park.

"We can at least proceed on that basis, we've eliminated on the wild cards." said Jeff Hunt, owner of the Ottawa 67's.

Hunt and his group are trying to bring a CFL franchise back to Ottawa and submitted to the city a $120-million proposal, named Lansdowne Live, that includes renovations to the stadium and an entertainment complex featuring shops, restaurants and a walk-through aquarium.

Hunt was also relieved the north-side structure was sound because it is attached to the Civic Centre, where the 67s play.

CIVIC CENTRE SAFE

"You can't really tear the north-side stands down without tearing the Civic Centre down," said Hunt, who was surprised last July when the south-sides stands were found to be structurally unsafe and had to be torn down.

Hunt's proposal for a world-class, open-air stadium is one of two in front of the city. Senators owner Eugene Melnyk hopes to build one in Kanata to house a Major League Soccer franchise.

Hunt has a conditional CFL franchise until March, and hopes to have an answer from the city well before then.

"That's looming large," he said.

"It's important to have focus and a sense of urgency and a date to have something worked out by. It's not going to be something we'll have in a week or two by any means."

He said the city has been asking for details as it gets down to the nitty-gritty.

One detail Hunt did disclose: If the aquarium get the go-ahead, "it will definitely have a shark."


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