Report weighs stadium sites

SHANE ROSS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

A comprehensive report commissioned by the city identified Bayview St. at Tom Brown Arena and Carleton University as the best sites for a multi-purpose outdoor stadium.

Lansdowne Park and the property adjacent to Scotiabank Place -- the two sites featured in stadium proposals submitted to the city -- ranked sixth and seventh, respectively. Twenty-three potential sites were evaluated in the report.

"Over the next 62 days, council will have to make one of the most important decisions for the future of Ottawa," Mayor Larry O'Brien wrote on his blog after the rankings were released last night. "Where should we build a new outdoor stadium, in Kanata or at Lansdowne Park?"

The report, produced by Corporate Research Group Ltd., recommends the stadium "be located either in the urban centre of the city, as part of an overall development plan for an area that may include commercial, residential and/or retail redevelopment."

That bodes well for Lansdowne.

But the report says another option is for a stadium "in a group setting to achieve a sport-entertainment district which provides benefits through common infrastructure, parking, shared facilities for larger events and increased exposure for all venues to each others' user groups. In either case, accessibility is key, notably access to transit, parking, etc."

That bodes well for a Scotiabank site.

ASSESS STRENGTHS

In fact, four of the 23 recommended sites are near Scotibank Place, although the site proposed by Eugene Melnyk's Senators Sports & Entertainment, which hopes to anchor the stadium with an MLS soccer franchise, ranks highest.

CRG used four main criteria to evaluate the sites:

* Site technical (site area, soil condition, site development costs, land ownership, etc.);

* Site general (impact on neighbours, access to amenities);

* Transportation and access (proximity/access to major roadways and public transportation)

* Planning and infrastructure (whether the site is serviced/unserviced, etc.)

Points were awarded for each criteria. Sites on city-owned land received extra points. Both proposed sites are on city-owned land, as is the Bayview St. location. The Carleton site is privately owned, so the city would have to enter into a partnership with the university if it chose that option.

The maximum possible site score is 95 points. Bayview and Carleton each scored 77.50. Lansdowne scored 72 and the Scotiabank site 70.75.

"This study is not designed to recommend a specific site or plan ... but rather to assess the strengths and weaknesses of sites in the city," O'Brien wrote.

"We have two world-class community builders who have submitted ideas to the city and we owe it to them to garner all information required to make the right decision."

The report will be presented to council on March 11. A staff report evaluating the two proposals will be tabled on March 25.

After public consultation, council is scheduled to make a decision on April 22.

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TOP PICKS

The Top 23 sites for an outdoor stadium in Ottawa, ranked by Corporate Research Group Ltd.:

T1. Bayview St./Tom Brown Arena

T1. Carleton University

3. Lebreton Flats

4. Carling Ave. and Preston St.

5. Plouffe Park/City Centre

6. Lansdowne Park

T7. Scotiabank Place 4 (Melnyk's proposed site)

T7. Scotiabank Place 3

9. Jockvale Rd. and Greenbank Rd.

T10. Scotiabank Place 1

T10. Scotiabank Place 2

12. Ogilvie Rd./Shopper's City East

13. Earl Armstrong Rd. and Limeback Rd.

14. Pineview Golf Course

15. Former Rapidz Stadium site

16. Hazeldean Rd./Mattamy

17. Hunt Club Rd. and Woodroffe Ave.

18. Cardinal Creek Business Park

19. Millenium Park

20. Innes Rd. and Belcourt Blvd.

21. Lincoln Fields Galleria

22. Hazeldean Rd./Urbandale

23. Albion Rd. and Rideau Rd. (Exhibition lands)


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