Soccer, Lansdowne balls in city's hands

DEREK PUDDICOMBE, CITY HALL BUREAU

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

The proposal to bring pro soccer to Ottawa is now in the city's hands.

After meeting with Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, representatives of Senators Sports Entertainment and MLS executives yesterday, Mayor Larry O'Brien said the city has received a formal proposal from Melnyk.

The proposal for a $110-million stadium, hotel, commercial and entertainment facility is now under review by city manager Kent Kirkpatrick and other staff.

It's expected the proposal will come before council by early spring. The MLS is looking to award a franchise by March, the same deadline to go forward with a conditional CFL franchise tied to the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park.

"The fact that Senators Sports Entertainment, Eugene Melnyk and MLS are looking at Ottawa as a potential venue for professional soccer is a huge positive for our city," O'Brien said.

"We now have two world-class proposals that see the private sector and professional sports wanting to help grow and improve the nation's capital."

The Lansdowne proposal, by 67's owner Jeff Hunt and fellow businessmen Roger Greenberg, John Ruddy and Bill Shenkman, includes a hotel, underground parking, an aquarium and commercial development.


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