Ottawa may be sitting on land that could be home to one of the largest soccer facilities in the world.
Larry Pegg, owner of Ecoview Developments, has a vision to build a 30-field soccer park on 250 acres of low-grade farmland next to the southern leg of the city's proposed light rail transit route.
If his plan has the appropriate backing, Pegg said soccer players could arrive at the location using the O-Train or by car. Instead of building a separate parking lot, drivers could park in the 1,200-vehicle transit lot.
He says much of the parking lot would be available to drivers after 6 p.m. when most of the commuter crowd was gone.
He also suggested that by realigning the proposed transit route to meet the needs of the facility, it could save the city $30 million.
"The deletion of excessive stations and the integration with the existing park-and-ride and without buying additional corridor, it will save the cost associated with developing the rail component," said Pegg.
But River ward councillor and sports fan Maria McRae said the project can't go forward. Pegg's biggest hurdle is the land he wants is leased by the Ottawa airport and it will never give it up, McRae suggested.
"How can we build it if those who hold the lease won't give it up?" she asked. "It's a great idea -- it's just in the wrong place."
McRae said she would champion a similar facility if it was located elsewhere in the city and meet the proper requirements.
For more information on the park plan, visit ecoview.com.