The naming rights for the revamped Lansdowne Park stadium are up for sale.
The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) announced Wednesday they’re looking to sell the naming rights to Frank Clair Stadium.
Such a deal could be worth $1 million a year, OSEG said.
Since 1993, the stadium had been named after former Ottawa Rough Riders coach and general manager Frank Clair, who won five Grey Cups in the 1960s and '70s.
"He certainly means a lot to the success of the CFL here in Ottawa," said Jeff Avery, a former Rough Rider who played under Clair and also runs the alumni group for Ottawa CFLers.
"Obviously [a name change is] unfortunate, but it is business. You have to create revenues and naming rights are a big, big ticket for any professional sport."
Frank Clair will still be honoured — OSEG
OSEG said it's been speaking with the Clair family about how to honour Frank Clair, and while they weren't giving specifics, said they'll have something in place before the CFL season starts.
"It’s important for our business, for fans and taxpayers to secure a naming rights partner that’s committed to our teams and our city," a spokesperson said in a statement.
"It’s also important to honour Frank Clair’s legacy in a manner that does justice to his great accomplishments."
OSEG said in the statement that a naming rights partnership had been in their works since one was included in the Lansdowne Park plan approved by city council.
The Ottawa 67’s, owned by OSEG member Jeff Hunt, had held a lottery to sell off naming rights to the Ottawa Civic Centre for three seasons before they moved to the Canadian Tire Centre during construction at Lansdowne.
The Ottawa RedBlacks are scheduled to join the CFL in the 2014 season, playing out of the stadium at Lansdowne Park.