Ottawa inks deal for Can-Am league baseball in 2015

The City of Ottawa has signed a contract with an independent league baseball team that would begin playing at Ottawa Stadium in 2015 and could last up to 10 years.

The city has signed an agreement with an independent league baseball team that will begin playing Ottawa next year for up to 10 years.

The Ottawa Stadium will have tenants in the spring of 2015 as an independent league baseball team starts playing.

City council approved the deal in the fall that replaced any potential deal for a team affiliated with a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise.

The deal allows the team playing in the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball – or Can-Am league - to lease the stadium. Under the terms of the proposal, the Ottawa team would begin playing in May 2015.

A Can-Am franchise, the Ottawa Rapidz, lasted only one season in 2008 before folding.

3rd Canadian team

The league has two other Canadian teams in Quebec City and Trois Rivieres, Que., along with three in the northeastern United States.

City staff had said this option was preferable to leaving the stadium empty or knocking it down.

They have also said a team would bring 50 home games to the stadium every year, plus another 50 to 75 recreation and entertainment events made possible with the facility's upkeep.

The city would still be responsible for day-to-day management of the stadium, according to the deal.

Ottawa had been trying to attract a team affiliated with a MLB franchise, specifically the Toronto Blue Jays, for years.

The city said there was a bid from a AA-level team on the table, but it would have cost the city over $40 million. No price tag was given for the deal with the Can-Am team.