CFL revival prompts worries about Ottawa stadium
The commissioner of the Canadian Football League announced Tuesday afternoon that a new team will take the field in Ottawa, making some residents of Ottawa's Glebe neighbourhood wonder how that will affect plans for the city's crumbling football stadium.
League commissioner Mark Cohon said Ottawa will receive an expansion franchise that could begin play as early as 2010 — provided it builds a suitable football stadium.
The city is currently engaged in an international design competition and public consultations for the redesign Lansdowne Park, the park that contains Frank Clair Stadium, the home of Ottawa's previous CFL teams.
Bob Brocklebank, president of the Glebe Community Association, which represents residents near the park, urged the city Tuesday to stick with the competition and consultation process.
He said council instructed staff to go ahead with the process, and his association has been working hard to encourage residents across Ottawa to get involved in it.
"And the idea that all of a sudden we're going to throw the process out the window — I just don't see that as a possibility," he said.
Frank Clair Stadium was the home of the Ottawa Renegades CFL team until the franchise was shut down in 2006. Before them, the Ottawa Rough Riders CFL team played at the stadium until 1996.
This past fall, engineers deemed the lower south-side stands of the stadium unsafe because of cracks in the structure. The staff recommended the stands be demolished.
That led to discussions about the future of the stadium and the park.