Funding for EcoDistricts approved
A committee of city councillors voted on Tuesday to approve the return of baseball to the underused Ottawa Stadium.
Members of the finance and economic development committee directed staff to enter into negotiations with the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball to lease the stadium and enter a team in its Can-Am league starting in 2015.
The vote effectively kills Mayor Jim Watson’s dream of having a professional baseball league, preferably at the Double-A level, affiliated with Major League Baseball.
The city’s months-long bidding process, which began earlier this summer, resulted in only a bid from a Double-A team. However city staff felt the $40 million that would have been required to fix up the stadium in the east end was too expensive.
Mr. Watson has been hoping to make better use of the stadium, which has received infrequent use ever since the team’s previous affiliated baseball franchise, the Ottawa Lynx, left in 2007.
Ottawa previously had a team in the Can-Am league but it folded after its one and only season in 2008.
Also on Tuesday councillors voted to approve public money for the plan to turn a major part of downtown Ottawa into a hub for environmentally-friendly buildings.
Staff recommended the city spend $20,000 to help support the proposal from a group called the Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict.
It wants to adopt an informal set of standards for office buildings in an area located just south of the Parliament Buildings.
Councillors voted nine to one to approve the idea, with only Kanata South Counc. Allan Hubley voting against.
Both motions will now go to a full meeting of city council for final approval.