City council has voted to approve a plan to lease the Ottawa Stadium to the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball and Inside the Park LLC, a company owned equally by the teams in the organization’s Can-Am league.
© Kane Van Ee
Ottawa City Hall
By Jacob Serebrin
The motion passed 20 to three, according to unofficial results posted on the city’s website after the Wednesday morning vote.
The stadium has been largely unused since the Rapidz baseball team folded in 2008, a team that was part of the Can-Am league.
Mayor Jim Watson had pushed to bring a higher level of baseball to the city, but with a price tag of over $40 million, that proposal proved too expensive.
The city has negotiated a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Inside the Park that will form the framework of an official deal.
Under the terms of the MOU, Inside the Park will lease the stadium for 10 years, with the option of two successive five-year extensions. As part of the agreement, CanAm will establish a team in Ottawa by 2015.
The MOU calls the city to receive $108,000 in rent annually, a portion of parking revenues, 10 per cent of concession sales over $1.2 million and 50 per cent of net revenue from naming rights over $200,000.
The city will face an initial capital cost of $750,000 and an ongoing annual net operating cost of $400,000.
The team will play 50 home games in Ottawa every season.
EcoDistrict plan gets green light
Council also voted to approve $20,000 in funding for the Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict and support the project’s application for further funding through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Building Fund.
The $20,000 is to come from economic development agency Invest Ottawa’s existing funds.
Plans for the hub of environmentally-friendly buildings in the area south of the Parliament Buildings, include introducing centralized heating and cooling for the district, promoting “sustainable business practices” and providing expertise to businesses in the area.
The goal of the plan is to draw shoppers to area retailers and to encourage large companies that are looking for a “green” image to relocate to downtown Ottawa while the federal government vacates the downtown core.
The motion passed decisively, with only Allan Hubley, who represents Kanata South, voting against it, according to unofficial results posted on the city’s website.