The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group said Thursday that it’s hired Bernie Ashe as its first CEO.
The group plans to transform Lansdowne Park to include office, retail and residential space, as well as a newly renovated stadium that will be home to a Canadian Football League team. Construction on the project began in earnest earlier this year.
Mr. Ashe said he will primarily be responsible for bringing people to Lansdowne Park through concerts and sporting events. Separate companies will be responsible for the project’s other elements, such as the condominiums and storefronts.
“The business of Lansdowne Park will be to drive as many people to the site as possible to attend a sporting event or a concert or shop or eat,” said Mr. Ashe in an interview.
The project was held up from its original timelines as multiple community groups tried to have the courts block OSEG’s partnership with the City of Ottawa. City council gave final approval to the project in October.
Mr. Ashe said it’s too early to discuss his specific goals for the job. His first order of business will be to bring in a team of employees for the organization.
He also wants to establish relationships with other groups that are involved, such as the city and the Glebe Business Improvement area.
Mr. Ashe most recently worked for the KOTT Group, which supplies lumber for the homebuilding industry. He also served as president and CEO of AiT, which developed traveler identity technology for use as border crossings, and was executive vice-president and chief operating officer of the Ottawa Senators from 1991-97, according to an OSEG press release.