Archive for the ‘Ottawa Stadium’ Category

Can-Am, City Still Fighting Off Rapidz-Era Lawsuit

- March 27th, 2014

It’s amazing this legal fight over an old Ottawa Stadium agreement is still going on, but it is. All from the last time the Can-Am baseball league was here.

It’s not something the city and Can-Am commissioner Miles Wolff want to have lingering as they try to launch another Can-Am franchise next year.

It’s a distraction from an important job at hand: Bringing back entertaining baseball in the Ottawa region to save the Ottawa Stadium.

Here’s the Superior Court decision cited below.

Subject: Baseball Stadium – Appeal

Sent on behalf of M. Rick O’Connor, City Clerk and Solicitor
De la part de M. Rick O’Connor, Greffier et Chef du contentieux
 
French version to follow/La version française suivra
 
Mayor and Members of Council,
 
I am writing further to my earlier message of March 4th , 2014, in which I advised that the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario had dismissed the action brought by one of the owners of the Rapidz Sports, being  Zip.ca Inc., against the City of Ottawa and other parties.  Earlier today, the City received a Notice of Appeal of that decision, filed by legal counsel for Zip.ca.
 
In its appeal, Zip.ca has asked the Ontario Court of Appeal to overturn the decision of Regional Senior Justice Hackland, claiming that he erred in finding that Zip.ca’s claim was statute barred in accordance with the Provincial Limitations Act, 2002.
 
In light of the fact that the claims by Rapidz Baseball Club Inc., Momentous.ca, and Zip.ca Inc. against the City of Ottawa and several other parties had previously been dismissed by all levels of the courts in Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada, the City will be vigorously opposing the appeal and will be seeking further legal costs against Zip.ca, in addition to those awarded to the City by Regional Senior Justice Hackland. The exact amount of those legal costs has not yet been determined but will be the subject of a further ruling, in the near future.
 
I trust that this update is satisfactory.
 
M. Rick O’Connor, CMO
Certified Specialist (Municipal Law: Local Government) | Spécialiste agréé (Loi sur les municipalités: gouvernement local)
City Clerk and Solicitor | Greffier de la Ville et chef du contentieux
City of Ottawa | ville d’Ottawa

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Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.

Can-Am League Loses A Team

- December 16th, 2013

If you’re interested in baseball’s return to Ottawa, you have probably already noticed the Can-Am league is losing a team for the 2014 season.

The league announced a couple of weeks ago that the Newark Bears won’t field a team next season.

Here’s what the team announced on Twitter:

It appears the team has had its own stadium problems with the municipality. (Plus, some self-created PR nightmares, as the article illustrates).

For Ottawa, this means one fewer team in an already tiny league when Can-Am fields a team in 2015. If Newark remains sidelined and Ottawa joins, that would put the league back at five teams in 2015. Can-Am is pursuing other cities and, at least for 2014, it’s playing under the American Association umbrella with interleague play.

Council signed off on a report promising at least 50 Can-Am games at the Ottawa Stadium each season. In Can-Am’s 2014 season, each team will play 96 games. Assuming there will be 48 home games with four teams in 2014, it’s dangerously close to that 50-game threshold.

Hopefully Can-Am can hold on to the rest of its teams. It looks like Newark’s attendance was pitifully low compared to the other four teams in 2013, so maybe the club’s exit isn’t a big surprise.

Stadium-Via Bridge Update

- October 29th, 2013

I’ve been asked a few times how things are going at the pedestrian bridge being built between Ottawa Stadium and the Via Rail station. Driving down the highway it looks like not much has happened since the piers went up, and with city bridges being so hot right now, I checked in with the city to see what’s up.

How about some good bridge news for a change?

Well, everything appears to be proceeding fine. The scheduled opening is in the fourth quarter of 2014.

There are several different firms working on the project.

McCormick Rankin designed the bridge.

Construction of piers Nos. 1 and 4 (the ones on each side of the highway) was done by Dufresne Piling Company. The two piers in the highway median were done by Corington Engineering. And, the superstructure and ramps will be built by Laflamme Construction.

The city has the project budget at $8.6 million. It’s a tad lower than what it was a couple of years ago.

The update was provided by the rail implementation office, which might seem odd at first, but there are links.

The bridge is being built in coordination with the Hwy. 417 widening — a bundled project with the Confederation Line LRT. Plus, the chief reason for the bridge is to connect Overbrook with the future LRT station at Via.

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Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at ottawasun.com.

How Much Does It Cost To Mothball The Ottawa Stadium?

- October 2nd, 2013

It has apparently become substantially more expensive to mothball the Ottawa Stadium in recent years.

The estimate provided to councillors yesterday was $360,000.

But there’s this December 2009 report on the stadium that talks about annual costs.

In summary, the options in 2009 were:

1. $155,000 annually to mothball the stadium. It was reduced to $11,000 because of offsetting parking revenue.

2. $378,000 to maintain the stadium year-round. Parking revenues brings it down to $234,500.

3. Operating the stadium May 1 – Oct. 31 and mothballing it the rest of the year for $280,000. Net cost was $136,000 thanks to parking revenue.

4. Using only the field between May and October — and mothballing the stadium building — for $215,000. Minus parking revenue, it would have been $71,000.

If all the numbers are accurate as supplied by staff in 2013 and 2009, then, well, that’s quite the increase.

No Debate On Artificial Turf At Ottawa Stadium

- October 1st, 2013

There was a pretty significant issue left surprisingly untouched during today’s finance and economic development committee meeting on the Can-Am stadium lease: Installing fake grass in the facility.

The staff report talks about possibly spending $1.2 million on artificial turf. The excerpt (Inside the Park is Can-Am):

While Inside the Park, LLC is fully prepared to go with a natural grass field, and while baseball purists prefer natural grass, Inside the Park, LLC has requested the City to consider artificial field turf. In terms of community usage and the ability for a variety of sports and other organizations to use the facility, field turf would increase the amount of programming time available at the facility, in contrast to a natural grass field which must be protected from over-use. To ensure optimal field conditions for all users, programming would need to be properly managed to maintain those conditions. If field turf were installed, fewer restrictions would be needed to maintain optimal conditions. An order of magnitude cost to install an artificial turf system at the Ottawa Stadium would be approximately $1.2 M. At this time, staff is in the process of reviewing the business case for an artificial turf surface and will report back to Committee and Council on the results.

Later in the report it says Can-Am would consider “partial funding” of artificial turf.

The big advantage of artificial turf is the ability to host different events without ruining the field. (Remember when the Escapade music festival damaged the grass?)

Artificial turf could extend the usefulness of the stadium into the spring and fall. Maybe there’s also a winter application if the city can put a sports dome on the field and generate more revenue.

The city would need to get some kind of return on its million-dollar investment in turf over a decade.

But none of this came up today and there was no timeline offered for the artificial turf business case.