Ottawa Stadium Financial Risks

- February 9th, 2012

When you’re talking about new or relocated sports franchises, there are always financial risks. At Lansdowne Park, we don’t know for certain how the CFL team will work out, especially considering the history of the last two franchises.

Same goes with this proposed lease for the Ottawa Stadium, where ball teams have come and gone.

Here are the city’s risks associated with the baseball agreement, according to staff:

1. The city doesn’t really know exactly how much the renovations will cost until it starts tendering the work. Same goes for Beacon Sports.

2. The city believes it can get its $5.7 million in maintenance expenses (plus debt servicing) back within 15 years. So if the ball team doesn’t pick up a five-year option after the 10-year lease, the city will lose out.

3. The city figures it needs to spend $250,000 to prepare a “renovation plan” for the stadium, something that’s required by Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball. If council approves the lease but the leagues don’t approve the relocation of a double-A team, the city loses that cash.

Here’s hoping baseball fans are ready to come out of the woodwork.

Categories: Ottawa Stadium

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1 comment

  1. Greg Moore says:

    Reviewing the City’s position on how it calculates the “risk” on its investment in Ottawa Stadium I don’t see how City Staffers would ever endorse this deal as it looks to me that this is nothing more than a subsidy by taxpayers and I, for one, am tired of subsidizing sports teams.

    It was reported that the City was told by AA Baseball that they would have to contribute $5.7 million or more (upfront) towards stadium upgrades. Assuming normal rates for borrowing, and calculating the borrowing costs over 10 years, the taxpayers of Ottawa are spending approximately $710,000 annually to relocate a US based baseball team. The problem is the City has agreed to a lease deal of $250,000 per year which means the taxpayers will have to provide a subsidy of $460,000++ to bring a US owned team to Ottawa.

    Further, given the Lansdowne mess and the ever increasing costs associated with that project, I can see this stadium deal increasing by 2 or 3 million dollars more.

    There are only two options for Ottawa Stadium:

    1. Give the Ottawa Fat Cats a long term lease that doesn’t cause the taxpayers to subsidize its business or,
    2. Sell the property and get rid of the headache once and for all.

    Wake Up Ottawa!

    Greg Moore

    As mentioned, I am tired of seeing my tax dollars go to wealthy business people when there is so much more we need to do in this city.

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