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Thursday, Apr 24th

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Ottawa less than a done deal?

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Eastern League

A sharp-eyed reader pointed us to a newspaper column by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson that seems to suggest plans to bring a Class AA Eastern League team to Ottawa may not be as firm as previously thought.

From the Ottawa Citizen:

We are also working with the private sector to revitalize an important asset in the east end of the core — the Ottawa Stadium. We are working on a plan to make this a family-friendly destination once again. By Christmas, we will know if our efforts to attract investors willing to help bring professional baseball back to Ottawa have been successful.

This isn't quite as definitive as was stated in September, when Watson announced the deal to bring a team to Ottawa: it was announced that Beacon Sports had worked out lease terms and had successfully received permission to move a franchise to a renovated Ottawa Stadium in 2014. As we pointed out at the time, this plan was missing just one thing: a very rich owner. Between the $5 million the city is seeking for ballpark improvements, the $14 million it will take to buy a team and at least $1.5 million in working capital, you're looking at an owner needing at least $20 million to make Ottawa baseball a go.

The Watson column certainly shook up the Bulldog, one of the biggest boosters of baseball in Ottawa, who realizes the deal certainly isn't final.

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