League will run franchise if a local buyer can’t be found.
Can-Am Association Commissioner Miles Wolff committed to his league fielding a team next season at Ottawa Stadium, despite the decision by Zip.ca to fold the Ottawa Rapidz in the face of larger-than-expected losses during the 2008 season.
Wolff made his comments at a press conference yesterday, where he announced his intention to seek local owners for the franchise; if none can be found, then the league will assume operating responsbilities. It doesn’t sounds like the Rapidz name will be back, however.
Losing Ottawa — and potentially a demolition of Ottawa Stadium if no team were playing there next season, according to city officials — was something Wolff did not want to risk.
"You’ve got over a million people here, a great ballpark, a great location," Wolff told the Ottawa Sun. "Five thousand people showed up for the last game to celebrate an awful team that was in last place. That’s pretty amazing. Over the year, we saw the crowds, even with the weather being pretty awful, grow. They liked the Can-Am League. A lot of it is just a gut feel that if we do things right this will be very successful for us," said Wolff.
According to Wolff the previous owners generated $1.5 million in revenues, a figure that bodes well for any new owners. Even at that figure, the previous owners claimed a loss of $1.4 for the season.