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Ottawa baseball bid losing steam?

Eastern LeagueThe schedule for a city-designed bidding process for Ottawa Stadium is reportedly slipping, as the push to bring an Eastern League club to the Canadian capital may be slowing down even further.

We noted last month that a prime topic of chatter at the Winter Meetings was a lack of progress in bringing a Double-A team to Ottawa, as owners expressed serious doubts about whether the city could come up with the money to make the ballpark attractive to potential team owners:

The word from the Winter Meetings: there’s been less progress made on the two moves than many believed. While Ottawa has indeed laid out the expectations for what it expects a tenant to pay, there’s resistance both from the group seeking to bring in a team (they want the city to pay more of the ballpark upgrade costs) as well as from some city officials, who want the team to pick up more of the ballpark upgrade costs — $3.9 million at the very least. Working out a financial deal was predicted by many to be a difficult process; it’s proving to be even more difficult than anticipated.

That view appears to be playing out in Ottawa, where Ken Grey of the Ottawa Citizen reports a promised report on bidding for a ballpark lease is not on the city Finance Committee agenda, despite an agenda that called for a report to the City Council this month. He pins this on the reluctance of city staff to go through with a Ottawa Stadium lease, preferring instead to see the ballpark used for something else. In any case, we’re coming up on deadlines for teams to make decisions about the 2013 season in terms of planning and permissions, so if the Ottawa schedule slips, it would be hard for anyone to buy an Eastern League team and move it to Ottawa.

RELATED STORIES: No, Canada; Group seeks Ottawa Stadium lease for 2013 and beyond; Ottawa out of running for SWB Yankees — but in line for affiliated ball; NY Yankees making moves with minor-league teams; Fat Cats owners may seek affiliated team for Ottawa; Valcke: Baseball can work in Ottawa; Ottawa: Ballpark should be converted to concert venue; Affiliated ball may be returning to Ottawa


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