Top Menu

Mandalay, PSC exploring Ottawa

Eastern LeagueA rather breathless and inaccurate report in the Ottawa Citizen has some locals excited about the possible return of pro baseball to the Canadian capital.

The report, which you can read here, has one central fact correct: Mandalay Baseball Properties and Professional Sports Catering officials did indeed visit Ottawa Stadium near the beginning of the year to look over Ottawa Stadium and review the financials with officials in the mayor’s office. That meeting has been followed up with other discussions.

But nothing else in the story, basically, is correct, according to owners with knowledge of the situation. First, there are some little inaccuracies — no, PSC does not own the Quad Cities River Bandits or the South Bend Silver Hawks (Low Class A; Midwest League). Second, there’s a whopper; the Erie SeaWolves (Class AA; Eastern League), currently owned by Mandalay Baseball Properties, would not be the team moving to Ottawa should a deal take place. Remember, the broker putting together the deal — Rick Billings of Beacon Capital — reps the Binghamton Mets in this deal. What’s been discussed: a sale of Erie to comply with MiLB ownership rules and then a purchase/move of Binghamton. Which, of course, makes for a complicated deal.

And a complicated deal is always hard to pull off, which is why Mayor Jim Watson says he was briefed on a potential deal a few weeks ago and isn’t expecting anything for another two to three weeks. On the one hand, baseball owners receive pitches from cities all the time, whether it’s official or a back-channel communication, and discussions like the ones in Ottawa happen more often than folks assume. Now, putting together big deals is something where both Mandalay and PSC have experience (whether it’s engineering an expensive ballpark renovation in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre or building a major business from a few original concession deals, as Tom Dickson and Sherrie Myers have), but we’re talking something very complicated here, between the franchise shifts and working with the city to come up with more money for Ottawa Stadium renovations. And, of course, there’s the reality that Ottawa may not be the best market for pro baseball: an MiLB team would be fourth on the local sports-scene totem pole. So while a deal would not surprise us, it would also not surprise us if the pair walks away from a potential deal if the numbers don’t work.

RELATED STORIES: Ottawa deal far from certain: owners; Ryan-Sanders close to buying B-Mets, moving team to Ottawa; Eastern League to Ottawa in 2014; Will affiliated ball return to Ottawa?Beacon makes it official: no Ottawa EL team in 2013Fisher Cats, Blue Jays extend PDCBlue Jays expected to re-up with Fisher CatsLocal group launches season-ticket drive for Ottawa baseballOttawa ballpark will sport artificial turf — per request of parent team?Ottawa committee approves $5.7 million in ballpark improvementsBlue Jays GM: We’re not shifting affiliation to OttawaIt’s official: Eastern League to Ottawa in 2013Report: Eastern League to Ottawa in 2013Ottawa puts off ballpark decisionOttawa baseball bid losing steam?No, Canada; Group seeks Ottawa Stadium lease for 2013 and beyondOttawa out of running for SWB Yankees — but in line for affiliated ballNY Yankees making moves with minor-league teamsFat Cats owners may seek affiliated team for OttawaValcke: Baseball can work in OttawaOttawa: Ballpark should be converted to concert venueAffiliated ball may be returning to Ottawa


Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at

Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.

Join Ballpark Digest on Facebook and on Twitter!

Follow Ballpark Digest on Google + and add us to your circles!

, , , , , ,