With the Ottawa market apparantly up for grabs, an Ottawa city committee approved a plan to spend at least $10 million on improvements to Ottawa Stadium to attract an affiliated team.
With the city now openly talking of seeking targets other than a Double-A team — the potential of a Single-A team was mentioned at today’s meeting — there’s a realization that attracting a team means city spending on bringing Ottawa Stadium back up to speed. When first opening at home of the Ottawa Lynx (Class AAA; International League), the ballpark was considered one of the best in the minors. After the departure of the Lynx to Lehigh Valley, independent baseball teams tried to make a go of it. The ballpark was left to gradually deteriorate, and to bring it up to pro specs (complete with new videoboards, new amenities, some reconfiguring to cut down capacity to a more manageable level) will cost a minimum of $10 million, and upwards of $30 million for more upscale features like a walkaround concourse.
Ottawa city manager Kent Kirkpatrick was a little vague to members of the finance and economic development committee about the prospects of baseball returning to Ottawa, saying he believed there was a team ready to put a proposal on the table.
RELATED STORIES: Ottawa moves forward on changes to ballpark-renovation financing plan; Ottawa revamps ballpark financing plan; Mayor to pitch Blue Jays on charms of Ottawa Stadium; Mandalay Baseball Properties on the block; Mandalay, PSC exploring Ottawa; Ottawa deal far from certain: owners; Eastern League to Ottawa in 2014; Will affiliated ball return to Ottawa?; Beacon makes it official: no Ottawa EL team in 2013; Fisher Cats, Blue Jays extend PDC; Blue Jays expected to re-up with Fisher Cats; Local group launches season-ticket drive for Ottawa baseball; Ottawa ballpark will sport artificial turf — per request of parent team?; Ottawa committee approves $5.7 million in ballpark improvements; Blue Jays GM: We’re not shifting affiliation to Ottawa; It’s official: Eastern League to Ottawa in 2013; Report: Eastern League to Ottawa in 2013; Ottawa puts off ballpark decision; Ottawa baseball bid losing steam?; 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
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at email@example.com.
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!