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.
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