Somewhere, out there in the sky, Eugene Melnik is wearing a wide grin.
The late owner of the Ottawa senator lost his battle with an undisclosed illness on March 28, but one of his last acts before his death was to sign a bid for a new skating rink at LeBreton Flats before the NDC deadline of February 28 as an expression of interest.
He would have been happy to hear the news Thursday that senators had secured a preferred bid status for the construction of a new downtown plaza. There is still a lot of work to do before the final deal is concluded but this is a huge step in the right direction for the organization.
Senators first made a bid to buy LeBreton Flats in 2015, which ended with Melnyk and his partner, John Ruddy of Trinity, launching lawsuits against each other. This time, the senators allied themselves with a group of people who had experience building skating rinks.
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“It is no secret, Commissioner (Gary Pittman) has mentioned for years, that not simply in an Ottawa market, however in any market, having a staff near downtown and near your transportation hubs is essential when it comes to how folks eat this,” Anthony said. LeBlanc, the club’s chief commercial officer.
“It is not simply hockey, it is all of the occasions that include this facility. I might say this is essential. The situation, and the truth that that is anchored to 2 LRT stations on both facet of the power, makes this a sport changer for us.”
The senators have not specified the size of this arena and there is no timetable for opening night. There is a lot of work to be done and it wouldn’t make sense for the organization to try to set itself with a schedule when there are already shovels in the ground.
Naturally, the NHL head office was happy to take this major first step. Pittman told reporters before Game One of the Stanley Cup Final in Denver that the senators had been looking at a new rink on the Lebreton Flats but they didn’t shed much light on the show.
“It is clearly excellent news,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in an email. “There’s extra work to be finished however it’s a constructive step on this course of.”
Not only does this ensure the future of the concession in Ottawa, but it means that senators will head to a central location in the city that can be reached by light rail transit. People can dine downtown, head to the game and then stop for a cold drink before heading home.
The Canadian Tire Center opened in 1996, but LeBlanc noted that the buildings have a shelf life and the rink is nearing its end. Fans in Ottawa greeted the news with excitement because the group formed by the senators is both legitimate and experienced in building skating rinks.
No price tag has been set for a new skating rink but UBS’s Long Island rink hit $1 billion. Anyone could guess how much this would cost and the senators were not about to get into that kind of speculation.
“Each constructing is completely different,” LeBlanc said. “What now we have to do over the subsequent 12 to fifteen months is to have consultations with our fan base and our company companions to search out out what they’re searching for on this facility.”
Acknowledging LeBlanc with Live Nation, one of the world’s largest concert promoters, as a partner, it makes sense that they would have a say in this building as well.
“This is not only a hockey area, though that is probably the most thrilling half from our standpoint, it will be a giant occasion middle that may lead loads of live shows and multicultural occasions,” LeBlanc mentioned. “We need to talk to our partners and find out what they want.
“It’s too early to talk about the cost but we have an idea of the scale in which it is. There is a lot of work to be done, but the optimism I have is in getting to the next step and the truth is in the process, we are focusing on what we have experience with and this is building an arena “.
If you feel like we’ve been here before, but this time feel like this deal will pay off. All you have to do is take a look at the strength of the partners behind this show, including Sterling Project Development, Populous, Tipping Point Sports and Live Nation.
“This is the right group. It is a fact that this (land) is the right piece for us to nibble on,” LeBlanc mentioned. “That is our experience, we personal and function the yards. The NCC has been very considerate in its strategy of the best way to transfer ahead. The companions we assembled are teams which have finished this many instances.
“We have the right set of partners together and this is the time for that to happen.”
The Senators didn’t win the Stanley Cup, however this was a day Melnick would have been happy to witness.
Title: Ottawa Senators & Associates Win Tender to Build Arena at LeBreton Flats
Senators have not made any decision on the future of the Canadian Tyre Center