Court challenges push back completion of renovations, but city documents say CFL team may face just one-year hold
By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen
Renovating Lansdowne Park will take two years longer than planned, according to documents provided to city councillors Thursday evening, though a new professional football team could only be delayed for one year.
The documents describe changes to the so-called Lansdowne Partnership Plan, between the city and a group of private developers and sports businessmen called the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. Together, they'd renovate Frank Clair Stadium for a new CFL football team and minor-league soccer team and erect commercial and residential buildings on the northern part of the site. The city also plans to replace most of the expanse of parking lots at Lansdowne with a new urban park.
According to the original plan, it all was supposed to be finished by June 2013, just in time to field the football team for that season. Instead, according to a memo from city manager Kent Kirkpatrick, the stadium isn't expected to be substantially completed until December of that year and not ready for use until June 2014. Work on the park won't begin until January 2014 and won't be done until summer 2015, according to the new schedule.