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Friday, June 14, 2024

Ottawa Senators Awarded Bid for Downtown Arena

Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators are one step closer to getting a new home.

The team, which Forbes last valued at $525 million, reached a memorandum of understanding with the National Capital Commission and a group of partners for an arena in the LeBreton Flats area.

Pending a few more steps — including approval from the City of Ottawa — the team will be able to move from the Canadian Tire Centre. Last season, the team’s average attendance was the lowest in the league.

The NCC said in a release that it aims to reach a long-term land-lease agreement by the fall of 2023, adding that there are “clear targets related to sustainability, affordable housing, and benefits for the Algonquin Nation.”

The Senators were awarded the bid to develop in the same area in 2016, but negotiations fell apart in 2018 after the relationship between the late Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and his business partner John Ruddy went south, generating lawsuits and counter-lawsuits. 

  • Melnyk, who purchased the team for $92 million in 2003 to save it from bankruptcy, died on March 28.
  • NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in May that the team is not for sale. Melnyk’s daughters, Anna and Olivia, remain in charge.

Behind the Build

Live Nation, Sterling Project Development, Tipping Point Sports, and Populous are partnering with the team on the arena, which would be on a 7.5-acre plot.

Anthony LeBlanc, the team’s president of business operations, said the Senators will spend the “next series of months” looking at financing.

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