Football: Latest on Lansdowne bad news for Gee-Gees

It's not clear where the stadium debate in Ottawa leaves the Gee-Gees football team ... but now it has come out that the north side stands need major repairs.

You'll recall half the south-side stand was blown up in 2007.
"Lansdowne Park is in far worse shape than originally thought and large scale renovations of the stadium's north end stands are going to be needed just to bring it up acceptable standards.

"Regional ward councilor Clive Doucet was already leading the charge yesterday to declare the stadium plans a write off and is now pushing to launch an international design competition - which, if they like, could include a nondescript stadium.

" 'It's really taken the stadium out of the we can actually get back to doing business the way we should be.' "
Doucet's "international design competition" is a lot of hot air, but as commenters on Duane Rollins' Out of Left Field post noted, this is a real wedge to the residents of Ottawa's Glebe neighbourhood. The Glebeites have been trying to get the "great unwashed" which come to CFL and OHL games, not mention the summer Superex, out of their hair for the last 30 years. This helps their chances. There is also the fear that "a stadium for the CFL or for MLS, but not both" might morph into "a stadium for no one."

It raises the question of where the Gee-Gees fit into the grand scheme (a question that almost never seems to come up in the mainstream media coverage of the story). A city report six weeks ago listed Bayview Yards, near the Ottawa River and close to downtown, and Carleton as the top two sites for a stadium.

Bayview Yards is about a 15-minute bus trip (no transfer) from the uOttawa campus, if I'm not mistaken.

Lansdowne will cost extra $20 million over 10 years (Patrick Dare, Ottawa Citizen)
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  1. Neate. As a big Gee Gee football fan, I have not been completely sold on the idea of a 3000-5000 seat football stadium on Mann avenue. That is a big as they will get though, due to community opposition.Even 5000 seats is way to big for many area residents. Yet it is to small to accommodate any possible increase in interest in the coming decades.If they build such a small seater, they are likely to be stuck with it for the next 30 years.
    Also, I am not convinced that building a football stadium on campus will , in itself, lead to better attendance. There is no proof of that, just wishful thinking.
    A state of the art stadium at Lansdowne would be a better draw in the long run for all segments of football fans , for Gee Gee games, not just students.As you point out a modern stadium at Bayview would also be well positioned for both universities and the general public.
    I note that Winnipeg is going to build a new 30,000 seater for Bomber and Bison football. From what I have heard the Bisons do not currently do much better than the Gee Gees in getting fans to the games, but the Bisons have signed on to play in that big stadium.
    I am sure you will correct me if I am wrong on that score.
    uOttawa could concentrate on getting new gym facilities and/or more ice pads(as the Sandy Hill community seems to want) on Mann Avenue. Plus they could put a second all weather playing field there, with no significant seating capacity, for intramural and community use. This too would sit well with the local community I believe.
    The worst scenario for Gee Gee football is that the North Side Stands are condemned and closed, before a decision to build any stadium, on or off campus, is made. This not out of the realm of possibility. Then, the Gees would not have a decent home stadium for a few years. What do with the sixty-sevens if the whole stadium/arena complex comes down at Lansdowne is another issue.


  2. Thanks as always, OttawaFan. You're right in saying that it's not location alone that will increase attendance, it's gonna take a change in attitude among students and Ottawa residents.

    I do, personal theory, not supported by anything, believe 3,000-6,000 seats is optimal for university football for any school not named Laval. The nature of spectator sports is changing. People might be more interested in years to come, but having 3-4 hours to block out on Saturday afternoon can be tough.

    I know there's times where I mull going to the Gee-Gees or 67's and then end up watching on Rogers 22 because I want to follow a couple other games from home. (I'm that big a geek.)

    Anyway, yes, you're right the U of M Bisons will play at the new Bombers Stadium. It's supposed to be on or near their campus, which I guess is at an older part of Winnipeg that's begging to be rebuilt.

  3. "Anyway, yes, you're right the U of M Bisons will play at the new Bombers Stadium. It's supposed to be on or near their campus, which I guess is at an older part of Winnipeg that's begging to be rebuilt."

    Not really. The U of M is in the south end of Winnipeg. It's close to most of the recent suburban growth there (which has been to the south and southwest). That stadium will be there because there is the vacant land to build it.

    It's the U of W that is in an older area of town. The "rebuilding" theory was what was behind the Bombers' Point Douglas proposal (which would have been in a rundown area), and might also apply to the land occupied by the soon-to-be-former stadium.

  4. Ben Gianni, a Carleton University architect professor has suggested:

    "Better places would be along the Rideau River near Hurdman, the Lees Avenue former Algonquin college campus areas, possibly also the area around Rochester and Preston."

    The Lees Avenue site is near and owned by uOttawa and it would be a good fit if the City and the uni combined forces to build a sports complex/stadium for the use of both.


  5. in response to this issue, uOttawa "AD"? provided another eloquently stated, profound piece of wisdom that has characterized his tenure:


  6. Luc Gelineau is not the most vociferous of guys at any time.

    The one tine I have seen him quoted in the past year he seemed to favour a field house type stadium. A 4000 seater that is covered with a permanent roof.

    In fairness to the AD, those above him in the administration have said little publicly about the stadium issue either.

    The strategy seems to be to say as little as possible, in public, about the specifics of what they want to build. I think this is because they do not want to rile up more opposition from residents and city politicians who do not want to see them build large structures in the Mann-Nicholas Gateway Precinct.

    They would rather talk behind the scenes to all the stakeholders and not say much publicly until they have a deal.

    This approach is frustrating to a fan like me, who likes to know, but I guess they think this is the way they have to do it.