If Mayor Jim Watson is smart, he’ll take a backseat on getting an outdoor hockey game for Ottawa in 2017.
Watson loves publicity and wants to be seen out in front of this extravaganza. Bad move.
Watson knows nothing about sports. You’ll remember that Watson, with great fanfare, said he was meeting with the Toronto Blue Jays to get their affiliation for a Double-A baseball team for Ottawa.
The Blue Jays are a topnotch operation and it would take them about 10 seconds to discover Watson was out of his depth on baseball. Watson, in explaining the demise of Ottawa Double-A, said this city couldn’t afford things like the World Series. Double-A does not complete in the World Series … not even close.
Video above: Great moments in NHL outdoor games.
Once Watson was through with the issue, Ottawa had a team in the lowest rung of professional baseball. The team’s attendance shows it is not exciting Ottawa fans.
So now PR-hound Watson is putting his face out front of the effort for an outdoor classic for Canada’s 150th anniversary. He shouldn’t.
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk doesn’t need a long memory when it comes to dealing with Watson and the City of Ottawa. Melnyk wanted city help obtaining a Major League Soccer franchise. Instead the city opted to go with Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group to redevelop Lansdowne Park over the MLS project.
Then a consortium that included Melnyk wanted to put a casino beside the Canadian Tire Centre but Watson nixed that and it went to Rideau-Carleton Raceway. Melnyk was furious at Watson.
The mayor is the last person who should try to convince Melnyk to put an outdoor game at Lansdowne. If all the above isn’t enough, OSEG is an entertainment competitor of the CTC and the Senators.
The city rejected Melnyk twice (and once by Watson) yet His Worship wants to convince the Sens owner to put a lucrative game in his chief competitor’s football stadium? A very tough deal.
Watson doesn’t understand sports and has angered Melnyk who has been rejected by the city twice.
The last person who should be attempting to bring OSEG and Melnyk together is Jim Watson.
He’ll either screw it up or drive Melnyk away.
Watson should stick to what he knows and that isn’t sports or business.
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