Arena At LeBreton? Not Likely (2)

The National Capital Commission should probably learn this. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman doesn’t make suggestions.

Bettman gets what he wants when it comes to the NHL. Just ask Shane “Riverboat” Pinto.

So when Bettman suggests that LeBreton Flats is “too small” for an arena, what he means is that LeBreton Flats is too small for an arena.

And perhaps the City of Ottawa needs to realize is that when you’re playing with $1 billion, much of which is your own money, you’re likely to be very careful with it … unlike the City of Ottawa. So when Ottawa Senators owner Michael Andlauer says he’s not ready to make a decision on a downtown arena, despite the admonitions of Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, it means he’s not ready to make a decision on a downtown arena.

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But what he is really saying is that I already have a serviceable paid-for rink in Kanata where cars drive to and park. You want me to move downtown where there is no parking and a light-rail system that doesn’t work. And the LRT doesn’t go to Kanata where his season ticket holders are.


Andlauer doesn’t need that. He needs two goaltenders to make D.J. Smith a better manager.

Now back to the NCC. What with the ‘suggestion’ of Bettman and the fact that the NCC is running a competition to design LeBreton Flats plus the land there is polluted, it rather looks like the NCC has struck out on an arena there.

So back to the drawing board again. Obviously 61 years is not enough time for the NCC to put something on LeBreton Flats.

And NCC chairman Tobi Nussbaum should probably make haste. Incoming prime minister Pierre Poilievre isn’t likely to be amenable to giving a Grit-NDP town much dough.

Ken Gray

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