Partners? At Lansdowne? Really? THE VOTER

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Long-time Bulldog commenter and respected community activist The Voter says private investors would not partner in Lansdowne:

Let’s say an equivalent to the Lansdowne 2.0 proposal were to be put forward for another location but with similar site constraints.

If the city were not at the table with their cheque book (and our money), would Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group be able to find another partner willing to sign on for the same “pay-me-now-and-maybe-get-a cut-later” set-up that they’re offering us? Would other developers be lining up to participate? How about the banks? What about other major private investors?

My suspicion is the answer from all those parties would be a resounding “no”, that is after they stopped laughing and realized that OSEG was seriously asking them to buy into this farce. If the private market wouldn’t jump aboard on the same no-win conditions that OSEG thinks the city should acquiesce to, why are we still even in the room never mind at the table?

If OSEG will see payback and profit at the beginning of this venture, then the city should too. If risks are being taken, they should be shared within the partnership. If they aren’t, what kind of a partnership is it? We saw that, in Lansdowne 1.0, when OSEG was negatively affected by the pandemic, they came running to the city to bail them out to the tune of millions of dollars. OSEG has contributed nothing to help out with the city’s pandemic costs. That’s because they aren’t true partners. Who bailed out the other enterprises operating by the individual partners in OSEG?

Does anyone really believe that if there are financial troubles down the road, OSEG will get its cheque book out to bail out the city? Of course not. After all, they’ve only guaranteed to keep the sports teams at Lansdowne for a short period of time which will be over around the time the project will be finished construction given that the proposed timetable will undoubtedly be delayed.

Follow the money? That’s easy – just go on over to OSEG’s offices. That’s where the real money’s headed. Partners? Not unless you amend the meaning of the word. Fair-weather friends might be closer.

The Voter is a respected community activist and long-time Bulldog commenter who prefers to keep her identity private.



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