I am a football fan. I count myself amoung them. My friends are football fans, a number of them drive pickup trucks and vans for work purposes as well as family. I'm not slamming football fans, its an indication of their behaviour and likes vs. dislikes. I am also a marketer… 20 years in the making.
I want football in Ottawa to succeed. I don’t want to see it fail again.
When I ran for City Council in 2010 I asked voters at the door in Ward 9, who indicated they supported Lansdowne Live, if they would take a shuttle bus to the games. Almost to a man, and yes most were male, they said no. Some laughed. They laughed because they NEVER take the bus in Ottawa. To suggest that they would take a shuttle bus for a football game, a leisure activity, is a long stretch. However, they would, as I did in Montreal and Toronto, take the train or subway to sporting events because its faster and less cramped.
What city in the 21st Century would build a brand new light rail transit system and a brand new stadium at the same time and not connect the two? Did Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver? Its not done because its not an accountable solution from many perspectives, especially from the taxpayers’.
How can anyone accept the fact that Scotiabank Place required many changes to its transportation routes in order to accommodate 20,000 fans, even though its in a big field with nothing around it, but NO changes are required for Lansdowne Park with a stadium capacity of 25,000-30,000 fans, a new rink (10-12,000 fans) a new shopping mall, condos, movie theatre, etc. when it is in the middle of the City, on a small island in the Rideau Canal?
It doesn’t make sense. Stop denying reality. We need the right solution for our residents and for Canada. Because Ottawa is the Capital, it is our job to see it become the great City we all know it can become… a leader in the 21st Century. Unfortunately, the failure that will become Lansdowne Live will not achieve this objective.
And, yes, I feel sad that this last kick at the can for football in Ottawa will fail again as a result of the City not building the new stadium in the right location.