After a four-year hiatus it appears the Canadian Football League is prepared to make a comeback in Ottawa.
According to a report in the Ottawa Sun, the CFL has awarded a conditional expansion franchise to a group led by Ottawa 67's owner Jeff Hunt. The return of professional football to the Nation's Capital is contingent on approval of a plan to develop Lansdowne Park. On Monday, city council voted 15-9 on Monday to move forward with the proposal.
"It's a great victory for sports fans in Ottawa," Hunt told The Sun. "CFL football, CIS football, pro soccer ... and world-class concerts are a step closer to reality."
Ottawa has been without professional football since the 2005 season when the Renegades ceased operations. Hunt's Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group must now satisfy five additional conditions before another vote goes before city council in May.The proposed renovations to Lansdowne Park hope to bring football, professional soccer and world-class concerts to the city. However, the news was not met with enthusiasm by everyone.
"It's a sad day because of the division," said city councillor Clive Doucet, who voted against the plan. "It has shattered the city. There are thousands of people who feel they have been deprived of their natural heritage. It was through the love of the city that I tried to protect Lansdowne Park."