Senators Could Play Outdoor Game in 2017 on Parliament Hill

Senators Could Play Outdoor Game in 2017 on Parliament Hill


Admittedly, I didn’t think much of it yesterday when a number of sites like TD Place, LeBreton Flats and Parliament Hill were reportedly being considered for hosting a prospective outdoor game but with mayor Jim Watson appearing on TSN 1200 to discuss the possibility and with Senators president Cyril Leeder participating in a digital media event at the Canadian Tire Centre this afternoon, it definitely sounds staging the event at Parliament Hill could actually come to fruition.

// important distinction is that Leeder isn’t actually saying that the goal is to fit 80,000 hockey fans into a temporary venue. He’s just making the point that temporary seating can make other prospective hosting sites viable.

Why would the Senators or league want to housing the game somewhere other than TD Place at Lansdowne when they already have a ready-made stadium filled with concession stands?

Money and the cachet of playing a game adjacent to the nation’s most recognizable landmark to help commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Outdoor games, which are league-level events, are run and managed by the NHL. Even though such a game would be considered a home game for the Ottawa Senators, like the Winter Classic in Ann Arbour, Michigan in 2014, the league would make Ottawa whole on its financials. Any revenue made from the game (ie. gates, concessions, etc.) goes into the league’s hockey-related revenue pool.

By using another site, the league would not have to rent TD Place from OSEG or use their concession stands. For what it’s worth, the league had to rent the Big House from the University of Michigan for four weeks at the cool cost of $3 million.

Now obviously housing a game of this nature on a significant piece of this city’s critical infrastructure would require some significant capital and logistical planning.

As James Gordon detailed in his new blog

This is Canada’s Parliamentary Precinct, with all the attendant national security concerns. Even with the new measures introduced after the Oct. 22 shootings, you’ve basically got a logistical and security nightmare on your hands. The game would take place on a weekend, so you aren’t worrying about most of the work traffic, but again, you’re probably still shutting down several blocks around the site. Where are you parking the Zamboni in this scenario? Where are the dressing rooms? Where are the medical facilities?”

It’s problematic, but maybe these are obstacles that can be navigated or maybe this is simply a ruse designed to give the league (or the Senators) a little more leverage so they can extract more out of OSEG when negotiating a rental agreement.

Other News and Notes…

– The Ottawa Senators hosted a digital media event this afternoon to showcase Club Bell, some new food initiatives at the CTC and see whether a select group of bloggers and mainstream media-types could co-exist in the same room without resorting to name calling. Fortunately, everyone was civil. Full details of the event can be found on @BringBackLee‘s Twitter timeline.

– The Ottawa Senators officially announced their 2015 training camp roster via the team’s website. The team will invite five goaltenders, 21 defencemen and 35 forwards to camp. Of note, Buddy Robinson (bone bruise), Chris Phillips (cracked vertebra) and Michael Sdao will not be able to participate because of injury.

– According to the Senators’ Twitter account, Pierre Dorion acknowledged that the Senators are still ironing out the details with former captain Daniel Alfredsson about a management role within the organization.

– Just a reminder that the Senators’ Fan Fest will be this Sunday. Ticket and details can be found here.

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