Baseball returns to play in Ottawa Stadium
A franchise for the Intercounty Baseball League will open in Ottawa in the near future, according to members of the Ottawa Stadium Group who announced Friday they have come to a lease agreement with the city.
The league voted 6-2 last month to expand to Ottawa, adding to franchises in Barrie, Brantford, Guelph, Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Mississauga and Toronto.
Games will mostly be played on weekends, with the OSG planning to up the ante by offering the field to a local men's baseball league on other days.
On the heels of two busted franchises
Ottawa has hosted two previous baseball franchises. The triple-A Ottawa Lynx posted a league record for attendance for their opening game in 1993, but had to shutter in 2007 as fans dropped off and dwindled through the late 2000s.
In 2008, the Can-Am Ottawa Rapidz took to the field instead, folding within a season.
Previously, the City of Ottawa had a tender out for a pro or semi-pro sports team to pay a one-year minimum lease of $108,000 for the stadium.
Three groups responded to the call, but only the OSG submitted a proposal by the deadline. Currently negotiated terms call for the lease to run from March 15, 2010 to March 14, 2011 with OSG picking up the operating costs for the stadium.
“I wish them every success in the coming season," stated Coun. Bob Monette in a release.
"I am also thrilled that the community will be able to use the facility this summer, which was my primary goal all along.”
Established in 1919, the league plays semi-pro baseball across Ontario. A franchise in Oshawa folded last year.