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Community meeting tonight as OSEG wants to take over city-run part of Lansdowne
A community meeting is happening tonight as the city considers giving up control of the outdoor space programming at Lansdowne Park.
The meeting is happening at the Horticulture Building from 7-9 p.m. Representatives from OSEG, as well as the city are expected to attend.
A city report proposes the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group take over the city-run programming at the Aberdeen Pavilion, Aberdeen Square, the Horticulture Building, the Great Lawn and other outdoor areas of Lansdowne.
Right now OSEG runs TD Place stadium and the arena as well as the Ottawa Redblacks, Ottawa 67’s and the Ottawa Fury.
The report says, "[OSEG] believes this will help enhance the Lansdowne community and visitor experience as a regional gathering place and sports and entertainment venue, and help to increase the annual attendance on the site from 4 million to approximately 5 million,"
The area councillor Shawn Menard is worried about privatization and commercialization of the urban park. “It’s a concern. It’s Lansdowne park... it’s not Lansdowne corporation.”
Menard says, “I think the real reason is that they are looking to make money. The problem is there has been no business plan moving forward. “
In the past 15 months, Lansdowne hosted nearly 100 dree events- the city made $425,000 by renting space for private events, the extra funds going back into the city.
Sarah Viehbeck is president of the Glebe Community Association. She says the community wants to be consulted. “We want the site to be run as a public private partnership which it is... which includes the public part in that.”
Viehnbeck says, “We want to see community-benefit and community enjoying the park. We do support efforts to make the park more vibrant and family-friendly place we hope we will have a role in shaping that.”
The report goes in front of the finance and economic development committee on November 5th.