Frank Clair Stadium stands implode successfully
It took just 20 seconds for a piece of Ottawa's history to crumble with the successful implosion of the lower south-side stands of Frank Clair Stadium in Lansdowne Park early Sunday morning.
"The upper portion is still standing for the sake of a couple little drain pipes that need to be re-attached. It did just what it was supposed to do," said Chris Kollar of Tomlinson Construction.
The 228-blast implosion safely levelled the stands located just south of downtown Ottawa. It also cleared the way for discussion about the future of the prime piece of real estate in Lansdowne Park.
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Found to be structurally unsound after hosting thousands for the FIFA Under 20 World Cup in 2007, the stands had held spectators since the 1960s.
The implosion left behind 4,200 tons of concrete that will be cleared over the next few weeks. Other than some keepsakes, 99 per cent of the stands will be recycled; the steel reused and the concrete crushed for road construction.
Now talk turns to what should be put in the old structure's place.
"We have lots of time. We don't have any money so that will slow the process, but at the same time I think there will be a lot of input from the community," said Ottawa Councillor Christine Leadman.
The community is divided on whether Lansdowne should have a new stadium. After losing CFL teams twice - once when the Rough Riders packed up in 1996, and then when the Renegades shut down in 2006 - some in the Ottawa business community are trying to bring pro football back to the Capital. That would require the rebuilding of a new stadium.
"I used to love Friday night games here. There was a great atmosphere. I couldn't see it going anywhere else. Hopefully they do keep it here," said Val St. Germain, former Ottawa Renegade.
The city has said it will wait until an engineer's report is completed in the fall to make any decisions as to the location's future.
The report will determine the structural capacity of both the stadium and the Civic Centre, the building under the stadium's north-side stands used for meeting and conventions.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Kate Eggins