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Mayor floats new downtown arena site for Sens: but not LeBreton

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Now that it appears the ownership of the Ottawa Senators is settled, the biggest question left about the team – where will the Sens play in the future?

Ottawa’s mayor Mark Sutcliffe commented about the sale of the team and where he’d like to see a new arena on Wednesday.

"If we want to attract more people to downtown Ottawa and if we're facing challenges because federal workers aren't coming downtown as often and the federal government is disposing of some of its buildings downtown… Is there an opportunity to put a new arena in downtown Ottawa that would attract people and become a new destination," asked Suttcliffe, adding it would help the downtown.

Until now, the first and preferred option for the Senators new home has been LeBreton Flats, and there is a deal with the NCC to make it happen.

The Mayor said he’s been thinking about a different site but didn’t specify where it might be.  

"I'm talking about right downtown, LeBreton flats is close to downtown, but it's not right downtown."

While a location is still up in the air, experts suggest a move to a new arena under ownership is inevitable.

"You don't have the interest in buying the senators if not for the prospect of moving them downtown," said Michael Narraine, Associate Professor of Sport Management at Brock University.

Narraine said the team’s price tag of $950M, according to Postmedia reports,  can also be attributed to the prospect of a new arena.

"Part of that is the bait-in effect of the team moving from Kanata to LeBreton or Bayview or somewhere downtown," said Narraine.

With Michael Andlauer at the head of the table a new era for the Senators begins but there’s still  no clear direction on the location of a new arena for the team.

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