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NCC 'remains confident' Senators will build a new arena at LeBreton Flats


The National Capital Commission says discussions with the new owner of the Ottawa Senators are proceeding with "renewed energy" on a new NHL-sized arena at LeBreton Flats.

"We remain confident that between now and the end of 2024, when we hope to have a lease agreement signed, that discussions will continue in a positive manner," NCC CEO Tobi Nussbaum told reporters on Thursday. "And we'll be able to announce the completion of a signed lease agreement."

The NCC entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Capital Sports Development Inc., the Senators ownership group, in June 2022 to develop a new major event centre at LeBreton Flats, just west of downtown Ottawa.  The NCC has extended the deadline for the MOU by one year while talks continue with the new ownership group led by Michael Andlauer.

"With new ownership in place as of September 2023, CSDI and the NCC are pursing discussions with renewed energy and agreed to extend the MOU period of one year to enable the work that is necessary to advance design and negotiate terms for a lease," Laura Mueller, NCC Chief of Planning and Engagement, told the NCC Board of Directors.

"We continue to believe that LeBreton Flats is the most suitable location for an NHL arena in the region."

Nussbaum told reporters that the NCC is "still hopeful" the discussions will lead to an agreement for a new arena at LeBreton.

"It's an important project and it's an important discussion that the NCC is having with the Senators. The development of the dialogue continues; we are in discussion, the two groups, on a regular basis," Nussbaum said.

"We have a very engaged ownership group, both Mr. Andlauer and his partners are very keen and interested in the discussions with the NCC.

"We know it's a big project, it's complicated and many elements and details still to work out."

The memorandum of understanding between the NCC and the Senators focuses on seven acres of land in the area of Albert Street, between Preston Street and City Centre Avenue. Nussbaum says "we have flexibility" to add a land to the proposed development.

Mayor Mark Sutcliffe has floated several other locations to build a new arena, including Bayview Yards, the Ottawa Baseball Stadium on Coventry Road or a parcel of land in the downtown core as the federal government sells off buildings.

"The NCC still feels very strongly we are offering a very viable site for a major events centre; a combination of access to two stations on the light-rail transit system of the city of Ottawa, proximity to the city of Gatineau, opportunities for great public realm … the development of significant residential development on site – so it all has the ingredients to be a really major and important site for the nation's capital," Nussbaum said.

"The decision to build an arena will ultimately be up to the Senators to determine. We've been encouraged by the discussions we've had thus far."

Andlauer has suggested a new arena may cost $900 million. Top Stories

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