New pro baseball team for Ottawa gets closer to approval
There's one more fence to clear before the City of Ottawa could approve a pro baseball team for the city.
A city committee unanimously approved the tentative deal to bring a AA-level team to the Ottawa Stadium for 2013 on Thursday, with plenty of baseball fans in attendance.
The deal with Massachusetts company Beacon Sports would see the city spend $5.7 million to renovate the stadium in time for the 2013 Eastern League season.
"The people of Ottawa deserve the quality of ball that AA baseball would provide to the city," said Damian Ford.
"AAA baseball in Ottawa set an attendance record," said Mike Crepin of the Ottawa Lynx, which played from 1993 to 2007. "That doesn't happen unless there is potential to support the game at a very, very high level."
Beacon Sports would contribute $5.5 million on improvements which include a new scoreboard.
If passed by city council on Wednesday, the deal and renovations could mean the semi-pro Ottawa Fat Cats would be unable to play this season.
"I just want some reassurances that the city will do everything possible to ensure that the Fat Cats are able to work around the construction schedule and be able to play their 2012 season," said Ottawa councillor Bob Monette.
Council will also be voting on a series of reports on Lansdowne Park renovations.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Claudia Cautillo