Ottawa won't host FIFA U-20 soccer tournament
Published Wednesday, September 26, 2012 5:49PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 26, 2012 7:11PM EDT
The delays over the Lansdowne Park redevelopment may have cost the city a major soccer tournament.
The FIFA Women's Under-20 World Cup in 2014 was supposed to be played in part, in Ottawa.
But Ottawa mayor Jim Watson has revealed the city has pulled out of the event.
Last year, Watson said the capital would be ready for the FIFA world cup in 2014 and 2015, but it appears that is no longer the case.
“In good conscious we could not put in a bid for the under-20 because we couldn't guarantee the facility would be ready,” Watson said.
University of Ottawa female soccer players were disappointed over the news.
“It would've been a really, really great experience seeing girls play our age,” said student Cynthia Lablanc. “I think for a city like Ottawa it would have been amazing to receive this tournament.”
Legal battles over the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park played a rold in sidelining the capital as a host for the tournament.
The city will have to wait until 2015 to host the Women’s World Cup.
Lawsuit delays are also being blamed for putting the redevelopment project about $12 million over budget.
The number came out of highly-anticipated report updating the redevelopment costs and plans.
But staff says that’s not a sign of financial trouble.
The report boosted naming right revenues up from $15 million to $50 million.
“I believe that is a reasonable estimate, it's important to remember it is over 30 years,” said Ottawa city manager Kent Kirkpatrick.
Some are concerned about the names of retailers that are not on the report.
“This is the last chance for us to actually see the details and it's not there,” said Ottawa councilor David Chernushenko.
Whole Foods and Empire Theatres and the LCBO are coming to the site.
The stadium will be $3.3 million more than first thought, a parking garage will cost $5.6 more, and $3.1 million more will go to site servicing.
Some Ottawa residents say they are eager for construction to get underway.
Others say they are worried about how the space will be used.
“I'm concerned about the density of it with all of the condominiums and I’m also concerned about the impact that the businesses will have on the rest of Bank St.,” said Ottawa resident Katrin Nagelschmitz.
The entire redevelopment project is expected to be finished by 2015.
The report will be discussed at a Finance and Economic Development Committee meeting next week. Councillors will vote on the report Oct. 10.
With files from CTV’s John Hua and Katie Griffin.