The city of Ottawa needs a new multi-purpose outdoor stadium. Right now we don’t have one. Not a safe one, anyway.
In a perfect world, we’d have local politicians who would take a pro-active leadership role in this. Instead we have local politicians this week trying to warp the argument into a stadium vs transit debate.
“Ya know, if we build a stadium, we might not have the money for transit upgrades. We might not have money for this or that.”
That is not the choice here. The city is able to approve all kinds of expensive projects without smacking us with warnings. "Well, the Queensway needs upgrades and if we go through with it, there might not be enough money for free crack pipes..."
The choice is this: Is building a stadium necessary, a smart investment, both socially and financially? If it is, where does it make the most sense to build it? End of story.
Bringing transit into the argument is a classic case of passing the buck. Our local leaders are skittish about leading. They might not get re-elected if the choice is on them. So they try and get the public to make the choice. If something happens later on, it won’t stick to them. "Hey, the stadium wasn’t my idea."
In a perfect world, we’d have rich guys working together with the city to make one stadium happen. Because we only need one. We can only afford one. Each side can have their sports toy to play with inside the stadium.
The debate shouldn't be "football vs soccer" because both sides have pointed out they can handle both. So what location makes the most sense? I think the answer to that is downtown Ottawa.
Put it this way. You can be sure the Senators wouldn't have built the Palladium way out in Kanata if they owned prime land in downtown Ottawa in 1990. But they didn't own land in downtown Ottawa. So they had no choice but to build on their farmland in Kanata.
The city does have a choice. So enough with the urban sprawl. If they're truly worried about transit, don't build the stadium 20 minutes away from the heart of the city. There. I've saved you transit money already.