Ottawa NHL outdoor game closer to reality

Ottawa NHL outdoor game closer to reality
  1. Ottawa NHL outdoor game closer to reality
    Talks to bring an outdoor game to Ottawa in 2017 are heading in the right…

Talks to bring an outdoor game to Ottawa in 2017 are heading in the right direction.


It’s just taking a little longer than anticipated.

League sources told Postmedia on Wednesday officials from the NHL, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, the city and the Senators are continuing their discussions to try to work out the final details for a game at TD Place on Dec. 17, 2017 between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa.

While many might wonder why the negotiations are taking so long after Mayor Jim Watson (inset) indicated mid-January was the deadline to have the details in place, there’s no clock ticking on these talks. However, the Senators would like to include the game in their season ticket renewals next month.

“I’m feeling much more positive today than I was two months ago,” Watson told the Citizen editorial board Wednesday.

“I’ve had discussions with both the NHL commissioner and (Senators owner) Eugene Melnyk and OSEG. The last I spoke with the NHL, they wanted an answer by the end of January for planning purposes and I’m optimistic negotiations are going well.”

Watson said he’s meeting with the NHL next week.

Though the 100th anniversary of the first NHL game held in Ottawa between the Senators and Canadiens actually falls on Dec. 19, 2017, the league wants the game to be held on a weekend at TD Place, which will be expanded to 35,000 seats to host the 2017 Grey Cup only three weeks earlier.

The reason the negotiations are so complicated is outdoor games aren’t exactly the cash cow people paint them to be, so all the parties involved want to make sure there’s an opportunity to maximize the revenues for an event that will cap Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in Ottawa.

Under the terms of the agreement with the league for an outdoor game, the Senators will receive the average gate they’d get from a game against the Habs if it was held at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Yes, Melnyk can veto…

Tags: #NHL
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