Ottawa Senators New Owner Has A Big Decision To Make

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Ottawa Senators right wing Alex DeBrincat (12) celebrates after his second goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with teammates during first-period NHL hockey game action in Ottawa, Thursday, March 23, 2023.
(Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)

Where will the team play in five years?

Michael Andlauer now owns the National Hockey League’s Ottawa Senators franchise and his first major decision will impact the business for decades. What should he do when it comes to deciding where the team should play? Andlauer is not married to a plan for a new arena at LeBreton Flats that the former ownership group was pursuing. On June 23rd, 2022, the Senators business received preferred bidder status from the National Capital Commission for the site located 10 minutes west of Ottawa’s Parliament Hill, the seat of the Canadian Government. Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, just before his passing on March 28th, 2022 signed off on an expression of interest to build a LeBreton Flats events center and a hotel.

During the bidding process for the Senators franchise, the NHL made it clear that the winner did not have to go through with the LeBreton Flats plan. The deal is still on the table according to NCC CEO Tobi Nussbaum. “We, of course, agreed. We understand that the new ownership group is going to need some time to figure things out and take a look at the memorandum of understanding.” But Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe may not be on board. “LeBreton Flats is a very legitimate option and maybe the new owner, Michael Andlauer, will decide he wants to build the arena on LeBreton Flats and that he can strike a deal with the NCC and that that’s the right way to go. All I’m saying is there are other options and I want to make sure we don’t just say let’s put the arena on LeBreton Flats because it’s there, it’s available, it’s the only option because that’s not true. There’s a few specific sites that have been raised, and this is all very preliminary, but you can make anything work,” The Ottawa arena game continues.

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Ottawa Senators center Mark Kastelic (47) celebrates after a goal as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) skates away during third-period NHL hockey game action in Ottawa, Ontario, Saturday, April 8, 2023. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)
Ottawa Senators center Mark Kastelic (47) celebrates after a goal as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) skates away during third-period NHL hockey game action in Ottawa, Ontario, Saturday, April 8, 2023. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)