Nothing much is happening now.
Sometime in November, the National Capital Commission is going to release its plan to develop Ottawa’s LeBreton Flats. That is the area where Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk was eyeing for a downtown arena for his National Hockey League franchise. Melnyk got into a dispute with a local developer which ended Melnyk’s interest and sparked a lawsuit. But the National Capital Commission remains hopeful that an arena can be built on the property. There are 56 acres of land and not all of the site will be developed at once according to the NCC. There is a timeline for development. The NCC hopes to have its final plan approved in January and present its work to the city of Ottawa during the summer of 2020. There is some time to get an arena project into the plan but there needs to be a willing owner or a commissioner like the NHL’s Gary Bettman to consider the LeBreton Flats site.
Melnyk, who lives in Barbados half a year, seemingly wants a new arena but it is unclear just want Melnyk has in mind. He may want to leave suburban Kanata for a place near Parliament, as Ottawa is the Canadian capital, or may not. Melnyk is in court because a business deal went bad. In early 2018, Melnyk was going to partner with developer John Ruddy to develop the LeBreton Flats site which would have included an arena-village. By November, Melnyk was suing Ruddy for $700 million Canadian claiming that Ruddy had a conflict of interest because he is involved in another Ottawa development near the LeBreton Flats area. Ruddy decided to sue Melnyk for a billion dollars Canadian accusing Melnyk and the Senators business of skipping out on financial responsibilities and wanting not to pay rent in the planned building. Meanwhile Melnyk is still thinking.
Evan Weiner is a commentator, lecturer and author about the Business and Politics of Sports. His books are available on iTunes. https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191