Tuesday! I was gong last week, but real life can’t keep me away for two weeks in a row! As always, we air from 7am to 9am tomorrow on 93.1fm in Ottawa; www.ckcufm.com for everyone else.
We have an exciting show lined up this week. At 7:30, Adam will talk with Rudyard ,who wrote Who We Are: A Citizen’s Manifesto. At 8:30, I’ll talk with Jon Bartlett. He runs Kelp Records, which is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this weekend.
Its Earth Day eve and Adam will be alone for the first hour as Mike has a real life to attend to. For the second hour Simon Cameron, a regular guest on the Tuesday Morning Special Blend, will be joining him. As always will be on 93.1fm from 7am-9am; you can check us out at www.ckcufm.com if you are from away.
Image Courtesy of Flickr user spotmaticfanatic, NC-BY-ND
This morning I spoke with Capital Ward Councilor Clive Doucet on the City Staff report on the two stadium proposals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he took a rather dim view on both of them. For another perspective, Randall Denley takes a dim view of the tone of the report itself (he thinks they were looking for ways for it to fail), you should also read what David Reevely has to say over at Greater Ottawa, though that is generally a good rule of thumb.
This will be a bit longer than my usual podcast posts, if only as it is a good opportunity to roll in my own thoughts on the matter. If you are reading a blog and can’t handle a little bit of narcissism, you probably should give up on the internet.
I’m mostly interested in the Lansdowne question, and never was really a big fan of the Kanata plan (largely for geographical biases.) I’m torn on the whole affair. I think that we are too quick to equate the question of what to do with Lansdowne with the question of whether or not this city needs or wants a new largish sports stadium. On the second question, I am pretty sure that we probably can support one, and have every confidence that a competent ownership group could make football or, well, football work. Remember, a CFL team survived in this city for the better part of a century, and we are a bigger more prosperous city than before: the failure of the Roughriders and the Renegades must be seen not as a dislike for football, but an absolute failure of the ownership to convince people to pay to go and see it. So, to a certain extent I am sympathetic to Denley’s calls to look at the cost of a stadium, however it is financed, over a longer term.
But that says nothing about whether or not it should be at Lansdowne. Doucet does a bit of an artful dodge on the merits of the city building a big stadium, but he is pretty clear that he doesn’t think it should be where it is now. I think I sort of agree. Putting another stadium at Lansdowne is pretty much building the park around the status quo, even if there is associated new commercial development associated with it. I’m not so much opposed to that as I am interested in seeing what other cool ideas could be brought to the table – be it a new library, some sort of museum, or whatever. I just don’t want this city to get caught thinking that the places things have been in the past is where they should always be.
I also want any redevelopment to encourage the public to go and hang out: I spent three weeks in France last August (pictures and blogs are coming, I swear!), and my favourite parts were sitting at outdoor cafés in public squares. I want the new Lansdowne Park to have that feel. That might still mean a stadium is located there, it might not. I have every faith that there will be developers interested in whatever plan moves forward, so am not super concerned about the current proposed management group walking away as they might if the “Live” plan is rejected. I also have every faith that if a new football stadium were to be built at Bayview, that a tenant could be found and the community would benefit from nightlife and spinoffs. That part of town would probably benefit from such a tenant.
So, the city has been offered a false dichotomy: it is not a question of soccer in Kanata or football in the glebe. It must absolutely do something with Lansdowne park, it also must decide whether or not it wants to be in the Stadium business. These are different questions, both of of which come with a certain amount of cost. Both are projects that have been a long time coming and, if done right, will benefit the city for decades to come. I could live with what Hunt and Co. have proposed, but worry that we’d be settling with the familiar and the safe. That’s not what this city needs more of, but at the same time it’s preferable to waiting 5 or more years and end up accepting more or less the same plan.
And let’s be fair: that’s what we all are assuming is going to happen.
Happy Tuesday! At least, it will be a happy Tuesday so long as Ottawa avoids another morning of snow. Adam and I, as always will be on 93.1fm from 7am-9am; you can check us out at www.ckcufm.com if you are from away.
At 7:40, we’ll be joined by Capital Ward Councilor Clive Doucet to talk about the City Staff report on the Lansdowne/Kanata Stadium proposals. The Citizen has a summary here, but the short form is that they score Lansdowne higher (provided you are willing to drop 9 figures on the project.