NCC and Senators CSDI reach agreement over LeBreton stadium proposal

The National Capital Commission (NCC) and Capital Sports Development Inc. (CSDI), a group led by the Ottawa Senators, have signed a memorandum of understanding regarding an entertainment centre located at LeBreton Flats. The announcement comes after years of speculation over whether the Senators would move from their current Kanata location.

CSDI was awarded the memorandum after the NCC in December 2021 requested expressions of interest in the area’s development. After scrutinizing applicants, the NCC determined that CSDI was the preferred applicant.

The development proposed by CSDI will be located between Preston and Albert Street and include a hockey stadium and entertainment venues for attractions such as concerts and shows.

The site is prime real estate for a city entertainment district. The proposed location is between Bayview and Pimisi stations, roughly a ten-minute walk from either LRT station and close to other attractions such as the War Museum, the new Library and Archives Canada building (scheduled to open in 2025), the Parliament buildings, and local attractions like Preston Street’s Little Italy.

As part of their lease agreement which CSDI aims to sign by 2023, there will be commercial and business-related development provisions for the site. There will also be provisions for sustainability as part of the lease agreement, along with allotment for affordable housing and benefits for the Algonquin People of Ottawa.

Former Ottawa city councillor and CEO of the National Capital Commission, Toby Nussbaum, spoke optimistically of the project, saying that the signing of the memorandum was an essential step in the NCC’s LeBreton plan. Nussbaum said of the signing that it was “the start of an incredibly exciting and transformative city-building project that will become a landmark and major destination in the National Capital Region.”

CSDI representative Anthony Leblanc also voiced strong support for the project stating, “Today’s announcement marks a significant move toward our long-term vision, a downtown arena at LeBreton Flats.”

The centre also has the backing of several large entertainment construction firms: Sterling Project Development, the firm that presided over the building of the new New York Islanders Stadium and the UBS Arena; Live Nation, one of the world’s leading concert and music festival organizers; Populous, the firm that developed and built the Climate Pledge Arena for the Seattle Kraken, the London Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas; Tipping Point Sports, a boutique sports advisory firm specializing in public-private partnerships for developing sports and mixed-use infrastructure. 

On top of receiving the green light from the NCC, mayoral race frontrunners Catherine McKenney and Bob Chiarelli have endorsed the project via Twitter. With the prospective lease being signed in 2023, CSDI stated that it would work with the City of Ottawa to secure the required approvals in order to begin construction.

Header photo: @Senators