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Ottawa Senators See Inspiration in Edmonton

RendezVous LeBreton, Ottawa

The opening of Edmonton’s Rogers Place has generated buzz in the hockey world, even extending to talks for a new Ottawa Senators arena. 

The Senators have made a public push for a new arena, incorporating the project with a proposed redevelopment of LeBreton Flats. A proposal that included the arena was selected for consideration by the Canadian National Capital Commission in April, and the commission is convening on November 24 to provide an update on the project.

While the Senators are making their push for a downtown arena, a new venue is already a reality for the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers are playing their first season at Rogers Place, which has been touted in some circles as a model for future downtown arena developments. Several Oilers officials, including president Bob Nicholson, believe that a similar plan could work in Ottawa. More from the Ottawa Citizen:

“You look at Ottawa and they just need it,” says Nicholson. “Ottawa has such a great downtown already and this could take it to a whole other level.”

Rogers Place Arena opened in September when the Oilers moved there but the work really began under the old ownership group in 2005 when the idea of moving to downtown Edmonton was first floated. Back then, nobody thought it would take that long.

The RendezVous LeBreton group sought the advice of the people with the Oilers group before submitting their design proposal to the NCC board for LeBreton nearly a year ago, and the work being done here helped shape part of the direction the Senators took in the bid that beat out competition from Devcore Canderel DLS in late April.

“I’m just so very, very proud of what we were able to accomplish,” says Bob Black, the Oilers’ chief project development officer, who played a huge role in helping spearhead this project for Edmonton owner Daryl Katz. “The tremendous effort in our process, the diligence in our process, to ensure that we harvested every good idea that we could from elsewhere.

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk‘s proposal for LeBreton Flats includes the arena, adjacent development, and the implementation of new public space.

RELATED STORIES: Senators’ IllumiNATION Lebreton Plan Chosen for Redevelopment, Arena

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