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Ottawa Senators likely to move to downtown Ottawa

The Canadian Tire Centre
The Ottawa Senators' current home, the Canadian Tire Centre, in suburban Ottawa. The Canadian Press

The Ottawa Senators are likely moving to downtown Ottawa sometime in the future, after a new downtown development project was selected by the National Capital Commission.

The NCC was holding a competition for the redevelopment of LeBreton Flats, a largely empty piece of land on the Ottawa River just west of the downtown core. They selected a proposal by RendezVous LeBreton, a group that includes Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. The proposal features a new arena for the team to play in, as well as condo developments and other amenities.

The two competing proposals both included a hockey arena. However, Melnyk had said publicly that he would not allow the Ottawa Senators to play in an arena that he didn’t own, and that he had no intention of selling the team.

Currently, the Senators play at the Canadian Tire Centre in the suburb of Kanata, a 20-30 minute drive from Parliament Hill.

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The NCC will now begin negotiations with the RendezVous LeBreton Group and report back to the board in November 2016. Once a plan is fully approved by them, it then gets sent to the City of Ottawa for their approval. That might not happen until 2017 to 2019, according to a timeline on the NCC website.

That means that the Sens won’t be leaving Kanata anytime soon – it will likely be three to five years before shovels go in the ground, according to the NCC.

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