CFL moves closer to return to Ottawa
Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - The Canadian Football League's plans to add an expansion franchise in Ottawa received a major boost after the city's council voted in favor to renovate Frank Clair Stadium.
The Ottawa City Council passed the resolution by a 21-to-3 count on Wednesday, clearing a major hurdle to the CFL returning to the capital city in time for the 2014 season.
"Today's positive City of Ottawa council vote means a beautiful new stadium and as early as 2014, a proud new franchise that will make its community proud and our league even stronger," said Commissioner Mark Cohon. "This is a great day for our league and for all of us who understand its important place in the culture of Canada, a great day for our country."
Assuming the re-construction of Frank Clair Stadium is on schedule, the new Ottawa team will be eligible to select four underclassmen from the NCAA in the 2013 CFL Canadian Draft, with an expansion draft slated to take place in December of that year.
The CFL has had franchises in Ottawa twice previously, though both folded due to financial problems. The Ottawa Rough Riders were one of the league's original teams and existed from 1958 to 1996, with the expansion Renegades bringing professional football back to the city in 2002 before being dissolved after only four seasons.