Senators' downtown arena plans in jeopardy due to partnership dispute
Andre Ringuette / National Hockey League / Getty

The clock is ticking for the Ottawa Senators to move forward on their plan for a new downtown arena.

The Senators and Trinity Group - the team's partner in the prospective redevelopment of downtown neighborhood LeBreton Flats - told the National Capital Commission earlier this month that they've "not been able to resolve their internal partnership issues," NCC board members heard during a public meeting Thursday, according to CBC.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, a non-voting member of the NCC board, called the development "disappointing" and said the Senators and Trinity Group must "get their acts together."

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk implied Thursday that his goal hasn't changed.

"We've championed a downtown sports and entertainment arena and this important civic project since initiating our proposal in 2014. We continue to be committed to making our vision a reality," he said in a statement, according to The Athletic's Chris Stevenson.

The NCC announced on Jan. 25 that it signed an agreement in principle with RendezVous LeBreton - whose main partners are Melnyk and Trinity executive chairman John Ruddy - for the redevelopment of LeBreton Flats, where the hockey team wants to build a new arena.

On Thursday, the NCC said it will give the Senators and Trinity Group until their next meeting in January to resolve their problems. Otherwise, the board will begin looking for other groups to take over the project.

"We have given the partners one last time to come together," Watson said, adding that the relationship between Melnyk and Ruddy is "challenging."

The NCC also said it knew in the planning stage that having one side work alone on the redevelopment would not be possible.

The Senators currently play at Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata, Ontario, which is located about 25 minutes west of downtown Ottawa. However, that travel time can extend to 45 minutes during rush hour, and the location's hurt the team's attendance over the years.

Senators' downtown arena plans in jeopardy due to partnership dispute
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