Friday, September 19, 2008

Knight: It's Ottawa vs. Montreal

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has loudly and suddenly joined the Major League Soccer expansion race. His announcement that he's ready to build a soccer stadium in the vast tract of concreted-over trees and scrub land in Kanata – complicates things.

Previously, Montreal and Vancouver were in the hunt for the two 2011 expansion slots – with an ever-growing list of American rivals. Now, three Canadian cities are clawing for the prize, all with solid stadium plans and deep-pocketed ownership.

Geographical proximity makes it hugely unlikely – I think – that Ottawa and Montreal will both get the nod. But either of them might, which puts them in a very real competition against each other.

Let's take this apart, shall we?

Montreal has a charming, delicious new stadium, which right now has clumpy, fly-away grass and lots of empty seats. I know the stadium looks full, but multiple allegations walk the night that not all of those seats are actually being paid for.

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