Lansdowne Park Dome’s future up in the air

Deflated by a messy contract disagreement, the company that owns the former Lansdowne Park sports dome says it might have to cut ties with City Hall.

Coliseum Inc. and the city are going to commercial arbitration to sort out the legal responsibilities of the two sides. The company previously struck an agreement with the city to relocate the dome to the new University of Ottawa sports field on Lees Ave., since Frank Clair Stadium was no longer available because of the Lansdowne redevelopment.

Hundreds of amateur soccer players should have been playing under the dome by now, but the dome is still in storage.

Coliseum has refunded all of players’ fees for the winter dome season.

According to Coliseum partner Marty Lauter, parking is one of the many sticking points in its negotiations with the city.

   
 

Lauter said at Lansdowne players could pay a $2 flat rate, but at the new U of O field the city wanted more money for parking and there was no promise of parking availability for players.

Coliseum also wants the city to acknowledge its expenses for what it claims to be two false starts in setting up the dome in November.

That, too, is a jumbled issue, with Coliseum’s dome installer giving an opinion the field wasn’t ready. The U of O says it was.

Lauter said his company is out about $100,000 because of the contract dust-up with the city. That includes money the company paid the dome installer for the work that wasn’t performed.

Last Friday, city solicitor and clerk Rick O’Connor sent a memo to council informing it of the commercial arbitration and said there would be no further updates until the litigation is over.

According to O’Connor’s account of recent negotiations, the city and Coliseum met to discuss the issues last week.

The city listened, revised the terms and gave Coliseum until Friday at 4 p.m. to respond. The company rejected the proposal.

“We’re pretty unnerved,” Lauter said. “We have no business at all.”
It’s too late to find a new winter home for the dome since there needs to be a suitable foundation, Lauter said.  So, the dome’s future is up in the air.

“I don’t think we can do business with the city,” Lauter said.

Disclaimer: OttawaLansdownePark.com has No Affiliation with the City of Ottawa or the OSEG. We are a local blog providing news & sports updates on Lansdowne Park.