The City of Ottawa is looking to move forward with its Lansdowne 2.0 project, including a replacement for the TD Place Arena.
The planned facility boasts increased accessibility standards for attendees and improved facilities for women’s hockey teams – at the cost of reducing the number of seats.
The current arena has a capacity of 8,585, with the Lansdowne 2.0 arena being reduced to 5,500.
It has confounded local hockey fans who are questioning the timing as the Professional Women’s Hockey League sees record crowds.
“Cutting back on seats might not be the best play,” said Corbin Perkins, a woman’s hockey fan. “I want to see them filled up!”
The $419 million price tag on the entire Lansdowne 2.0 plan has fan Joe Paterson calling for an expansion instead.
“I don’t see why they should go to spend much time and money on reducing the seats in there,” he said.
City officials are adamant the arena size will be adequate.
“We’ve been advised by and have been working with the management of the new women’s hockey team that [5,500 seats] is the right size of arena for us going forward,” said Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe.
The PWHL Ottawa opener game sold out in TD Place arena in early January – reaching the 8,585 maximum occupancy while breaking the attendance record of North American women’s hockey.
Fans continue to pose the question – will the new arena size be able to foster the future growth of PWHL?
“The games have been selling out,” said another hockey fan, Kailey Smoke. “Why are we reducing seats?”
Lansdowne 2.0 hit a snag Wednesday after the Glebe Community Association appealed the project, citing a lack of green space as well as concerns over the impact of three planned residential towers.
Sutcliffe says that construction will still begin this year.
“There are there are lots of pieces still to come,” Sutcliffe said.
“I expect it’ll come back to council one or two more times before the final decision is made.”
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