Ottawa Stadium hosted the Triple-A Ottawa Lynx of the International League from 1993 to 2007.
The ESPN story cites a report from The Ottawa Citizen, which breaks down the upgrades needed for Ottawa Stadium. According to ESPN, this is what will happen...
With the Mets' affiliation agreement expiring with Binghamton after 2012, it does not mean the Mets will be playing Eastern League baseball in Ottawa in '13. In fact, the report states Ottawa is likely to align with the Toronto Blue Jays. Instead, it means the Mets will be looking for a new Double-A affiliate for the 2013 season -- like they were when they relocated from New Orleans to Buffalo for Triple-A ball for the 2009 season. One in-the-know person speculates the Mets could wind up in New Britain in 2013, with the Twins moving to New Hampshire and the Blue Jays in Ottawa.The theory that the Jays would move to Ottawa makes sense as its affiliation agreement with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats expires at the end of 2012. However, The National Post's John Lott says the Jays are not planning to leave the Granite State according to general manager Alex Anthopoulos:
"We’re thrilled with New Hampshire. They have the best ballpark in the Eastern League, unbelievable ownership and unbelievable management. It can’t get any better for us than New Hampshire.”Meantime, the Binghamton Mets are saying they are not moving according to the Press & Sun-Bulletin. B-Mets President Michael Urda:
"The Binghamton Mets have not been sold, and we have not been contacted by anyone interested in our club. There's 12 teams in the Eastern League and we have to address it every single week. It's just conjecture."Binghamton is expected to get the Batavia Muckdogs franchise in the New York-Penn League if the B-Mets head north.
The potential arrival of an Eastern League franchise in Ottawa could have an impact on the Intercounty League's Ottawa Fat Cats according to The Ottawa Citizen.
The Ottawa Stadium Group, which operates that Intercounty Baseball League team, has a lease agreement for the stadium that runs out next month, but has asked for an extension until October, which would allow the team to play there this summer. Given the amount of work required on the stadium, the staff report says an extension should not be granted.
The Fat Cats have been in the IBL since 2010 and made it to the league finals in 2011. They upset London and Barrie before falling to perennial powerhouse Brantford. They averaged over 4,000 fans a game during its playoff run, including a league record 7,355 fans during Game 3 of the finals.
Considering the Ottawa Lynx dismal attendance figures, one could argue it would be a better idea for the city to receive a short-season league team like Batavia instead. If it turns out the Jays will be affiliated with Ottawa, perhaps there can be a return to the glory days when the Lynx were joined at the hip with the Expos when they had large crowds and won the International League title in 1995. If memory serves, the Lynx were even outdrawing the Expos in attendance at one point. However, given the city's inability to support other sports than hockey, I'm not so sure if baseball can survive nearly as long as the Lynx did this time around. What do you think, Bauxites? The floor is yours.