Senators Sports and Entertainment

Senators Sports and Entertainment
Bring the World to Ottawa

Bring the World to Ottawa

September 16, 2008 12:18 ET

Eugene Melnyk and Senators Sports & Entertainment Announce Plans to Bring Major League Soccer and World-Class Outdoor Stadium to Ottawa

Melnyk emphasizes the need for broad community support to bring the global sport of professional soccer to the nation's capital

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 16, 2008) - Eugene Melnyk, owner of the National Hockey League's Ottawa Senators and Senators Sports & Entertainment, today announced his plan to bring a Major League Soccer (MLS) team to Ottawa and pursue the construction of a world-class, soccer-first stadium that will also serve as a multi-purpose outdoor entertainment venue.

"Soccer is a sport with a global reach and presence. It is a sport steeped in culture and tradition, with a unique ability to connect fans from around the world," said Melnyk. "We want to bring the world's game to Ottawa and there is no better way to do that than to become part of Major League Soccer."

In July of this year, Ottawa was short-listed by MLS as one of nine North American cities that would be considered for two expansion teams to enter the league in 2011.

As a pre-requisite to bringing MLS to Ottawa, Melnyk also unveiled plans for a world-class outdoor stadium. The Ottawa MLS stadium will seat up to 30,000, and feature a natural grass pitch and five community soccer pitches located next to the stadium that together will create a major soccer complex for the community. The stadium will be situated adjacent to the Melnyk-owned, 19,153-seat Scotiabank Place, the home of his Ottawa Senators.

"We are incredibly fortunate to have the option here in Ottawa of leveraging the expertise of Senators Sports & Entertainment and the operational and design synergies associated with situating the new stadium next to Scotiabank Place. We intend to take full advantage of those synergies," said Melnyk.

Melnyk emphasized that building a stadium of this scope and calibre requires broad community support, strong operational management, a solid business plan and collaboration between the private and public sector.

"The stadium is a focal point to bringing Major League Soccer to our city but the need for a stadium extends far beyond that. Every world-class city has a world-class outdoor stadium. The stadium is a major investment in our community so we want it to be a multi-purpose entertainment facility. It needs to be a sophisticated hosting venue providing our community with the ability to attract major international sporting events, outdoor concerts and festivals to the nation's capital," highlighted Melnyk. "Ottawa is Canada's capital and the second-largest city in Ontario. Our community needs and deserves a world-class stadium."

To help educate and rally the city to support his vision, Melnyk launched a Bring the World to Ottawa campaign as a way of calling upon the Ottawa-Gatineau communities for their collective support in helping make the stadium and MLS team a reality. More details on the campaign are available at

About Major League Soccer

Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. The league was founded in 1996, after the United States hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Now in its 13th season, MLS is experiencing a period of growth highlighted by expansion, the construction of soccer-specific stadiums and the addition of new investors. The San Jose Earthquakes joined the league as an expansion team this year. Seattle will be home to an expansion team named Seattle Sounders FC in 2009 and the Philadelphia area will be home to the 16th team in 2010. The league announced in July 2008 that expansion to 18 teams will be completed by 2011.

Contact Information

  • Phil Legault, 613-599-0327
    Brian Morris, 613-599-0289