For quite some time now, the nation’s capital has, apparently, been positively dying for some kind of baseball connection to the club that plays here in centre of the universe. It makes sense– knowing nothing about Ottawa, I’m gonna go ahead and say that it’s probably the only way that minor league ball is tenable in the city– and now, it might actually be a step closer. Like, for reals this time.

At least, that’s if the Ottawa Citizen is to be believed, as Don Campbell lays this on us, regarding the upcoming decision as to what to do with Ottawa Stadium, former home of the Lynx, which Ottawa city council is slated to do when it convenes in Septemer:

Just short of six weeks from the Aug. 8 deadline for submitting bids, Ballpark Digest reported and a local source confirmed Thursday that Mandalay Sports Properties has prepared a bid for the stadium that would include Rogers Communications, owner of Toronto’s Major League Baseball franchise, with partner Professional Sports Catering assisting in a total re-configuration of the stadium. That would allow for a Double-A Eastern League franchise to re-locate to Ottawa in time for Opening Day 2015.

Rogers’ involvement would include naming rights at the stadium and would be the first visible step toward the Blue Jays re-locating their affiliate from New Hampshire to Ottawa — something in the works for several months after face-to-face meetings between Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Blue Jays president Paul Beeston.

Fans in Ottawa have been teased before, so take this with a grain of salt. And the Jays have– as you’d expect– always said all the right things about their relationship with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and probably (what, am I gonna look it up?) could have fast-tracked a move to the city if they’d really wanted (um… maybe? Or maybe I just made that up), so take this with, like, at least a couple of giant grains of salt.

But if Rogers really is involved in the bid here, there can’t be a whole lot of doubt as to what for. And as much as they want to play nice with New Hampshire and continue the good relationship they’ve had there, in the heart of Red Sox Nation– aaaand as much as minor league ball has failed in Ottawa before– you’ve got to think that having the Double-A affiliate in Ottawa and the Triple-A club in Buffalo is a wet dream for the Jays, in terms of broadening their regional appeal.

I mean, why the hell else won’t this story die, right?

Hey, and Hamilton will probably get an NHL team one day too, right? I don’t know. Interesting stuff, at least…


Image via Crotch grab in the direction of @rprus for the link.

Comments (37)

  1. Finally, something to do in Ottawa.

  2. Makes sense to have the two closest farm systems only a day trip away. as well, you can showcase talent plus drive up more interest in those areas

  3. I really hope this happens, some of us miss baseball in Ottawa. About 100 of us.

  4. But seriously, Stoeten is absolutely right that the only chance a team has of drawing any kind of sustainable fan base in ottawa is if they are associated with the Jays. When there was a AAA team here the only time there would be any kind of fans our was when Syracuse was in town.

  5. That mound is quite hypnotic.

    • You love the new Ottawa stadium! To be without Ottawa baseball causes you horrible pain! All you want to do is help the baseball in Ottawa thrive!

  6. Now if we can London some sort of Blue Jays affiliated baseball, the tri-fecta would be complete!

  7. I`m totally behind this. Please make this happen.

  8. Plus the really good prospects of the future will be here

  9. The stadium has so much potential, especially once the new bridge is finished that will connect it to public transit. Its a shame that it has degenerated to its current state.

    Ottawa is a brutal sports town, but a Jays farm team in a renovated stadium would more than viable.

    Kitchesippi on tap!

  10. Can’t see the appeal for the Jays to go to Ottawa for AA. Lack of support and interest for a baseball team not to mention the shape of the stadium (albeit it’s being worked on) weather, and parking issues should be enough to deter serious investment. NH seems to be working great, I don’t understand why change

  11. AAA- Buffalo Bisons ✓

    AA- Soon to be Ottawa ✓

    A – ?

    Adv A – Dunedin ✓ (Snow Birds representin’)

    Short-Season A- Vancouver Canadians ✓

    Rookie – Medicine Hat Blue Jays?

    Next step…….. Blue Jay version of the Yes network! Remember, this is content they are buying too!

    • For A-ball, how about a Midwest League team in London.

      • Hamilton used to have single A short season Redbirds for the St Louis Cardinals. A is Lansing, Michigan and Rookie is Bluefield, Virginia at the moment but I’d like to see them somewhere in Canada one day.

    • I think you could move the A team from Lansing to the Windsor area

      • No chance Windsor would work, it’s way too close to the Tigers, who would probably block a team there anyway. London has a beautiful old stadium (that can be renovated) with history, and the team in Beloit, WI is looking to move. Swap affiliates and make it happen!

        • London is also very close to St.Marys – home of the Canadian Baseball HOF. This would be a natural tie in for a London team. Call them the Fergusons (Jenkins).

  12. Stupid move. Baseball has already failed twice in Ottawa. Leave the fishercats in NH.

    Ottawa had their chance.

    Single A and AA weren’t the problem, it was AAA inflating everyone’s batting average, we fixed that with Buffalo as our AAA team.

    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    • It’s not that it ain’t broke, the challenge is to engage as much as the nation as possible into Blue Jays customers. These satellite teams encourage that.

    • The Lynx failed because the Expos failed. When the Expos were alive and well and the Lynx were the Expos farm team it worked beautifully. The Lynx led the IL in attendance, and the Expos had their taxi squad 90 minutes away, just like the Jays and Buffalo. As the Expos fell, so did the Lynx. And when the Orioles took over the affiliation that truly was the end of it. Now the only Canadian team left is the Jays, so it’s natural they would try and go to Ottawa. Ottawa Blue Jays = great success. Ottawa Mets/Orioles/Red Sox/anything not called Blue Jays? It sinks in 5 years tops.

    • It’s about the brand, and with the Double-A team in the heart of Red Sox territory, giving out Dustin Pedroia bobbleheads and whatever, uh… yeah, it’s kinda broke.

    • True, baseball has failed in Ottawa, but it was thriving when the expos AAA team was here. Then died off as the Lynx affiliated with Baltimore and the Phillies. There are tons of Jays fans in the Capital. A renovated park coupled with the Jays newfound popularity could be a big hit. It’s tough to judge attendance when fielding CanAm ball (the Rapids 1st year was awesome but bad ownership and a brutal name change to Rapidz and subsequent front office firings destroyed the vibe) and inter county league Fat Cats had the highest attendance in the league, I believe…

  13. Why would Rogers pay for a stadium? They’ll let the government fund it and then buy it for peanuts when they try to cut their losses.

  14. But what use does Esmil Rogers have for his own personal stadium?

  15. What about the jays fans from st. Stephen, nb for whom the fisher cats are only 4 hours away speeding like a banshee. What about us??

  16. [...] the interest of Jays blogs with Drunk Jays Fans, a prominent Blue Jays news and analysis site, picking up the story last week, as it looks as though a deal to bring a Jays Double-A affiliate to Ottawa is closer than [...]

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