How Ottawa got its game backPosted Nov 29, 2012 By EMC News
Whoever says Ottawa is a town that fun forgot had better take a second look
Following an announcement last week that a professional men's basketball club is set to take up residence in the city later next year, the capital is starting to look like Canada's sporting hotbed.
Once the National Basketball League of Canada franchise starts up, it will add to the expanding roster of athletic attractions in this city, potentially placing it second only to Toronto when it comes to professional sporting clubs.
By the summer of 2015, we could boast National Hockey League, Canadian Football League, North American Soccer League and major league-affiliated baseball clubs. Also playing in the city are the Ottawa 67's and varsity teams from two universities.
Ottawa would be one of the few NHL cities to also host a Canadian Hockey League franchise, and would be home to the only the third MLB-affiliate baseball club outside of the Toronto Blue Jays and Vancouver Canadians.
It doesn't stop there either. Ottawa will play host to a pair of high-profile international women's sporting events over the next few years in the form of the Women's World Ice Hockey Championship and the Women's World Cup, the top soccer tournament for female competitors.
What does this say about the fortunes of a town that has in the recent past been considered a sporting basket case, one that lost its CFL club twice, its former Triple-A ball team in 2006 and nearly lost the Senators 10 years ago? Clearly Ottawa has its game back.
That shouldn't be too surprising though. Ottawans love being active. We love to cycle, we love to canoe, we love to ski, we love to run. The Ottawa Race Weekend, for example, routinely draws tens of thousands of runners. The roads in the city are sprinkled with cars sporting racks to carry either boats or bikes.
This passion for activity makes it rather natural for us to appreciate other athletic endeavours. The Senators regularly fill the 18,000-plus seat Scotiabank Place. Despite the city's passion for the NHL, the 67's are among the CHL attendance leaders. Interest in the Ottawa Fat Cats Intercounty Baseball League franchise helped prove Ottawa was still a viable market for a minor league baseball affiliate. If there's action on the field, ice or court, Ottawans will be there.
The city should be taking every opportunity to show the rest of the country, and the rest of the world for that matter, how passionate
Ottawa is about sports and how it plays a significant role in making the capital an exciting, diverse place to live.
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