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Sports Melnyk: Senators staying in Ottawa for ‘very, very long time’

04:01  11 august  2018
04:01  11 august  2018 Source:   sportsnet.ca

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Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk speaks about the team's ongoing negotiations regarding a new arena in LeBreton Flats. “The one thing that’s constant, always, is that we are here to stay in Ottawa for a very , very long time ,” Melnyk said.

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk says he hasn't changed his mind when it comes to moving the arena downtown. "The one thing that's constant always is that we're here to stay in Ottawa for a very long time ," he said.

a man wearing a suit and tie © Adrian Wyld/CP

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk met with reporters on Friday following a meeting with mayor Jim Watson to share an update on the ongoing discussions around the potential LeBreton Flats project.

The proposed project, which Melnyk called “a fluid situation,” would see the Senators build a brand new rink downtown as part of a massive redevelopment that would also include condos, shops and other facilities — a far cry from their current arena in Kanata.

From a financial perspective, Melnyk made it clear that the team won’t be seeking any funds from the city.

“We are fully capable of funding our portion of what we need to accomplish. I think that, as a team effort here, everything that is required can get done,” Melnyk told reporters, adding that he’s “very confident” about the future of the downtown arena development.

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So to break the ice in their much-anticipated meeting on Friday, the mayor told Melnyk he knows exactly how the embattled Ottawa Senators owner is feeling. “The one thing that is constant is that we’re here to stay in Ottawa for a very , very long time .

“Some hurdles that have to be overcome, we look at that as challenges as opposed to obstacles,” Melnyk added. “And with the mayor’s leadership here, I have more confidence today than ever. So I’m very confident this is going to go forward.”

While he wouldn’t comment on the specifics as to what those hurdles are, Melnyk did say he considered them to be “nothing insurmountable.”

“The one thing that’s constant, always, is that we are here to stay in Ottawa for a very, very long time,” Melnyk said. “And we want to make sure that the LeBreton project, if accomplished, is a success for many, many years — for our children’s children. And that’s the way we’re looking at it.” 

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