The Ottawa Senators have been struggling with playing at their rink on the outskirts of the big city, but owner Eugene Melnyk has been actively trying to change that.
He may have just managed to take the first step, too.
Melnyk reportedly won the initial bidding for a new rink in downtown Ottawa, which would relocate the team from their current location in suburban Kanata to a more centralized location.
The distance from Kanata (which is in the southwest corner of the Ontario city) to the heart of Ontario is roughly 25 miles, which could be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour with traffic. Senators fans have been pushing for the team to move back from their current home at the Canadian Tire Centre to somewhere more accessible for everyone.
Melnyk’s victorious bid, of course, doesn’t guarantee that the new arena is a done deal. This simply gives the team rights to negotiate with Ottawa’s National Capital Commission for their proposed new downtown arena; there will still be steps necessary to get the arena built, including securing a location and the funding to make it happen.
For the Senators, though, their arena drama – part of the team’s years of financial woes – would be nice to finally put to rest.