Rumours of a possible air-supported dome at Millennium Park have been cir-culating ever since former Cumberland Ward councillor Stephen Blais convinced area home builders to put up $8 million in 2014 to install an artificial turf field and expand the number of fields at the facility.
Those rumours became real in April 2018 when the city launched a Request for Information (RFI) process to see if any private companies were interested in erecting a dome at Millennium Park at their own expense and without any financial commitment from the City of Ottawa.
That process generated interest from two local companies including TMSI Sports Management Inc., which erected and manages the two domes at Ben Franklin Park in the west end and the Hornet’s Nest in Blackburn Hamlet.
Following up on the Request for Information, the city launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) process in September 2018. Of the two companies that responded to the RFI, TMSI was the only one who responded to the RFP and submitted a proposal. But rather than accept TMSI’s proposal, the city inexplicably canceled the RFP process.
Undaunted, McCorristan decided to work on an unsolicited proposal to erect a dome at Millennium Park.
“They told me to go ahead and that they would be happy to look at it,” recalls McCorristan.
TMSI is currently working with several sports organizations and the City of Ottawa to make the dome a reality.
“We feel this is something that’s going to be great for the city. It’s going to be great for the far east end of Ottawa and its going to be great for sports. It’s a win-win situation for everybody,” says McCorristan, who is also quick to point out that TMSI still intends to pay for the dome themselves without any cost to the city or Ottawa taxpayers.
Now the newly-elected MPP for Orléans, Blais is still an ardent proponent of the TMSI proposal.
“I still think a dome would be a good fit at Millennium, they just need to work out an arrangement with some of the other groups that are involved,” says Blais.
The Ottawa TFC soccer club is also a strong supporter of TMSI’s proposal. The dome would be a base for their winter leagues and their academy program. The club is currently splitting time between The Superdome at the Hornet’s Nest and the dome at the University of Ottawa.
“A dome at Millennium would be perfect for us,” says Ottawa TFC general manager Pavel Cancura. “Our program and our enrollment continues to grow year after year and a dome would help us increase our capacity.” ?
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