League Express can reveal the details of the presentation and bid Ottawa presented to Championship and League 1 clubs last week after acquiring a copy of the document – which includes financial projections, costs and details of broadcast arrangements.
Ottawa are all-but certain to be playing in League 1 next season, after clubs approved the relocation of Hemel to the Canadian capital by a comfortable majority. And League Express can now highlight the finer points of Ottawa’s bid, as well as the scale of what it will cost them to stage professional rugby league in the country in 2020.
In the document presented to clubs, Eric Perez projects it will cost them almost $500,000 to pay for flights, accommodation and meals for visiting clubs and match officials across a 12-game season: $336,000 for flights, plus another $120,960 on accommodation and meals. Ottawa say they will cover all costs for an unspecified period.
Ottawa are intending to play home fixtures on Saturday afternoons, with the bid confirming that TD Place Stadium, the venue they intend to play out of, will be available for them to use from the third week of March. That would almost certainly mean a prolonged period of away games to start the season.
Perez – who is dubbed ‘the father of Canadian rugby league’ in the bid – also addresses their plan to produce North American rugby players, citing a figure of almost 20,000 children who played rugby across Ontario in 2018 as a healthy starting base.
The bid says: “Canada will begin producing players within a generation capable of playing in upper-level Championship and Super League. Criticism of Toronto not having enough Canadian players is unwarranted. If Rugby League was that easy to play and go professional in without training, it wouldn’t be worth watching.”
Ottawa also say in their bid that they will finance an arrange for all of their games – home and away – to be broadcast exclusively in the UK on the RFL’s ouRLeague app, adding: “We will be financing the broadcasting of these matches ourselves.
“What we need is hype and money,” the bid says. “The biggest hype creator for our sport in the last three years has been the inclusion of Toronto in the competition. The North American sports market is lucrative to say the least, and by tapping into it, we can change our sport’s financial situation drastically within five to seven years.”