The Canadian Football League has presented its Commissioner’s Award – for outstanding contributions to football in Canada – to the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.
Thursday night, CFL commissioner Mark Cohon cited the work of OSEG partners Roger Greenberg, John Ruddy, Bill Shenkman, Jeff Hunt and John Pugh in bringing pro football back to the nation’s capital.
“We are honoured to be recognized by the commissioner in this manner,” Mr. Greenberg said in a statement. “The journey took longer than we had hoped, but it was a labour of love and seeing the team in action on the field at the wonderful new stadium at TD Place was an incredible experience."
The OSEG chair went on to thank the organization’s staff, the city, corporate sponsors, construction crews and all “our neighbours beside us in the Glebe,” before paying tribute to the expansion Ottawa RedBlacks’ fans.
The first-year team’s 2-16 record was forgettable, but the inaugural season was still memorable for reigniting fan support for the CFL in Ottawa. All nine RedBlacks home games were sold out, drawing average crowds of more than 24,000.
“We know that the wins will come and that the glory days of Ottawa football are going to arrive in the years ahead,” Mr. Greenberg said.
The award was presented in Vancouver, site of this year’s Grey Cup game which will be played Sunday.