Another marquee sporting match has been added to the growing list of events and festivals coming to Ottawa next year, coinciding with planned year-long celebrations marking Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Tennis Canada announced Wednesday that TD Place would be the host site for the World Group tie against Britain in early February.
If all goes according to plan, the tie will see Britain’s Andy Murray, the top ranked men’s player in the world, go head-to-head with Canadian star Milos Raonic.
“It’s a privilege to be able to present it to our Ottawa/Gatineau fans during Ottawa 2017 celebrations,” stated Bernie Ashe, CEO of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), which manages TD Place and the surrounding Lansdowne entertainment district.
The matches will be played on an indoor hard court and will mark the first time tennis is held at TD Place. The Ottawa 67’s agreed to alter their schedule to accommodate the event.
TD Place was seen as an ideal venue for its intimate setting and vibrant crowd.
“We want RedBlacks type support,” said Canadian professional tennis player Daniel Nestor. “We don’t want the typical tennis crowd that’s polite, we want boisterous and obnoxious and rude to our opponents. We really look forward to that atmosphere and strive in it lately.”
The city placed renewed emphasis on hosting major sporting events several years ago to grow Ottawa’s tourism sector.
More recently, the focus has been on attracting events taking place in 2017 to turn Canada’s 150th anniversary festivities into a year-long celebration.
In addition to the Davis Cup, Ottawa will host the Canadian Track and Field Championships in July, the Grey Cup in November and the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings curling competition in December, among others.
Organizers and city officials predict these events will generate millions of dollars for the local economy.
Many in the city are still hoping that Ottawa will host an outdoor NHL game next year, despite the federal government ruling out Parliament Hill as a venue earlier this month.
– With reporting by the Canadian Press