Ottawa Senators owner Michael Andlauer and his team will have until the end of August to decide whether a new arena will be built at LeBreton Flats.
The National Capital Commission (NCC) confirmed Wednesday it's giving Capital Sports Development Inc. a one-year extension to mull over the memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed back in June 2022 with the initial aim of reaching a lease agreement at LeBreton by the fall of 2023.
However, Andlauer and his partners requested more time to consider the MOU because they only took ownership of the NHL franchise last September, NCC officials said.
The extension "enable[s] the work that is necessary to advance design and negotiate terms for a lease," said Laura Mueller, the NCC's chief of planning and engagement for the LeBreton project, during Wednesday's meeting.
"Both Mr. Andlauer and his partners are very keen and interested in the discussions with the NCC, so the conversations continue," NCC CEO Tobi Nussbaum told reporters following the meeting.
"We are still hopeful that the discussions we're having will lead to a lease agreement."
A condition of the sale is that the team will stay in Ottawa.
Andlauer hasn't shared anything concrete about where he thinks a future arena ought to go — whether LeBreton Flats or elsewhere — only that he wants to keep his options open.
The owner has previously stated that the team will likely remain in Kanata for at least the next five years unless construction and approvals from various levels of government move faster than he expects.