Driving through downtown Ottawa on Friday afternoon, it was hard to believe the RedBlacks home opener was upon us. My first day at Lansdowne Park started with John Sweetnam of CDS Building Movers on April 11, 2012. Insurance photos for the Horticulture Building was first on the agenda, little did I know the journey ahead as we started the Lansdowne Legacy Project.
As I boarded the plane for the 8th such trip around the park, I had a number of emotions and concerns about the lighting, the restricted flight path as well as an F-18 fly-by before kick-off.
The tower informed us the jet would be at about 1500 ft and carrying a speed of about 500mph. We would settle in at 4500 ft flying at a speed of, well, not 500mph. I knew from my days of covering NASCAR, 1 fly-by is never enough and was able to track him back over TD Place on his second pass, truly spectacular to watch this from above.
So much work has been done in the last several weeks at TD Place, the grounds are really shaping up, and gaining character by the moment. Everywhere you turn now looks very, very clean. Workers should be commended at the progress made over the last few weeks.
This night was big for the CFL, the RedBlacks and for OSEG. Absent for 9 years, the Ottawa franchise would be looking to make a mark, and make history with a win over the Toronto. The foot of Ottawa kicker, Brett Mahar, would account for all of the RedBlacks scoring and his last in the dying seconds of the 4th would give Ottawa an 18-17 victory on their home soil.
The sellout crowd would get just what they came for, but now the hard work will begin by making them return for more.