TD Place opens to fanfare and the delight of season ticket holders

The new TD Place officially opened Wednesday night with a sneak peak for Ottawa RedBlacks and Ottawa Fury season ticket holders.

More than 10,000 of them attended the preview which was as much a test run for the staff at the stadium as it was a chance for the fans to take a look around.

It was also an opportunity for the men and women behind the project seven years in the making to celebrate the final product.

"Today we cut the ribbon on what I hope will be a new era of fond memories of Lansdowne," said Roger Greenburg, one of the partners in the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group after recounting memories of the Ex and Ottawa Roughriders at the former Frank Clair Stadium.

Among the most excited at the official opening was Mayor Jim Watson who said the redevelopment may have taken seven years to come to fruition but it's a final product he's proud of.

"Searching for perfection was the enemy of getting things done. That's why I'm proud that council acted decisively to move this project forward once and for all," he said.

Watson plans to watch the July 18 home opener from what he called "cheap seats with a great view" in the south side stands.

He wasn't the only fan scoping out his seat with a big grin on his face.

Young and old, from Ottawa and not fans were audibly impressed with the stadium.

As 12-year-old Antonio put it, "it looks really nice and I think it'll attract a lot of new fans to come and watch the RedBlacks play."

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