Ottawa is a four-season sports destination that has hosted many national and international events. It is also home to three professional sports teams and a minor Can-Am League baseball team, which makes great games available to fans all year long. From professional soccer and CFL football in the summer to NHL hockey during the colder weather months, there’s always an exciting team – and a mascot – to cheer for. Get acquainted with Ottawa’s professional sports teams!
The Ottawa Senators, known locally as “the Sens,” take to the ice when the weather cools down, playing from October through to April at Canadian Tire Centre. This beloved NHL team has played in Ottawa since 1992 and is entering its 24th season. The Sens played in the Stanley Cup finals in 2007 and have since made the playoffs 14 times in the past 17 seasons! The Senators mascot is a lion-like character named Spartacat, who is a favourite among younger fans.
The Ottawa REDBLACKS also play at TD Place Stadium from late June through October. “The REDBLACKS,” as they’re known locally, made their CFL debut on July 3, 2014 in Winnipeg, Man. This is the third CFL team to play in the city. The Ottawa Rough Riders, formed in 1876, were a founding member of the CFL in 1958 and played until 1996. A new Ottawa franchise was formed in 2002, but the Renegades folded after only four seasons.
The REDBLACKS mascot is Big Joe, a lumberjack character. Big Joe is inspired by the Ottawa-area legend of Joseph “Jos” Montferrand. Back in the 1800s, “Jos” was a French-Canadian logger who was known for his strength and powerful build. He was 6 foot 4 inches tall and known for his talent in logging as well as for defending French-Canadian Bytown workers against an Irish gang known as the Shiners.
OTTAWA FURY FC:
“The Fury FC,” as it’s known locally, is Ottawa’s North American Soccer League (NASL) team. This is Ottawa’s first professional soccer team and it plays from July through October at the new TD Place Stadium at Lansdowne Park. Lansdowne is a 40-acre site located in the heart of the city, adjacent to the historic Bank Street Bridge and wrapped to the east by a gentle curve of the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Fury FC played its first game at TD Place on July 20, 2014 against the NY Cosmos. The Fury FC’s mascot is Sparky – a red character with flame-like hair.
“The Champs,” as they’re known locally, is Ottawa’s newest sports team! From May through September, you can watch this Can-Am League baseball team play at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park (RCGT Park). Dress up in royal blue and cheer for the Champs as they take on teams from neighbouring Quebec and the United States.
Some of the Ottawa Champions’ players come from Major League baseball teams such as the Toronto Blue Jays and the Los Angeles Angels. The Champs kicked off their inaugural Can-Am League season on May 22, 2015 against the Sussex County Minors. The Ottawa Champions mascot is Champ, a red bear-like character that wears a baseball hat and a baseball shirt.
Tickets for the Fury FC, the REDBLACKS and the Senators are available at CapitalTickets.ca. Champs tickets can be purchased online at ottawachampions.com or by phone at 613-745-BALL. Check your team’s schedule and get ready to have a good time!