The NHL’s Ottawa Senators have moved a step closer to building a new arena in downtown Ottawa, Canada.

The National Capital Commission has announced that a group led by the NHL franchise is the preferred bidder for LeBreton Flats and has signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of a major event centre.

The Senators said they are teaming up with Live Nation, Sterling Project Development, Tipping Point Sports and Populous to build an arena on the site.

The Senators have played at the Canadian Tire Centre, which opened as the Palladium, in suburban Kanata since 1996.

Senators president of business operations Anthony LeBlanc said:

This announcement marks a significant move towards our long-term vision, a downtown arena at LeBreton Flats. We believe that this development will have a major impact on both the Nation Capital Region and our franchise, one that will help to shape the future of the city. We thank the NCC for their collaboration and look forward to working alongside them as we take the next steps on this exciting journey.

Plans are still in their very early stages, but the NCC said it has a goal of autumn 2023 to reach a long-term land lease on seven acres at LeBreton with "clear targets related to sustainability, affordable housing and benefits for the Algonquin Nation."