Halifax expansion?

The CFL Commissioner is meeting in Halifax with business leaders on the East Coast on Monday.
Halifax has a new progressive mayor who is wanting a Stadium and CFL for his City

[url=http://www.interpeg.com/sports/winnipeg-top-sports/#.UvTjSijeG7R]http://www.interpeg.com/sports/winnipeg ... vTjSijeG7R[/url]

[i][b]"Halifax has a progressive mayor named Mike Savage who is very interested in bringing the CFL to his city.

He’s so gung-ho about the prospects that he told the media there this week he wants a decision on a new stadium this year."[/b][/i]

[i][b]The bottom line is the league is in good enough shape right now to look at Atlantic Canada.

The situation is southern Ontario is headed in the right direction with new homes for both Hamilton and Toronto coming in the next four years, and the rest of the organizations are making money and/or building new stadiums.

So why not take a gander?

Savage sounds like the right guy at the right time for pigskin fans on the East Coast, and it’s quite clear Cohon doesn’t want to waste an opportunity to be the man who made the CFL even more Canadian than it already is.[/b][/i]

I'm hoping this comes together. :thup:

Cohon is taking his time and I really think it's going to happen. :wink:

At halftime in Moncton, we chatted with Peter MacKay and when asked about East expansion, he said that there seemed to be more interest in Halifax.


Toronto doesn't need fixing. Bring in Halifax!

What is there to "fix"? They lost to the Ticats in the eastern final. PERFECT!

You know something, while I want the Argos to succeed...a small part of me thinks that if they did fold that the actual, loyal Argo fans would come down the road to Hamilton to watch real Football and have real atmosphere at games.

If the ArBLOWS folded, then who would we beat on each Labour Day? The REDTHINGS? Tradition lost.

Tradition is about the Grey Cup at over 100 years now. If the Cats need a team in Toronto to excel and survive, then the Cats really don't even need to exist IMHO. Hopefully the city of Hamilton and the Cats have evolved to a point we/it can survive without Toronto if need be, well, at least in the sporting world. Yes, politics, Ontario gov't based in Toronto, that we need to suck up to. :wink: :cry:

A ten team CFL would be a dream come true for me. I think Cohon is the guy to make it happen if anyone is. It looks like the Ottawa franchise has a real chance to succeed because of the foundation that he and the new owners have put down.

Stadium first. If they can build a stadium, i will really begin to believe in the possibility of a tenth team.

An Argo-Cat fan

I was living in Ottawa in 2006 and a season ticket holder when the Renegades folded, the league didn't step in to run the team. I don't remember the outcry on these boards about the Gades folding. It did take almost 10 years to bring back Ottawa but at least they are back stronger and with a new stadium.
It wouldn't surprise me if the Argos folded, at least the CFL fans in Toronto wouldn't have far to drive to see the CFL live.

I'd love to see a team in Atlantic Canada. It's been an idea for decades-- remember the Maritime Schooners? When was that, the 1980s? It would be terrific to have the CFL be a 10 team, coast to coast league. But for a league like the CFL, gate-driven and with modest resources, expansion is a significant risk. If things aren't done right, we could just as easily revert to 8 teams as expand to 10.

I agree that Toronto should be fixed first. The Argos need stable ownership for the long term, a good stadium with decent lease arrangements, sufficient fan support, and fresh capital for investment in a long-term marketing plan. The MLSE-BMO field idea seems to offer some of that. I hope it happens.

If that is put in place, then similar considerations will apply in assessing the potential of expansion to Halifax (or Moncton).

I think it is too risky for the CFL to have two fragile franchises at the same time (Toronto and the new one down east). For that matter, Ottawa is still in the incubation stage--we don't know what the fan support will be like there yet, though the ownership and stadium components appear to be solid.

I don't think that the rivalry between Hamilton and Toronto should go so far as to wish for-- or be indifferent to-- the Argos folding. Losing the largest city in the country would be a body blow to the CFL... bad for the league's image, bad for corporate sponsorship, bad for TV contracts. It would cement the image of the CFL as "bush league". I love seeing the Ticats beat the Argos-- for me it rivals winning the Grey Cup (almost). But that can't happen unless there is an Argo team to play. So I want them to be healthy and competitive, and there for us to beat.

To me, the best approach is: fix Toronto and ensure Ottawa is secure, then look east.

That is exactly what the league is doing. Halifax is a long term project. Assuming the economy holds up. We are talking 7 to 10 years. Everything moves much slower out here. Mayor Savage is trying to change that, most people here want to change that but Halifax makes Victoria, BC look Hip...

That sounds like the right kind of time line. Slow and steady. Are there any major events around 2020 on the horizon that might call for a stadium and could take place in Halifax? Commonwealth Games, etc?

Ottawa was granted an expansion franchise before they had a Stadium.
This was because of the Hunt Ownership group and Corporate partnership was in place.

This Mayor Savage appears to be "pro-stadium" and is getting business leaders together to talk to Cohon tomorrow.
IMHO a franchise will not be granted unless a strong owner or ownership consortium comes forward.
When a strong owner steps up then the league could award a conditional expansion franchise on the
condition a CFL Stadium is built.
This would give Mayor Savage the ability to tell his council, if we build it, we get the CFL as tenants.

Halifax got the $25B(yes that is a B) Federal military Shipbuilding contract which is just starting to roll.
That is long term well paying jobs in the Community(5 spinoff jobs for every Shipbuilding job)
The time is right for the CFL,(it has never been stronger!)
The time is right for Halifax, (The right Mayor that wants to build a Stadium!)
10 team league is perfect, coast to coast
5 East, 5 West

The Arblows will be fine. MLSE will buy them so they can get more money from the city to renovate BMO yet again. I agree it is time to get a team in Halifax. It would make the league perfectly symetrical.

It's not going top happen for awhile, the CFL should look at a three year plan and beyond Halifax, look to a City that actually has money in place and is prepared to make the expansion a reality, Halifax has been talked about now for 30 years?

The CFL has a good marketing plan in place now is doing well, add another team within three years by 2017 and bring the league up to 10 teams in total but open yourself up to just about any city in Canada wishing to host a team, Moncton, Quebec City, St. John's Nfld, London, Windsor wherever?

I live in Moncton. It's too small a market. The regional support required to prop up a Moncton team I imagine would be hard to come by for an expansion team with no historic roots. Where the Riders have a century of history to have built their regional and now national fan base, an expansion team would have to succeed right away.

St.John's and the entire province of Newfoundland has zero football history and no existing amateur football of any sort. I severely question whether a team would take there.

Windsor is heavily influenced by nearby Detroit and US culture. It is a Red Wings and Lions town and they read their temperatures in Fahrenheit.

London, Québec and Halifax each have more substantive populations and existing histories and relationships to Canadian football. Of these, London is least likely as the CFL would rather shore up the support of its existing Southern Ontario teams. If Hamilton and Toronto were playing in stadiums filled to the brim with season seat waiting lists, we could talk about London.

Québec and Halifax are the only two realistic options given population base, business community and existing culture surrounding the sport of Canadian football.

Here is some info from the meeting with the Commish and Halifax

[url=http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1185999-cfl-could-be-a-community-affair-in-halifax-commissioner-says#.Uvo8nihAXYI.twitter]http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia ... YI.twitter[/url]

[b]Halifax Mayor Mike Savage’s lunch Monday was sponsored by football bigwigs, but it’s small-scale support that he wants.

Scotiabank, a corporate partner of the Canadian Football League, held the lunch for local business leaders who might like the idea of a local pro team.

Savage and league commissioner Mark Cohon said a team based in Halifax wouldn’t necessarily hinge on hooking one corporate owner with deep pockets.

“Look at the public teams: Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Edmonton,? Cohon said at a news conference before lunch. “We’re not talking about the CFL of 10 years ago, we’re talking about the CFL of today.

“Is it an individual that owns it? Do we make this a community-owned team? Is it a group of owners??

Cohon said he was “quite positive? about the idea of a community-owned team, considering that a Maritime fan base could stretch far outside Halifax.[/b]

[b]There was a driving interest from some big businesses, Cohon said.

“I can tell you the corporate partners that we have at the league level are very much saying ‘Mark, pursue this.’?

Savage said Cohon called him up first, and the two met in Toronto in early summer. They have “chatted back and forth? since then.

In 2012, municipal staff projected that building a stadium would cost $57 million.

Teams can make a profit with yearly revenues of around $17 million, said Cohon.[/b]

Wow, $57M for a stadium?
It cost the City of Toronto around $70M for BMO and it is nothing more than crap, a glorified bleacher high school like version.
However if this is the starting point and being crucial for a 10th team, I guess we are all for it.

That's probably a 20,000 capacity stadium likely with bench type seating.

Have you ever been to BMO?? it's a nice looking stadium and the seats are all individual seats not benches.