"The new stadiums in Ottawa and Hamilton will absolutely, positively … well, most likely … uh, probably be ready for the CFL season.
It might also depend on what your definition of “on time? is.
Commissioner Mark Cohon toured Ottawa’s TD Place on Thursday morning and said he’s been given assurances the stadium will be good to go.
“From what they’re telling me, absolutely,? Cohon said.
Now, that’s how the folks in Winnipeg got in trouble with Investors Group Field. The Bombers kept saying the construction company was telling them the place would be ready, but it ended up opening a year late.
In other words, you never really know.
Cohon added the RedBlacks are going to launch their home schedule “towards the end of July,? which means they’ll likely have to play their first few games on the road.
The commish said Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field is also on time, but he pointed out they’re doing double shifts in an effort to get it completed.
It’s likely the Tabbies will start the season on the road, too.
Asked if he was nervous about the stadiums being late, Cohon answered the question with a question.
“Am I nervous? No, I’m excited,? he said."
[i][b]Cohon spoke for nearly 15 minutes on Thursday and covered a variety of topics. Here are the other highlights:
- The commish said he, Argos owner David Braley and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment are having “positive? talks about the future of the Boatmen. Braley is looking to sell the team, and they’ll need a new home when their Rogers Centre lease expires in 2017.
“What we ultimately think is the best solution is a downtown, intimate stadium,? Cohon said.
“So the opportunity with MLSE and the city of Toronto to renovate BMO Field, make it work for both soccer and for football, is the right thing to do.?
- Negotiations on a new collective-bargaining agreement with the CFL Players’ Association will begin in the next month, according to Cohon.
The current deals expires the day before training camps open in early June.
“I’m confident, based upon our relationship, based upon the last negotiation we had, we’ll get a deal done in time for the season,? Cohon said.
- Cohon wouldn’t confirm when Ottawa will get a Grey Cup, but he said they’ll need a few years to get their bearings first.
“You need to plan at least two years out for your Grey Cup,? he said. “These guys have a lot on their plate before they can think about Grey Cup.?
It looks like it will be Winnipeg in 2015 and Ottawa in 2016.
- All signs indicate every team stayed under the salary cap in 2013.
“I’m confident there will be no fines,? Cohon said.[/b][/i]