McCain offers views on Atlantic CFL franchise

McCain offers views on Atlantic CFL franchise


Published Wednesday September 28th, 2011
Scott McCain doesn't pretend to have all the answers when it comes to

the viability of an Atlantic franchise in the CFL, but he has some interesting views.

"I think everybody has to start putting the spin on it being an Atlantic Canada team," said McCain,

who's the president and chief operating officer of the Agribusiness Group at Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

That is what the Saskatchewan Roughriders, formerly known as the Regina Roughriders, did so successfully.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders are thriving on the business side.

That's because they receive fan support and corporate sponsorship
from across the province, not just Regina where the team is based.

Moncton's stadium has the potential to be expanded to approximately 28,000 seats

and a CFL franchise can operate viably with a 25,000 attendance average.

This is the only place in Atlantic Canada that has a stadium

which can be upgraded to meet league standards.

and Moncton is more centrally located than other cities within the Maritimes.
"I know I can speak for companies like McCain Foods and Maple Leaf Foods," he said. "I think they would find difficulty in it because to be honest that's not an area where they usually play. They don't play a lot of sports marketing.

"It's going to take a lot of soul searching to figure out where is there a pocket of corporate sponsorship that will make this thing fly. I'm not sure about that yet. I think that's the bigger piece than the fan base. You'll have to go to Atlantic Lotto, Blue Cross, East Link and these companies that are regional. Regional companies would have to take an interest in it."

The CFL commissioner hasn't yet approached anyone from the Irving family about being part of his Atlantic advisory council. Cohon said that he will probably talk to Robert Irving at some point.

"I know that Robert Irving has no interest in this," said McCain. "Frankly, if an Atlantic CFL team is going to fly it would be really nice to have the Irving family take an interest in it."

you left out the negative parts;

McCain says Moncton is a better location then Halifax, yet, McCain is not going to commit anything financially to a franchise in Atlantic canada - no sponsorship - just his views. says he has no interest in investing but Atlantic Lotto, Blue Cross, East Link and these companies might.
i'd rather listen to a guy willing to pony up cash. if someone willing to commit money says Halifax, i'd say Halifax it is depite what McCain says.

sad to hear Irving has no interest.

I agree.

What’s the point of expressing your views, if you have no interest what so ever.

I think its unfortunate that especially McCain (since he’s speaking out) doesn’t have any interest in a team. A team could bring more exposure to the Atlantic and his companies.

Also, I don’t think this franchise will work out at all, if neither McCain or Irving weren’t a part of it.

Since no one has expressed any interest in being part of an ownership group, this idea remains no more than a wishful thought. If neither McCain nor Irving want to participate, there isn't much left in the way of potential private sector owners. Maybe Quebec City is a better bet for an eastern expansion by the CFL. There are more large companies in Quebec than in Atlantic Canada, perhaps finding an ownership group among them will be a bit easier.

How about forming a council in Toronto so they don't lose the Argos! They couldn't find an ownership group for the Argos, it was Braley that stepped in to finance and run the team!!
The CFL should be worried about the state of CFL football in Southern Ontario before they start trying to drum up support in the Maritimes. How do they get interest in the CFL in the Toronto area? Let's get the two Southern Ontario franchises in order first before we start looking at the Maritimes or Quebec

Braley's on it.

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Hey, thanks for that, it's a great idea. If he can do what he did in Vancouver, they have a future. Only thing I see is that Vancouver didn't have the NFL option. Braley has to convince locals that CFL football is the future not the NFL

Perhaps the league is exploring Maritimes expansion due to the risk of losing the blue team?

It kinda did, San Fran played Seattle at BC Place in 1998. I have no clue how serious the courting was though.

I do believe though that once Toronto has a long term owner (is Braley long term or just a stop-gap?) and fields a good product, people will come back. But the last couple of years have been hard on fans as they have been here. And you can tell, look at the empty seats.

With regard to Argo support as previously mentioned in this thread...I often wonder if the marketing department is out pounding the pavement or contacting local businesses. In the GTA there has got to be thousands upon thousands of offices, stores, small businesses etc. that could be convinced to spring for a couple of season tickets. They're not anywhere near the price of seasons seats for the Leafs/Raptors/Bluejays and they could be given out to different employees each week. But it takes contact and maybe some face to face selling the merits of such a purchase. Just my two cents for what it's worth.

Everything I've read about Braley suggests that he's in it for as long as it takes to get the team back onto a solid foundation, and he'll stick around as long as he needs to to ensure that the team goes to the right owner when he's done.

From everything I have read and heard, I believe Braley is in for the long haul as well.
He loves this league more than anything, and will do anything to keep Toronto alive and stable.

After the Grey Cup is over in November and he recoups some profits from the event, I can see Braley looking for someone our West to purchase the Lions. With a stable attendance, and nice new stadium to play in - who wouldn't think this was an attractive team to purchase.

That way he can put his full attention on the Argos, and not own 2 teams at once. Plus he has another Grey Cup and the biggest ever, next season as well.

Braley has said in interviews lately that he will give himself five more years with both teams, at which time he will be 75 years old and ready to step aside. I just hope there are competent buyers at that time.

Unfortunate with McCain and Irving not showing an interest but that is their choice. It takes a lot of work to run a pro team and if you're heart isn't in it in the first place, don't dive in.

Maybe we shouldn't read too much into how much interest McCain claims to have. I don't see many successfull business people annoucing they are "interested" before hand and tipping anyone off and starting a bidding war...

True enough Sno.