The dream of a CFL team on the East coast has taken a step forward. The following is from the National Post.
An Argo-Cat fan
Moncton stadium spurs hopes of CFL franchise
Dave Crase, Canwest News Service
Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2008
MONCTON, N.B. -- A sod-turning ceremony in Moncton to mark the spot of a new track and field stadium carried with it hopes the city could one day land a Canadian Football League franchise.
Some $3-million in additional funding came Moncton's way Tuesday for a 28,000-seat stadium at Universite de Moncton. It's officially designed for the upcoming 2010 world junior track and field championships, but most people, including many officials, have professional football on their minds.
"The possibility will always be there in the future (for) professional franchise teams to be located in this region, we have a facility that can be competitive for bids," Premier Shawn Graham said of the $27-million facility.
The city is rife with speculation despite the fact construction is not expected to begin until early next year.
"If there is any interest on the CFL, Moncton is always open and ready for discussion - that's a chapter for another day," said Ian Fowler, of the City of Moncton.
There's been no official word yet from the city if and when it will pursue the CFL for a franchise, but sources say that work could begin as early as next month following the municipal elections.
The two men running for mayor of Moncton say that - if elected - there is no question they'll be going after the CFL.
"It could be a natural for Moncton, after all we are the hub of the Maritimes," said George Leblanc, a mayoralty candidate. "With this new stadium it gives us an edge and a natural venue for that."
"Sure - absolutely - I would be interested in looking at that (the CFL)," he added.
A stadium would be viable, agreed Pierre Michaud, who is also running for mayor.
"We can easily attract people from Halifax, Fredericton, Saint John (N.B.) and so on," he said. "This is very important, Moncton has the ability to attract things like that."
Four years ago Moncton and Halifax both tried to land a CFL franchise - but nothing developed.
In the battle for regional bragging rights, this time around Graham says New Brunswick will have the edge - especially over Halifax - adding a major stadium could mean not only a CFL team but also major summer concerts.
"These events will have an economic impact through the community, so where Halifax couldn't land Paul McCartney, we now have the facility for him now in Moncton," Graham said.