Idea of Maritime CFL team alive and well, but roadblocks remain
Officials measure for a Cincinnati Bengals first down during the second quarter an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Published Monday, February 4, 2013 6:34PM AST
Last Updated Monday, February 4, 2013 7:00PM AST
The idea of putting a CFL team in either Halifax or Moncton has been kicked around for decades. It seems football fever is still alive and well in the Maritimes, but some roadblocks still remain.
“Here the NFL is king, but there’s also an appetite for the Canadian game,” says Brian Corless, who manages a sports store in Dartmouth.
Football fan Peter Desroche cheers for the Montreal Alouettes, but he likes the idea of a Maritime-based team he could call his own.
“That would be exciting,” says Desroche. “I’d go!”
Halifax was awarded a CFL franchise more than 30 years ago, but funding for a stadium fell through and the Schooners never hit the field.
For decades, the feeling in the CFL was that if Atlantic Canada was to get a franchise it would be in Halifax. However, over the last few years, many in the football community would argue that Moncton has actually pushed ahead of Halifax on that list.
Moncton has hosted the only two regular season games played in Atlantic Canada - one in 2010 and the other in 2011.
Moncton also boasts a stadium while plans for a new Halifax venue fell through last year. However, support still remains for the project.
“It’s going to require some work,” says HRM Mayor Mike Savage. “It’s not going to happen in the next couple of months, but am I committed to us having a new stadium? Yeah, I do, I think we should have a stadium.”
CFL commentator Chris Schultz hopes it happens as he thinks a Maritime team will strengthen the league.
“We get that stadium out in the eastern part of Canada, you get a team,” says Schultz. “Can’t wait to have it happen, would love to see it.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Garreth MacDonald