Moncton's Uteck Bowl loss may not be Halifax's gain
Published Tuesday, November 13, 2012 6:45PM AST
As far as the Uteck Bowl is concerned, Moncton’s loss may not necessarily be Halifax’s gain.
University football’s national semi-final was a bust last year in Moncton, with less than stellar attendance and game revenues.
So, starting in 2013 the event will be moved back to different Atlantic University Sport venues every second year.
However, the game may not be headed for Halifax, which has hosted large-scale football events for over 40 years.
"Obviously the stadium is a challenge," says Phil Currie, executive director of the AUS.
Currie says Huskies Stadium is crumbling and is no longer an ideal setting for the event. It’s one of the reasons why it was moved to Moncton in the first place.
"The stadium continues to deteriorate. We're not saying it's going to come back to Halifax. It's going to come back to the region," says Currie.
Acadia, Mount Allison and St. Francis Xavier are universities still being considered. There are also long-shot venues such as the Wanderers Grounds in Halifax or Beazley Field in Dartmouth.
"Those fields were not designed for that kind of event," says Currie.
Still, some are disappointed the game won’t automatically be moved to Halifax.
Richard MacLean, the president of Football Nova Scotia, played in four national semi-final games when it was called the Atlantic Bowl.
"When Halifax hosted the Atlantic Bowl every year it was consistently one of the biggest sporting events the city was hosting," he says.
According to MacLean, all Maritime stadium options are inferior to football venues in other parts of Canada.
"Other conferences have crept to increase their stadiums and increase their profiles in their provinces.”
MacLean says the failure in Moncton should serve as a warning shot for the rest of the region. He says upgrades are needed in several locations for the Uteck Bowl to survive long term.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Paul Hollingsworth
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