Man behind bid for Halifax CFL franchise has closed-door meeting with council
Published Tuesday, June 19, 2018 9:28PM ADT
Last Updated Thursday, June 21, 2018 12:48PM ADT
One of the people behind the proposal to bring a Canadian Football League team to Halifax met privately with regional council Tuesday.
But, as football fans waited for news, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage says there are still many questions to be answered.
Anthony Leblanc, one of the founding partners of Maritime Football Limited, emerged from the meeting with regional council today without having time to say much as he rushed to catch a flight.
His visit was intended to give the city an update on how the proposed bid is coming along.
In February, there was plenty of celebration and speculation when CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie came to the city on a cross-country tour.
Maritime Football Limited was front and centre in its bid to bring the league to the East Coast with a tenth team, but after the hoopla, it's down to the details.
The group has been busy working out details since it announced its bid last fall - crunching the numbers on the economic impact on Halifax if a team did come through.
Savage said Tuesday that there are still many questions, especially when it comes to paying to build the football stadium the city would need.
“I need to know exactly what it’s going to cost us,” he said. “As a municipality, these things aren't free, and we keep hearing that there may be a way that this may be paid completely from offset future revenue that we would get, so that would be probably a good thing.”
Bayers Lake has been brought up as a potential stadium site and Dartmouth Crossing is another.
Dave Naylor of TSN reported Tuesday that the bid group has agreed to a three-step process for securing the franchise, what those steps are is under wraps.
“The league is keeping very quiet on this,” Naylor said. “I think they've asked the group to stay very quiet as well and of course the session that took place was in camera at city council. I think there's a lot of sensitivity on this issue just in terms of the league and the group not getting ahead of itself.”
Ambrosie was in Moncton two weeks ago to discuss the possibility of playing some games at Moncton University while a stadium in Halifax is being built.
The CFL says there is no deadline to be met when it comes to making the franchise happen, although the bid group has said in the past that the best case scenario would be to have a team on the field by 2021.
Savage did say council needs to have a public discussion about it soon so that people know what's being worked out. He says that will happen “in the very short term.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Heidi Petracek.