New sta­dium a good fit for the ‘new Nova Sco­tia’

CFL com­mis­sioner says Mar­itimes ex­pan­sion re­quires build­ing a proper sta­dium

StarMetro Halifax - - SPORT - Dan Ralph

CFL com­mis­sioner Randy Am­brosie re­mains bullish on Hal­i­fax be­com­ing the league’s 10th fran­chise, but says it’s all con­tin­gent on a suit­able sta­dium be­ing built in the Mar­itimes’ largest city.

Hal­i­fax re­gional coun­cil voted 15-0 on Tues­day to di­rect mu­nic­i­pal staff to com­plete a re­view of a busi­ness case for a 24,000-seat fa­cil­ity to be built at Shannon Park.

Am­brosie said while that was “an­other pos­i­tive step in the di­rec­tion that we were hop­ing for,” he added the sta­dium is­sue is piv­otal to Mar­itime Foot­ball Lim­ited Part­ner­ship’s bid for a CFL ex­pan­sion fran­chise to be­gin play in Hal­i­fax in 2021.

“To make a pro sports fran­chise work you must have a place to play, it’s just that sim­ple,” Am­brosie said. “We put in place a very clear set of steps that we would go through with Mar­itime Foot­ball and we’ve been knock­ing those off at a good pace.”

The plan of the part­ner­ship is to build a 24,000-seat mul­ti­pur­pose sta­dium in Shannon Park. That’s a 38-hectare par­cel of land on the east side of Hal­i­fax har­bour for­merly used for mil­i­tary hous­ing.

The sta­dium would re­port­edly cost be­tween $170 and $190 mil­lion but it’s un­clear if or how much pub­lic fund­ing would be re­quired for the project.

A more de­tailed busi­ness anal­y­sis is ex­pected to take three-to-six months to com­plete. Mean­while, the part­ner­ship plans to be­gin a sea­son-ticket cam­paign and name-the-team con­test next month.

Am­brosie is con­fi­dent Hal­i­fax has the cor­po­rate sup­port needed to help suc­cess­fully op­er­ate a CFL fran­chise.

“I think this is such a new Hal­i­fax, it’s such a new Nova Sco­tia, it’s a new At­lantic re­gion,” he said. “There’s just so much busi­ness go­ing on, new in­dus­tries that have started so yes we do feel there is enough sup­port.”

The full story at thes­tar.com/hal­i­fax

CFL com­mis­sioner Randy Am­brosie is bullish on Hal­i­fax join­ing the league but says it's all con­tin­gent on a suit­able sta­dium be­ing built. THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

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