New stadium a good fit for the ‘new Nova Scotia’
CFL commissioner says Maritimes expansion requires building a proper stadium
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