Atlantic Schooners would make CFL a coast-to-coast football league
Yarmouth County resident given honour of announcing name of proposed new franchise
As host of one of the most popular social events of Grey Cup week, John Ryerson, a Yarmouth County resident, has been a part of the celebrations surrounding Canada’s biggest annual professional football game for years.
In Edmonton, this year’s host city, Ryerson again was at the helm of the kitchen party that has been bringing a taste of the East Coast to the CFL’s season finale, but this year was extra special, given that Ryerson got to deliver some big news.
“I’m happy to announce that the 10th team in the CFL will be known as the Atlantic Schooners,” said Ryerson.
The name had been chosen through a contest, although it’s not new. Indeed, Ryerson and the other volunteers who help him put on the East Coast kitchen party each year have helped keep the name Atlantic Schooners alive through their presence at the Grey Cup.
The proposed new team would play in Halifax. The group pursuing the bid for the new club is looking to acquire land in Shannon Park to have a stadium built.
The Atlantic Schooners was the name granted to a conditional CFL expansion team in the early 1980s. That team never materialized, as ownership failed to secure funding for a stadium and the franchise application eventually was withdrawn.
In Edmonton on Nov. 23, two days before the 2018 Grey Cup game, Maritime Football Ltd., the group pursuing the new bid for a Halifax-based CFL squad, let Ryerson make the official announcement of the proposed new franchise’s name.
Ryerson later described the whole experience as “quite an exciting weekend. And to cap it off, Trooper took our stage as a surprise. We did Atlantic Canada proud.”
Aside from keeping the name Atlantic Schooners alive and putting on a popular annual kitchen party in the city hosting the Grey Cup, Ryerson and his fellow volunteers have raised thousands of dollars over the years for food banks across Canada.
The Calgary Stampeders defeated the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 in this year’s Grey Cup game.