Halifax radio host says Ambrosie will announce East Coast franchise a ‘go’

The ownership group looking to launch a CFL team in Halifax looks set to take the next big step forward according to a Halifax radio host.

“We’re being told by two sources now that CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie will announce next Friday when he comes to town that Halifax will have a CFL franchise, it will play out of a stadium to be built with private financing at Dartmouth Crossing. The CFL has guaranteed that Halifax will host a Grey Cup game within three years of the team’s inaugural season,” Howe said on his self-named show on News 95.7 in Halifax.

Howe asked Halifax Mayor Mike Savage what he knew about his report.

“He may announce that he has reached an agreement with an ownership group for a CFL team, but it’s all obviously contingent upon a stadium being built which we don’t have,” Savage said.

Howe retorted.

“I’m told that the property in Dartmouth Crossing has been made available and that construction will start in September.”

Is there a possibility that the CFL hasn’t revealed yet these plans and that you will get some kind of notice in the coming days? Howe asked the mayor.

“You have to understand council hasn’t seen anything yet. All we had was a meeting with the commissioner and the ownership group, indicating that this was what they were working towards. But before anything happens in terms of a stadium they would have to come to council and put forward a plan and council would have to look at that and give that careful consideration,” Savage said.

“I do think that the CFL is very anxious to come here.”

Howe reiterated his report.

“This was pretty specific information that I received from not one but two different people. The announcement will be made Friday that the CFL team here is a go,” Howe said. “The province has agreed to build a connector between the 102 and the 118. And the team will hold a contest to determine the team’s name.”

The mayor is not the only one throwing chilly sea water on the report.

A Halifax ownership group made a pitch for a CFL team last November. The Atlantic Schooners name has been re-registered.

Ambrosie has said it’s time for CFL expansion. A franchise in the Maritimes would certainly be a positive development for the CFL. It would give the league a coast-to-coast reach and allow it to form two five-team divisions.