LeBlanc shoots down report Halifax CFL team is a ‘go’

Anthony LeBlanc got right to the point when asked about a Halifax radio host reporting an East coast CFL franchise was a ‘go’.

“No,” LeBlanc told The Chronicle Herald.

Howe said on his self-named show on News 95.7 radio in Halifax that he was told by two sources 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.

“We plan to listen to his vision, and he wants to hear what people have to say in the region, but we don’t anticipate any form of announcement at that event. It is fair to say, and we’ve been pretty public, that we are in ongoing discussions with the league and with a number of landowners in the region. At this time we certainly have not collected a site, we have not negotiated final terms with the league,” LeBlanc said.

“I don’t even know what that is referring to. We are looking at a number of locations right now, so to say it’s one particular one would simply not be accurate. And the idea that they would be awarding that at this point is just not possible.”

LeBlanc is leading the Halifax ownership group that 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.