The long march towards building a CFL stadium in Halifax has taken another step.
CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a radio interview with a TSN Vancouver radio station that the city of Halifax has voted to put together a stadium proposal and that they are awaiting the results.
“I had a call early this morning with the principles from Maritime Football, the group that are putting together the bid to launch a team. The update was very positive,” Ambrosie told TSN radio.
“About a month ago there was by unanimous vote a resolution to allow the city manager to put together a very specific stadium proposal. The work on that proposal is underway right now. We’re waiting for the results of that review and of course that involves site acquisition and some stadium design.”
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage is on record that the stadium project, which is expected to cost in the neighbourhood of $200 million, has to make sense for the municipality and needs to be transit-oriented.
There is a clear appetite for spending municipal tax dollars to help fund a new outdoor stadium for Halifax according to a poll conducted by StarMetro Halifax.
Maritime Football Limited is led by Anthony LeBlanc, Bruce Bowser and Gary Drummond. The group is looking at a similar model to Lansdowne Stadium in Ottawa, which includes the 24,000-seat TD Place along with shops, restaurants, green spaces and courtyards.
“The principals from Maritime Football are visiting in Hamilton today, Scott Mitchell the president of the Ticats is giving them a tour of Tim Hortons Field. They’ve been to Ottawa. I was sharing with them this morning that they should go visit Winnipeg, Investors Group Field and see that Rum Hut area that’s been an amazing success for the Bombers,” Ambrosie said.
Ambrosie does not want to put any deadline when a franchise in Atlantic Canada could begin play.
“We are making great progress,” Ambrosie said. “Rather than putting an artificial timeframe on this, this is the time to follow the carpenter’s axiom: measure twice and cut once and get it right rather than getting it fast.”