The prospect of a Halifax stadium may be facing a potential death blow vote on December 10th, however commissioner Randy Ambrosie was nothing but positive about the future of CFL in Atlantic Canada in his state of the league press conference.
“I’m encouraged by the dialogue they’ve had with Halifax Regional Council,” said Ambrosie concerning the revamped proposal put forth by Schooner Sports and Entertainment. “There have been a lot of adjustments made to their plan that have brought much-needed positive energy.”
Putting a tenth franchise in Halifax has been a cornerstone issue during the Ambrosie’s tenure, but it has met significant hurdles thanks to the resistance of some Halifax councillors to assume risk by the municipality. Schooner Sports and Entertainment recently amended their proposal in an attempt to get a stadium deal passed.
That deal is all important, the commissioner made clear Friday. “The discussions of where we go next always have to be based on the stadium issue being resolved,” Ambrosie admitted.
“We are optimistic that a stadium will be approved. We will then immediately move into full business planning, making sure every ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ is crossed. That will be done in collaboration and partnership with Schooner Sports and Entertainment. And then we will take that to our governors.”
For Ambrosie, the prospect of the CFL in Atlantic Canada goes beyond the approval of Halifax Regional Council.
“We should always be in Atlantic Canada. Someway, somehow, someway we should always be there, because those are great football fans. Our ratings in Atlantic Canada were up 50 percent this year.”
Whether or not a stadium is approved and a franchise granted, the league seems to have appealing to Atlantic Canadians on its mind.
“We are hoping for a stadium, we are hoping for our tenth team, but I’d like to say to the people of Atlantic Canada that you are part of the CFL family,” Ambrosie said. “We are in fact a coast-to-coast league.”