A Canadian Football League team in Halifax?
But first, where's the money?
This week, after reports surfaced that a group of businessmen had put forth a “very credible” presentation to the CFL about expanding to the East Coast, football fans around here started getting excited about the possibility.
One of the biggest hurdles – the biggest, actually – would be constructing a stadium that can seat 22,000 people (give or take a couple thousand).
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said the municipality is not going to lead the charge to build a new stadium. In other words, “we ain’t payin’ for the whole thing, but do you know anybody with a couple hundred million who will?”
That is certainly understandable, but Savage has long been on board with the idea of getting a CFL franchise and he and the other people running the show down there need to do whatever they can to help make it happen.
It’s infrastructure investment. It’s similar to our little corner of the world, when the idea of the Pictou County Wellness Centre started taking off several years back: we took a look at the rinks in this county, figured they won’t last forever and got the PCWC built.
And everybody was happy – except for those who weren’t and still aren’t.
Likewise, sooner or later Halifax is going to need a modern, sports stadium/entertainment complex, so they (whoever ‘they’ are) might as well get cracking on it now.
This is just one guy speaking from a football fan’s perspective, mind you (we‘ll let the experts figure out the financial and infrastructural particulars, all those pesky details), but we see fans driving in from all parts of eastern Canada to watch CFL games. The road trips and tailgating, the sleeping on airport floors – they are always a good way to waste part of a weekend.
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Speaking of the CFL, there are two playoff games this weekend, with the winners to meet in next Sunday’s Grey Cup.
Edmonton Eskimos at Calgary Stampeders
The Eskimos entered the playoffs winners of six games in a row, the CFL’s hottest team. They beat Winnipeg last week in the first round of the playoffs and go into Calgary on Sunday afternoon to play the Stampeders, who dominated most of the regular season but staggered down the stretch, dropping their final three games. Maybe the week off will help Calgary, but it’s not always easy to just snap your fingers and recapture the positive vibes.
Nor is it easy to slow down a freight train still gathering steam.
Saskatchewan Roughriders at Toronto Argonauts
I’m not a fan of promoting gambling because it’s sort of sinful (unless you’re holding bingo nights to raise money for the church, then, it’s OK), but you should just go put $5 on the Roughriders not only beating Toronto, but winning the Grey Cup title, to boot.
I wouldn’t even call that a gamble – instead, you should think of it as a can’t-lose thing, if there is such a thing.
Which there isn’t.
Still though: Roughriders, 27-18.
Kevin Adshade is sportswriter with The News. His column appears each Saturday.