HALIFAX, Nova Scotia. December 8 (T90) – Halifax are currently in open talks about opening a Canadian Premier League (CPL) franchise.
The city met with Paul Bierne, who is currently handling early duties to setup the league, on Wednesday about Halifax joining the league.
Halifax-based sports promotion firm Sports & Entertainment Atlantic president Derek Martin took part in the meeting.
His firm is expected to take ownership of the potential CPL franchise.
“The stadium has to be downtown because then it’s an economic driver for the city. We view the outdoor stadium as the outdoor version of Scotiabank Centre. It (Wanderers Grounds) is two blocks away from the entertainment district.” Martin told LocalXpress.
“Sports and Entertainment would own the franchise and we’re in discussions now with investors and potential ownership candidates to join the group,
“We’d like to do this without going to government for money. I know there are other priorities (for government spending). We’re saying we’ll get a tenant first and the opportunity first, then look at building the facility around it. We’ll build the right sized stadium based on the demand for it.”
Martin said he’s reluctant to talk cost, until more details of the proposed league become known. But the intention is to build a very modest temporary stadium “in the few million dollar range” that can be expanded if needed.
“It would be about 15 home games a year,” he said of the Canadian Premier League use from late April to November. He said once there was a proper facility other sports, such as rugby and outdoor lacrosse, could be played there and other sporting events brought to the city.
Like many in Halifax, Martin believes it’s time for the city to add another high profile team that’s right for this market.
“We’re not an NHL city or a major league city, we aren’t the right size. But something like this we can do really well. This is the right team, the right time, at the right place.”
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