Published on July 12, 2013 10:32 PM by dbo.
The big “news” from Hamilton, what’s going on in Halifax and an update from Ottawa.
The supposed big news out of Hamilton is the announcement of the naming of the new stadium Tim Hortons Field. I’m not sure who else people thought was in the running for the name, Dofasco? With the announcement of Tim Hortons Field also came updated artist renderings and details of the stadium design.
While the stadium situation in Halifax was considered by most, including this writer, to be dead it has resurfaced. People in Halifax began to take the country to task over comments of nation-building and the fact that every other stadium built in this country has been done with federal funds. Mark Cohon also challenged the Maritimes to show their support for a 10th CFL team.
Yesterday Cohon appeared on Halifax talk radio to discuss his recent meeting with the Halifax mayor. Host Rick Howe made comments that there was buzz in Halifax that the province was making a stadium a priority. Cohon made an interesting comment on evaluating Moncton after this year’s Touchdown Atlantic, and while he didn’t favour one location he was clear that the team would need regional support. He also indicated he was speaking with politicians about a community ownership model and what the CFL and stadium could do for the Maritimes.
A Halifax councillor appeared in a follow up interview and had no knowledge of any stadium discussions. He did say that the city could proceed with a stadium under the previous proposal of three levels of government split of a $60 million price tag, even though this would be woefully inadequate for a professional team. Any increased cost would need to be evaluated and voted on by council. It was agreed a federal/provincial/municipal cost sharing agreement along with possible private investment would be required to complete such a project. This, of course is the stumbling block, for convincing Stephen Harper to go against his principle of not funding venues used for professional sports will be difficult for reversing one’s position on that promise cannot be defended like fraudulent senators or lying staff.
What is clear is that while there is excitement among some of the general populace in Nova Scotia over these developments, it is also clear the local politicians have little to no knowledge of the CFL and still hang on to age old misconceptions and fallacies. Meeting with the mayor is the first step, but Cohon and the CFL must make sure all the provincial and local politicians of the region understand the CFL‘s growth, financial stability, what is different today over 20 and 30 years ago and where it is headed in the future with broadcast revenue and new stadiums. It is not your grandfather’s CFL, not your father’s CFL, heck, not even the CFL you grew up with if you are over 10 years old. It is not just a sales job, it truly is a chance to get in on the ground floor before that 10th team goes somewhere else.
Update: The mayor confirmed he is doing background work on the stadium in arranging for provincial, federal and perhaps private help.
Quite dated, but the stadium in Ottawa is on budget and on track to be completed for the 2014 season. Update: The park part of the project broke ground in July, on schedule to be complete in a year’s time.