CFL Commissioner Confident Halifax Will Land A Franchise
CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie is "very confident" that Halifax will land the league's 10th franchise, but the CFL has "avoided trying to put a timeline" on when that team will start play. Ambrosie, appearing on TSN's "Mountainside Chats" podcast with Dave Naylor, said the CFL at some point is going to sit with Schooners Sports & Entertainment and "really build the business plan ... from the ground up" for the proposed Atlantic Schooners team. He added, "That's the next most important step to getting this team on line." Ambrosie: "The good news is that we've got this great support from regional council. Now, we want to do the work to make sure that not (we're) just bringing a team in but bringing a team in successfully" ("Mountainside Chats," TSN.ca, 1/7). Ambrosie said the regional council has approved C$20M in funding, which is "really now the foundation on which we march forward." He praised Halifax Mayor Mike Savage and Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil for their support of the franchise and said, "They all see the merits of a stadium and a franchise out that way." Ambrosie: "Maybe the best thing here is not to launch the Schooners quickly, but launch them well" (OTTAWA SUN, 1/8).
GLOBAL APPEAL: Ambrosie said that he "anticipates the CFL playing its first international regular-season game next year." The CP's Dan Ralph noted a Saskatchewan Roughriders-Toronto Argonauts game in July is set to be played at a neutral site, and many speculated it "would be staged in Mexico City." However, Ambrosie indicated that the game likely will be played in either Halifax or Moncton, New Brunswick. But Ralph noted that Ambrosie is not "slowing down CFL 2.0, his initiative to grow football globally." The CFL has solidified "partnerships with 11 international football associations," and Ambrosie is also "speaking with organizations in Spain, Brazil and Australia." The CFL this year "will be holding global combines in Europe, Mexico and Japan" (CP, 1/7).