News / Halifax

CFL commissioner speaks on possible Halifax expansion, potential stadium size

Randy Ambrosie says talks continue with a potential ownership group, and the topic is on the agenda at this week's GM meetings.

Fans display an Atlantic Schooners banner at a Toronto-Edmonton CFL game in Moncton, N.B., in 2010.

Staff / The Canadian Press

Fans display an Atlantic Schooners banner at a Toronto-Edmonton CFL game in Moncton, N.B., in 2010.

The commissioner of the Canadian Football League says he won’t be putting any timetables on possible expansion to Halifax.

Randy Ambrosie said in an interview Wednesday that talks continue with the prospective owners and those discussions are part of this week’s GM meetings in Banff, Alberta.

“We’re being careful not to put a timetable on it,” Ambrosie told Metro in a phone interview about Halifax possibly becoming a 10th franchise.

“At the end of the day, the big issue is the question of the stadium. It would be inappropriate for me to put undue pressure on this group to get that issue resolved.”

That ‘issue’ carries a hefty price tag and getting it right, Ambrosie said, is “absolutely critical” to a team coming here and being successful.

“I think in that 27-28,000-seat range you are probably about right,” he said of a potential size.

“You can be a little smaller, depending on your market, but when you get much bigger than that, it gets harder and harder to fill a stadium.”

Members of the proposed ownership group include Bruce Bowser, president of AMJ Campbell Van Lines, and Anthony Leblanc, the former president and CEO of the Arizona Coyotes.

Ambrosie wouldn’t play ball about what an average ticket price for a Halifax CFL franchise could be, but said that information would be shared with the prospective owners, along with how best to secure sponsorship.

“I don’t want to back them in a corner by throwing out a number,” he said of ticket prices. “It’s all part of the process and being a good partner to this group.”

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