‘Special announcement’ on Halifax CFL bid could include season-ticket campaign

The group aiming to bring a Canadian Football League team to Halifax is expected to make a “special announcement” today.

A media advisory says Maritime Football Limited Partnership and CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie will make the announcement at Saint Mary’s University at 1 p.m.

The group, made up of former Arizona Coyotes co-owners Anthony LeBlanc and Gary Drummond and AMJ Campbell Van Lines president Bruce Bowser, is looking to secure a conditional expansion franchise to begin play in Halifax in 2021.

Efforts to bring a CFL team to Atlantic Canada’s largest city cleared a major hurdle last month after Halifax council directed city staff to do a through business case analysis on the proposal.

The next steps are expected to include a name-the-team contest and a season-ticket campaign, which will help the league assess the level of interest in professional football in the Maritimes.

However, Ambrosie has said Halifax’s bid for an expansion franchise — a move that would bring the number of teams in the league to 10 — rests on whether the new 24,000-seat stadium proposed for Shannon Park is built.

Halifax staff are expected to report back to council on various municipal and provincial funding options to help pay for the stadium, including a rebate on the proposed Shannon Park development’s property taxes, an increase to the hotel marketing levy and a new car rental tax.

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