Halifax council meets with company pushing for East Coast CFL team

Randy-Ambrosie,-the-Canadian-Football-League's-commissioner

Randy Ambrosie, the Canadian Football League's commissioner, addresses the crowd at a public town hall meeting in Halifax on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (Andrew Vaughan/CP)

Halifax Regional Council received a private briefing Tuesday from the company hoping to bring a CFL team to the Maritimes.

Mayor Mike Savage confirmed councillors met with representatives of Maritime Football Ltd., but would not discuss the nature of the talks.

It took place behind closed doors as a last-minute addition to Tuesday’s council agenda, though it contained no references to Maritime Football Ltd., or the CFL.

Savage has previously said the municipality wouldn’t be pushing the issue, so as not to put taxpayers at risk over the cost of building a stadium.

Savage told Global News Tuesday that Maritime Football Ltd., had “advanced” their case in such a way that had firmed up the business model.

He said a public discussion may come at council’s July 17th meeting.

“You may be seeing something come forward in such a way that we can have a public discussion about the CFL in the next meeting,” he said.

“I think we’re at the point now where this has to come out and be public as much as possible … People want to see it in public and have a discussion about it.”

Earlier this month, CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said there was still no definitive date for a yes-or-no decision for an expansion team based in Halifax.

He said the league is working with the ownership group, discussing their business plan and having them meet with CFL teams.

The big issue is funding a 30,000-seat stadium in Halifax.

Ambrosie and Halifax bid proponents Bruce Bowser and Anthony LeBlanc told a packed hotel ballroom in February they are maintaining a methodical approach to ultimately landing a team.

Ambrosie assured the largely enthusiastic audience at his commissioner’s “town hall” that the league is excited about the prospect after a previous attempt in the 1980s was scuttled because of the failure to land a stadium.

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