Halifax’s entry in the new Canadian Premier League will be called the HFX Wanderers.
The team’s colours, motto and name — which is spoken as Halifax Wanderers — were revealed Friday at a news conference in Halifax.
"We’re thrilled and excited," said Derek Martin, founder and president of Sports & Entertainment Atlantic, which owns and operates the men’s pro soccer franchise.
The Wanderers name is inspired by the site of the soccer team’s new downtown home — Wanderers Ground — and the historic Wanderers Amateur Athletic Club. Founded in 1882, it was the first athletic club to represent Halifax in sports competitions.
Inspired by the Halifax Harbour, the club’s motto is "Ar Cala, Ar Dachaigh, Ar N-Anam" — which is "Our Harbour, Our Home, Our Soul" in Gaelic.
The club colours are described as "Aqua Ocean," "Harbour Blue" and "Naval Grey" representing the sea and the region’s "steel-toned skies."
HFX Wanderers will be the primary tenant at a soccer stadium at Wanderers Ground with a capacity of 6,000-plus and a natural grass playing surface. The stadium is modular, meaning parts can be dismantled as needed.
"Halifax is ready for professional soccer," said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage.
The Halifax franchise, which has some private investors who are staying in the background, has already chosen its coach/GM but plans to make that announcement at a later date.
Martin, 42, is a former St. Francis Xavier quarterback who played semi-pro football in France and Spain. SEA has staged U-Sports, CFL games, rugby, beach volleyball and other events. SEA holds the management rights to Wanderers Grounds.
The CPL has been rolling out details on its inaugural franchises in recent weeks.
Halifax joins Hamilton, Winnipeg, Cavalry FC (Calgary), York 9 (north of Toronto) and a group in B.C. — dubbed Port City, B.C., but yet to announce its location — as founding CPL clubs.
The new league is expected to have 10 members by the end of the year with eight taking part in the 2019 season. Edmonton and Ottawa are widely expected to be among those joining the lineup.
The team emblem shows the Macdonald Bridge over blue water representing the Atlantic Ocean with the letter ‘W’ woven in. There is an anchor at the base of the emblem.
"The passion and enthusiasm of the soccer community here has quite simply been amazing – they have been demanding a CPL club for the past year and we are thrilled to have Derek Martin leading the charge to make the Wanderers a key part of Halifax’s identity for generations to come," CPL commissioner David Clanachan said in a statement.