Let’s Play Three!

Tripleheaders are rare at the Major League level.  In fact the last one in MLB was played 98 years ago on October 2, 1920 when the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates two games to one.  They are not completely unheard of in local baseball circles due to our short baseball seasons leading to little time to play makeup games, especially when teams from Yarmouth and Sydney are involved.  Looking through the archives of local papers, I have found 11 such tripleheaders between the senior and university levels since 1992.  Here is a short summary of them.

  1. August 2, 1992: Sydney Sooners at Yarmouth Gateway Blues (Veteran’s Field).  The visiting Sooners started the day how winning the first two games by 12-7 & 7-0 scores.  The hometown Gateways salvaged the tripleheader with a 4-2 win in the nightcap.
  2. June 4, 1995: Sackville Chiefs at Yarmouth Red Knights (Veteran’s Field).  After a doubleheader rainout, the Chiefs played Yarmouth three times in one day.  Yarmouth took the opener, 6-4 while Sackville won game two 5-1.  The Red Knights won the nightcap 9-1 to win the tripleheader. [The Daily News]
  3. July 12, 1998: Sydney Sooners @ Halifax Pelham Electric Blues (Wanderers Grounds).  After having a doubleheader rained out the previous day, the Blues defeated the Sooners two games to one in a tripleheader.  The opening pitch was thrown at 11:30 am, with the last out recorded at 8:50 pm.  The Blues took game one 9-2.  The Sooners got revenge in game two with a 10-3 victory.  But the Blues took the rubber match 9-2.  Jim McEachern, the long time Sooners coach pitched in game one an inning to give his pitchers some rest. [The Daily News]
  4. August 20, 2000: Halifax Pelham Electric Blues @ Sydney Sooners (Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park).  The hometown team beat the visitors from Halifax two times in this tripleheader (doubleheader the previous day was rained out).  The Blues took game one 13-2 but lost the last two 9-2 & 8-4.  Richie Walcott hit two home runs for the Sooners this day.  [Cape Breton Post]
  5. May 20, 2001: Sydney Sooners @ Yarmouth Gateways (Veteran’s Field).  The Gateways took two out of three from the homestanding Sooners after the previous day’s doubleheader was postponed due to rain.  All games were decided by one run with Sydney winning the opener 2-1 but Yarmouth followed up with 1-0 & 2-1 victories in games two & three. [Cape Breton Post]
  6. September 19, 2004: Dalhousie Tigers @ UNB Cougars (Royals Field).  The clubs were to play two doubleheaders this weekend but wet weather forced them to play only three games, a tripleheader on Sunday afternoon.  The hometown Cougars swept the Tigers by scores of 6-4, 5-2 & 11-10. [The Daily Gleaner]
  7. July 24, 2005: Dartmouth Moosehead Dry @ Sydney Sooners (Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park).  The Sooners took two out of three against the defending national champions.  This tripleheader was played after the previous day’s doubleheader was rained out.  The Sooners took the first game 6-5.  Dartmouth came back in game two with a 7-6 win.  Then Sydney took the nightcap 9-8 in eight innings (all games were scheduled for seven).  Brad MacLean hit a sac fly in the bottom of the eight in game three to win it for Sydney.  Not surprisingly, Darren Douccette, Jamie Vallis & Joel Irvine all hit home runs for the Dry. [The Chronicle Herald]
  8. August 19, 2007: Sydney Sooners @ Halifax Canadians (Mainland Common).  The hometown Canadians swept the visitors from Cape Breton by scores of 9-0, 9-2 & 5-2.  Ryan MacInnis pitched the first 12 innings for Halifax & picked up two wins.  Ryan Veinot had a total of five hits on the day.  The tripleheader was made necessary after the previous days doubleheader was rained out. [Halifax Daily News]
  9. September 23, 2007: UNB Cougars @ St. FX X-Men (Albion Field).  The third game was actually a UNB “home” game to makeup a rain out from the previous weekend in Fredericton. Results not available. [The Evening News, New Glasgow]
  10. September 14, 2008: St. FX X-Men @ Cape Breton Capers (Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park.  Results not available. [Cape Breton Post]
  11. October 16, 2011: Dalhousie Tigers @ Cape Breton Capers (Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park).  The Tigers and Capers played their entire best of three CIBA Atlantic Conference championship series in one day.  The Capers took the first game 7-0 with Justin Brewer pitching the complete game shutout.  Game two went to the Tigers 10-8.  Cape Breton won the nightcap 10-2 with Josh Spooney hitting two singles and a two run home run.  The wins advanced the Capers to the 2011 nationals that were held in Moncton.  [Cape Breton Post]
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Nova Scotia Clippers Results

Here are the game results of the Nova Scotia Clippers (Canadian Soccer League, 1991).  The franchise was rewarded in April 1989, played their first game two years later.  The Clippers’ training camp opened April 22 at Cole Harbour Place.  The club spent some of early to mid-May at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Bible Hill before returning to Halifax/Dartmouth.  All regular season home games were played at Beazley Field in Dartmouth.

The team’s main sponsors were Ultramar Canada, Simpson-Hurst Limited and Alexander Keith’s Breweries.  Included information is the date, opponent, result, Clipper goals & attendance (when available).  All information is via the Halifax Daily News.

Exhibitions:

  1. April 29 – @ University of Maine, 4-0 victory [goals by George Kyreakakos (2), Peter MacIntosh & Stuart Galloway]
  2. May 14 – vs. Truro Selects, 6-0 victory [at NSAC in Bible Hill]
  3. May 15 – vs. Dartmouth United Moosehead, 3-0 [goals by Dino Lopez, George Kyreakakos & Dennis Larsen, attendance of 100 at NSAC in Bible Hill]
  4. May 16 – vs. Cole Harbour Soccer Pro, 1-0 defeat [attendance 100 at NSAC in Bible Hill]
  5. May 19 – vs. Nova Scotia Selects, 2-0 victory [goals by Tony Pigniatello & George Kyreakakos, attendance 800]
  6. August 28 – vs. Nova Scotia Selects, 3-0 victory [goals by Hunter Madelay, Kevin Wasden & Dana Peoples, played at Huskies Stadium, Saint Mary’s]
  7. September 2 – vs. Bermuda national team, 0-0 draw [attendance estimated at 500]
  8. September 6 – vs. Bermuda national team, result unknown [played in Saint John]

Regular Season:

  1. May 26 – vs. Vancouver 86ers, 0-0 draw [attendance 1891]
  2. May 28 – vs. Winnipeg Fury, 2-0 victory [both goals by Gordon Hill, attendance 901]
  3. June 7 – @ Kitchener Kickers, 3-3 draw [goals by Pat Sullivan, Jamie Pollock & Murray David]
  4. June 9 – vs. Montreal Supra, 1-1 draw [goal by Dennis Larsen, attendance 1231]
  5. June 16 – vs. North York Rockets, 1-1 draw [goal by George Kryeakakos, attendance 1723]
  6. June 19 – vs. Toronto Blizzard, 1-0 victory [goal by Lewis Page, attendance 1707]
  7. June 21 – vs. Hamilton Steelers, 2-1 victory [goals by George Kryeakakos & Dino Lopez, attendance 2002]
  8. June 23 – @ Winnipeg Fury, 2-2 draw [goals by Lee Sullivan & Micheal Lyons, attendance 1871]
  9. June 26 – @ Vancouver 86ers, 3-1 defeat [goal by Tom Kouzmanis]
  10. June 30 – vs. Kitchener Kickers, 1-0 defeat [attendance 1430]
  11. July 3 – @ Montreal Supra, 3-2 defeat [goals by Dennis Larsen & Lee Sullivan]
  12. July 5 – vs. Hamilton Steelers, 1-0 defeat [attendance 1279]
  13. July 12 – @ Kitchener Kickers, victory [goals by Gordon Hill & Hunter Madelay]
  14. July 14 – @ Hamilton Steelers, 3-0 defeat
  15. July 19 – vs. Toronto Blizzard, 2-1 victory [both goals by Dennis Larsen, attendance 2232]
  16. July 21 – vs. North York Rockets, 0-0 draw [game called after 57 minutes due to thunderstorm]
  17. July 24 – @ Winnipeg Fury, 1-1 draw [goal by Robbie Cleugh, attendance 8629]
  18. July 26 – @ Vancouver 86ers, defeat
  19. July 28 – @ North York Rockets, 3-0 defeat [attendance 2015]
  20. July 31 – @ Toronto Blizzard, 6-1 defeat [goal by Neil Sedgwick, attendance 1980]
  21. August 2 – @ North York, 5-1 defeat [goal by Gordon Hill]
  22. August 4 – vs. Kitchener Kickers, 1-0 defeat [attendance 1314]
  23. August 9 – @ Toronto Blizzard, 4-2 defeat [goals by Dino Lopez & Pat Sullivan]
  24. August 11 – @ Hamilton Steelers, 2-1 victory [goals by Robbie Cleugh & Dennis Larsen]
  25. August 14 – vs. Vancouver 86ers, 4-0 defeat [attendance 1489]
  26. August 25 – vs. Montreal Supra, 2-1 victory [goals by Hunter Madelay & Robbie Cleugh, attendance 1466]
  27. August 30 – vs. Winnipeg Fury, 2-1 defeat [goal by Dino Lopez, attendance 1131. George Lucas played goal for the Clippers as Shel Brodsgraad was with the Olympic team]
  28. September 4 – @ Montreal Supra, 1-0 defeat

Postseason:

  1. September 11 – vs. North York Rockets, 4-0 defeat [attendance 359]
  2. September 15 – @ North York Rockets, 5-1 defeat [goal by Dwight Hornibrook]
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Jerry Marsh Ballfield (New Waterford)

 

Marsh

The baseball field in New Waterford is now named after a former mayor as it was renamed in 1992.  This field is the second oldest ball field in Canada (after Labatt Park in London).  They have been playing baseball on this site since 1911 (Labatt Park is 140 years old, oldest ballfield not only in Canada but the entire world).  The discovery of Jerry Marsh Field being the second oldest in Canada was made by a nine-year old girl named Sophia Hillier who made the discovery while working on a heritage project.  The family is hoping the park will gain heritage status with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.  The hope is the field will gain this status by next summer.  To put the field’s age in prospective, they have been playing baseball here one year longer than they have at Boston’s Fenway Park.

The field was home to the New Waterford Dodgers of the old Cape Breton Colliery League.  As discussed in previous posts, this is not the only Colliery League park that is still in use.  The only Major Leaguer to play as this park (as a Dodger) was Leo Merullo (who would play for the Cubs).  In preperation of the Colliery League (in 1937), the town of New Waterford moved the fences out ten feet and added more spectator seating.  The parks in both Glace Bay and Sydney Mines are also still used for ball (both are used for softball today).

The park was also home to the 1959 New Waterford Giants, the first Cape Breton club to win the Maritime championship.  In 2011 (the park’s centenary), it underwent renovations including new dugouts, drainage system and fencing which were for the 2011 national Big League championships.

The field is now used by New Waterford Minor Baseball.  More information on the field can be found in this article by Jeremy Fraser of the Cape Breton Post.  A shout out goes out to Sophia and her father for doing the research regarding this being the second oldest baseball field (still in use) in Canada.

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NHL Connections to Atlantic Canada

 

crosby

Alright, I have done MLB, NBA, CFL & NFL connections to the region and I will continue the series by discussing Atlantic Canadian ties to the NHL.  This post will be a little different from the others and the reason for this is two-fold.  This is not a hockey blog and the sport is prevalent in the area so I will not list every single player from or has played in the region.  That would be to time consuming for this little corner of the internet.  I will instead list notable players by province.  By notables, I generally go with the first NHLer from the province and any other player with at least 500 career games played (with some exceptions, namely recent players).

Players From Atlantic Canada

New Brunswick (51 players total)

  1. Fred McLean, Lakeville Corner
  2. Forbes Kennedy, Dorchester
  3. Danny Grant, Fredericton
  4. Hilliard Graves, Saint John
  5. Greg Malone, Fredericton
  6. Mike Eagles, Sussex
  7. Don Sweeney, St. Stephen
  8. Scott Pellerin, Shediac
  9. Willie O’Ree, Fredericton (first Black player in NHL history)

Newfoundland & Labrador (28 players)

  1. Alex Faulkner, Bishop Falls
  2. Keith Brown, Corner Brook
  3. Chad Penney, Labrador City (first Labrador native in the NHL)
  4. Darren Langdon, Deer Lake
  5. Dan Cleary, Carbonear
  6. Micheal Ryder, Bonavista
  7. Ryan Clowne, St. John’s
  8. Teddy Purcell, St. John’s

Nova Scotia (73 players)

  1. Thomas Mccarthy, St. Peters
  2. Flash Hollett, North Sydney
  3. Parker MacDonald, Sydney
  4. Al MacNeil, Sydney
  5. Lowell MacDonald, New Glasgow
  6. Bobby Smith, North Sydney
  7. Doug Sulliman, Glace Bay
  8. Mike McPhee, Sydney
  9. Wendell Young, Halifax
  10. Glen Murray, Bridgewater
  11. Colin White, New Glasgow
  12. Eric Boulton, Halifax
  13. Sidney Crosby, Cole Harbour
  14. Brad Marchand, Halifax
  15. Nathan MacKinnon, Cole Harbour

Prince Edward Island (31 players)

  1. Paddy Nolan, Charlottetown
  2. Errol Thompson, Summerside
  3. Bob Stewart, Charlottetown
  4. Al MacAdam, Charlottetown
  5. Bob MacMillan, Charlottetown
  6. John Chabot, Summerside
  7. Gerard Gallant, Summerside
  8. Brad Richards, Murray Harbour
  9. Steve Ott, Summerside

Information is from Hockey Reference’s player birthplace index.  This means players who were born in Atlantic Canada but raised elsewhere are included (Bobby Smith, Steve Ott).  Players born elsewhere but raised here (Paul MacLean) are not.

Players Who Played in Atlantic Canada

Notables as choosen by yours truly.

Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL): Patrice Bergeron, Roberto Luongo

Cape Breton Oilers (AHL): Grant Fuhr, Link Gaetz, Fabian Joseph, Bill McDougall, Shaun Van Allen

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL): Luke Adam, Marc-Andre Fleury

Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL): Maxime Lapierre, Daniel Sprong

Fredericton Canadiens (AHL): Donald Brashear, Patrice Brisebois, Valerie Bure, John LeClair, Jose Theodore

Fredericton Express (AHL): Richard Broudeur, Mike Eagles, Danny Grant, Ron Tugnutt

Halifax Citadels (AHL): Stephane Fiset, Adam Foote, Claude Julien, Jon Klemm, Owen Nolan, Anton Stastny

Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL): Jonathan Druoin, Nikolaj Elhers, J.S. Giguere, Pascal LeClaire, Nathan MacKinnon, Brad Marchand, Alex Tanguay

Moncton Alpines (AHL): Grant Fuhr, Steve Smith

Moncton Hawks (AHL): Andy Brickley, Kris Draper, Bob Essensa, Doug Smith

Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL): Luc Bourdon, Brad Marchand, Johnny Oduya, Keith Yandle

New Brunswick Hawks (AHL): Bruce Boudeau, Joel Quenneville, Darryl Sutter

Moncton Golden Flames (AHL): Brian Bradley, Brett Hull, Joel Otto

Nova Scotia Oilers (AHL): Jeff Beukeboom, Bruce Boudreau, Kelly Buchberger, Marty McSorley, Steve Smith, Esa Tikkanen

Nova Scotia Voyageurs (AHL): Keith Acton, Guy Charbonneau, Bob Gainey, Rod Langway, Claude Lemieux, Chris Nilan, Larry Robinson, Steve Shutt, Mario Tremblay

P.E.I. Senators (AHL): Radek Bonk, Pavol Demitra

Saint John Flames (AHL): J-S Giguere, Jordan Leopold, Martin St. Louis

Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL): Jonathan Huberdeau

St. John’s Fog Devils (QMJHL): Luke Adam, Jake Allen

St. John’s Ice Caps (AHL): David Aebischer

St. John’s Maple Leafs (AHL): Brent Gretzky, Yanic Perreault, Felix Potvin, Ryan Sittler

 

NHL Exhibition Games in Atlantic Canada

There have been too many to count, so I will not be listing them here.  There have been NHL preseason games played in Halifax, Sydney, Truro, St. John’s, Summerside, Moncton, Saint John and Bathurst.  There have also been postseason exhibitions played back in the Original Six era when many teams would barnstorm after the season.

NHL Regular Season Games in Atlantic Canada

From 1992-95 the NHL experimented by playing neutral site games (each team played two such games each season).  Halifax hosted three such games and had two cancelled as a result of the 1994-95 NHL lockout.

  1. Saturday, February 20, 1993: Quebec Nordiques 5, Tampa Bay Lightning 2 @ Halifax
  2. Sunday, October 31, 1993: New York Rangers 4, New Jersey Devils 1 @ Halifax
  3. Wednesday, March 9, 1994: New York Rangers 7, Washington Capitals 5 @ Halifax
  4. Friday, February 10, 1995: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers @ Halifax
  5. Sunday, February 12, 1995: New Jersey Devils vs. Washington Capitals @ Halifax
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It’s the Windjammers

Windjammers
I am going to start a series where I will be posting media from the unveiling (or orgins) of a previous Maritime-based sports franchise.  With the recent unveiling of the HFX Wanderers FC and the rumours of CFL and NLL franchises following the Wanderers to Halifax it’s a good time to look back at past franchise starts across the Maritime region.
The following article was published in the Halifax Daily News on Wednesday, March 20, 1991 detailing the unveiling of the team name, logo & coaches of the Halifax Windjammers of the World Basketball League.

IT’S THE WINDJAMMERS
Halifax team announces name, logo and coaches
By CARL FLEMING 

It was slam dunk time for Halifax’s new World Basketball League franchise yesterday.

Three significant announcements were made at a press conference at team headquarters at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax:

The official name is Halifax Windjammers.

The head coach is Ian MacMillan; his assistants are Mickey Fox and Richie Spears.

The logo is a half basketball in the shape of a sail and the team colors are gold with navy blue bands.

MacMillan, 48, a former university player and coach with the Acadia Axemen, was chosen from a list of at least 12 candidates for the Windjammers head coaching duties.

“I’m very excited, apprehensive, nervous. You name it, I feel all kinds of emotions today,” said the longtime Windsor, N.S. resident.

Joining MacMillan as assistants will be two of the greatest players in Atlantic Universities Basketball Conference history.

Fox was a four-time All-Canadian as a member of the Saint Mary’s Huskies in the 1970s while Spears, an Acadia University graduate, was the leading scorer in Canadian college basketball in 1962 and a member of the Canadian national team from 1965-67.

Locally, Fox coached junior high, senior high and university women’s basketball before assuming an assistant-coaching role with the Huskies men’s team two years ago. Fox said yesterday he’ll continue to work with SMU.

Spears was a three-time coach of the year at three different levels: the OUAA’s Laurentian Voyageurs in 1977, the CCAA’s Dawson Blues in 1976 and the NCAA’s nationally ranked San Diego University women’s program in 1981. Most recently he served as director of the Vinnie Johnson Microwave Basketball Camp in Michigan.

Fox and Spears are two of only four AUBC players ever to be drafted by NBA teams — Fox by the Detroit Pistons in 1975 and later the Portland Trail Blazers, and Spears by the St. Louis Hawks in the mid-60s.

“Mickey and Richie are now only great basketball players but they have a tremendous knowledge of the game,” said MacMillan. “They are great people and they should work out real well with our players.”

Though the bulk of his coaching career has been at the university and high school levels, MacMillan doesn’t anticipate any problems making the transition to the pro ranks especially since he already served as an assistant with the NBA’s Houston Rockets in 1979-80.

“I don’t really see any problems with coaching pro,” said the Windsor Regional High School math teacher. “I was comfortable in Houston and they had players like Rick Barry (now in the Hall of Fame), Calvin Murphy, Rudy Tomjanovich and Moses Malone. I think I will be comfortable in this situation.”

Assembling his newest cast of court characters is now foremost in MacMillan’s mind. Training camp is tentatively set to open April 16.

“We’ll probably invite 20 to 25 players to training camp depending upon how many Canadian players we can identify,” he said. “We will draft five players in the dispersal draft and I can tell you there are some very, very good players available.

“With the (WBL) 24-second clock we’re not going to be walking the ball up court. My team will be breaking out at every opportunity. We want our guys to play hard.”

Windjammers vice-president/general manager Mike Doyle said an announcement regarding the acquisition of “three franchise players” will be made today or tomorrow.

Season tickets have already surpassed the 500 mark and team officials have indicated the break-even game attendance figure is approximately 3,200 fans.

SIDEBARS: WHAT’S IN A NAME?

In the case of the Halifax Windjammers, plenty.

The name was selected from more than 1,800 entries received in a Name the Team contest.

A Windjammer is a sailing ship and/or a member of the ship’s crew. The connection is with Halifax’s historical dependence on merchant shipping lanes throughout the Atlantic seaboard, Europe and the West Indies. Historical connotations aside, Windjammers has a pretty good basketball feel to it. First of all, there is the obvious shortening of the name to Jammers as in ‘Go Jammers Go.’ And, for promotional purposes, drop the ‘d’ and you have an instant catch-phrase — ‘Win with the Jammers’.

The team’s logo, a half basketball in the shape of a sail, was designed by David Leonard, a local graphic and designer in conjunction with the advertising agency of McArthur, Thompson and Law. A stylized ‘H’ in the sail’s basketball lines.

The logo symbolizes the team in full sail, heading down the court to jam the ball in the opposition basket.

THEY SAID IT

Two key-note speakers may have a future as stand-up comics based on their witty responses to questions at yesterday’s Halifax Windjammers news conference at the World Trade and Convention Centre.

Mickey Fox teaches a junior high class in Halifax, is an assistant basketball coach with the Saint Mary’s Huskies, and yesterday was introduced as an assistant coach with the Windjammers. When asked about his potentially busy schedule, Fox replied:

“I’m not leaving Saint Mary’s and I’m still teaching. I’ve got three jobs. I just haven’t told my wife yet.”

———-

Windjammers vice-president/general manager Mike Doyle on the real reason fellow Windsor resident Ian MacMillan was hired as head coach:

“The one determining factor is that he’s been in my house every night for the last month and I had to get him out.”


 

Future franchise origin posts will include at least the Nova Scotia Clippers, Halifax Mooseheads, Halifax Rainmen and Cape Breton Breakers.

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Nobody Takes the Fort!

Citadels Baseball

1988-89 Citadels hockey

There have been two sports teams called the Halifax Citadels.  During the 1956 Halifax & District Baseball League season, there was a team called the Citadels.  This was the only season the baseball Citadels existed.  They replaced the old Cardinals team and played at the Wanderers Grounds.  Nobody from this team would go on to play in the Major Leagues (they were however an unofficial farm team of the Philadelphia Phillies).  It is unclear how many players would later play in the official Phillies system.

Thirty-two years later the nickname returned to Halifax in the form of an American Hockey League team.  These Citadels were affiliated with the Quebec Nordiques and would last until 1993 when the franchise transferred to Cornwall, Ontario.  The Cornwall team went on hiatus in 1996, resurrecting in 1999 as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, where they are still located.  Future NHL coach Claude Julien was a member of the inaugural Citadels squad

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Halifax Sports Saturation

NLL-Shield-Logo.png

There was recently an article in the Halifax Star-Metro explaining the potential sports saturation with all the rumours of potential teams coming to Halifax.  The city already has the Mooseheads, Hurricanes and now the Privateers.  There is also rumours of both the CFL and NLL coming to town.  Here is my take on potential problems of having so many teams competing against one another for the entertainment dollar.

  1. Halifax Hurricanes, National Basketball League of Canada.  This team is probably in the most trouble out of the five current & potential sports franchises in the market.  This past season (2017-18) the Hurricanes did finish fourth in the league in attendance with an average attendance of 1958.  The season lasted from November to May, but NBL Canada has shifted the schedule around the past few years.  The league also doesn’t have the appeal of the others.  The other issue of the Hurricanes is the competition from local universities.  Many local basketball fans are fans of university basketball and could easily replace the Hurricanes with the Huskies and Tigers.  Not to mention the competition of NBA games on television.
  2. Halifax Wanderers FC, Canadian Premier League.  This soccer team was recently unveiled and the enthusiasm behind the project is almost unprecedented in this neck of the woods.  The new Wanderers Grounds stadium will hold close to 6,000 people and selling tickets, at least in the early years, shouldn’t be a problem.  The is also smart people beyond the league (Paul Beirne) and they should minimise any embarrassing gaffes that other leagues have made.  The season will run from spring until fall, filling the current summer sports void in the region.  The league will be by far, the best soccer in the region making them more irreplaceable than the aforementioned Hurricanes.
  3. Halifax Privateers, National Lacrosse League (proposed).  The NLL has trademarked the name Halifax Privateers (sounds familiar to readers of this blog) for the use of a potential franchise.  The team would call the Scotiabank Centre home, so there won’t be the overhead that comes with a new facility (see Wanderers & CFL).  The only capital costs would be the cost of a carpet to fit the arena.  The NLL season ran home December until June this past year.  This would go head to head with the Mooseheads & Hurricanes.  Potential playoff games would be the same time of the year as early season Wanderers games.  But the NLL is the best lacrosse league in the world which makes the Privateers the only “world-class” team out of the five.  Also the NLL would give Halifax the only chance to go head to head with the major cities of the United States (San Diego, Colorado, Philadelphia, etc).  The NLL would be by far ahead of local lacrosse leagues in terms of quality.
  4. Atlantic Schooners, Canadian Football League.  There have been recent talks between the potential ownership group and the city of Halifax regarding a potential stadium.  This of course, is nothing new as the CFL has been flirting with Halifax for 52 years.  There have been CFL Halifax bids that held water in 1971, 1979, 1982 & present day.  If they can come to an agreement and bring in a franchise, it would potentially be the biggest news ever for Atlantic Canadian sports.  The NLL may be the best lacrosse league in the world, but the CFL is the second most popular league in Canada (obviously the NHL is number one).  This would make the CFL a true coast to coast league, giving the region a “name” with the rest of Canada.  It gives Halifax a chance to go head to head with all the major Canadian cities.  The season runs from June until November, which means they would go head to head against mostly the Wanderers and to a lesser extent, the Mooseheads.
  5. Halifax Mooseheads, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.  The Moose are unquestionably the most popular sports franchise in the city’s history.  The allure of bigger leagues like the NLL & CFL will cut into the market but let’s not kid ourselves, the Moose will remain one of the biggest fanbases in the CHL and their not going anywhere.

Potential Halifax sports calendar:

Halifax Sports

The chart indicates all five teams and what months they would play games in.  I indicated playoffs with a “P” as there’s no guarantee that said team would play games in that month (or at the end as for example, the Mooseheads regular season ends in mid-March but the first round is also in that month).  The Wanderers schedule is based on projections (also they may go with the European model with no playoffs).  The busiest month would be May (if the three arena teams make playoff runs).  Counting preseason, there’s a chance all five could be playing that month.  Summer would still be the dead period, with only Wanderers FC and the CFL playing.

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