Big news out of Halifax earlier this week. Chris Cochrane of Local Xpress reported on Wednesday that the proposed Canadian Premier League (soccer) has expressed interest in the market for their 2018 start-up season. The man behind the effort is Sports & Entertainment Atlantic (SEA) president Derek Martin.
The plan is for a 6000 to 8000 seat stadium located in the downtown core. Assuming you haven’t been hiding in your bomb shelter awaiting a nuclear war between the United States and Soviet Union for the past 40-50 years; you know this would require new/renovated infrastructure. The group is eyeing the historic Wanderers Grounds for this proposed stadium. If this idea sounds familiar with you, thank you for reading my blog on the topic for this past May. Martin wants the Wanderers Grounds to be an outdoor version of the Scotiabank Centre. The difference with this proposal from others is they (SEA) already have a tenant in mind (that being the CPL club). The other proposals to date have been white elephants in nature with no tenants lined up (the hypothetical CFL club not withstanding).
Martin says the SEA are already talking to potential investors to back the franchise, Halifax’s first outdoor professional team since the CSL’s Nova Scotia Clippers in 1991. A lot has changed since then with the popularity of soccer, meaning a new club likely won’t be a one season wonder. Read my post on the Clippers for more information. Marin expects there to be 15-ish home games a year hosted by the proposed soccer franchise. He mentions other sports that could use the space (rugby & lacrosse). No mention of baseball, as it would likely be a rectangular setup. The proposed CPL club already has their own supporters group (Halifax Wanderers SG), they can be found on Twitter. Halifax Wanderers FC has a nice old-time feel to it in terms of a team nickname. Of course they could go with something like Privateers, Gunners of Garrisons.
Of course, a baseball team would provide more use of the stadium. A summer collegiate team would play at least 20-25 home games a year (depends of the number of teams, games & setup of a hypothetical Maritime based league). A professional team in the Can Am League would play 50-ish home games a season. Of course the shape of the field would require a compromise in the building of the stadium. On the plus side, by making (Your Company Name Here) Wanderers Grounds Stadium baseball friendly, they could save some money by keeping the scoreboard. It assumes me that they still have the baseball scoreboard there, seeing that the sport hasn’t been placed on the site for 12-13 years. But it’s done is other places namely Yankee Stadium, home of the MLB Yankees and MLS NYFC. I will be following this development closely in the comely weeks & months. Of course with Halifax being Halifax, I might as well add years & decades to that last sentence.