City council set to discuss possible Halifax CFL team at next meeting, say councillors

Mayor Mike Savage said the public could expect a motion allowing a public debate on a possible stadium. Alexander Quon/Global News File

Two Halifax regional councillors say the next meeting of Halifax’s governing body will include a discussion on a possible CFL franchise in Halifax.

According to Tim Outhit, councillor for Bedford-Wentworth, council will be asked on July 17 to give direction to the municipality’s chief administrative officer (CAO) to officially enter into preliminary negotiations with the company hoping to bring a football team to Canada’s East Coast — Maritime Football Ltd.

Outhit broke the news in a Facebook post on Tuesday that sought to gauge his constituents’ support for the project.

Richard Zurawski, councillor for Clayton Park, made a similar post soon after.

READ MORE: Group vying for Halifax CFL team meets with premier in Moncton during N.B. visit

Both councillors stressed that there are no details on what Maritime Football Ltd. may wish to see in way of support from the municipality.

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However, Outhit did speculate in his post that it will likely involve financial support for the construction of a new stadium with at least 25,000 seats.

“A stadium of this size will cost at least [$200 million],” Outhit wrote in his post.

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Outhit also speculated that a request would involve the HRM allowing commercial and residential development around the stadium site.

He said he’s guessing that Maritime Football Ltd. would have a request that they not pay property tax — either on the stadium or the surrounding developments — for an extended period of time.

“[The stadium] will not be located on the peninsula or in Bedford,” Outhit speculated.
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READ MORE: Company behind push for Halifax CFL team meets privately with city council

The planned motion seems to be the resolution of a closed-door meeting held between the municipality and Maritime Football Ltd., at the latest council meeting, which was held in June.

Details about the nature of the conversation were scarce at the time, although Mayor Mike Savage did say the public could expect a motion allowing a public debate on a possible stadium.

Savage said that the two sides did not have any firm numbers, but said that Maritime Football Ltd., had “advanced” their case in such a way that had firmed up the business model.

“I think we’re at the point now where this has to come out and be public as much as possible,” said Savage.

It looks like that’s now in the cards.

More details about the proposal — along with the full slate of topics heading to regional council — will be released on Friday.

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