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City of Charlottetown to write letter in support of Halifax CFL franchise

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie, centre, speaks to reporters during a press conference with Maritime Football Limited Partnership founding partners Bruce Bowser, left, and Anthony LeBlanc in Halifax on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

The capital city of Prince Edward Island is set to officially voice support for Halifax’s bid to host a CFL franchise.

The Charlottetown city council has passed a resolution to draft a letter that supports efforts by the Maritime Football Limited Partnership to bring a CFL franchise and stadium to Halifax.

READ MORE: Atlantic Schooners confirmed as name of proposed Halifax CFL team

The team, which will be called the Atlantic Schooners, launched a season ticket drive last month.

“If the Atlantic Schooners are successful in securing a CFL franchise, Atlantic Canada will finally have an opportunity to be part of this national tradition,” said Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown in a press release.

“The Grey Cup playoffs will grow to include an even number of teams, and CFL fans from across the country will have an opportunity to experience the famous East Coast hospitality.”

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The city has also offered to host CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie and Maritime Football in order to discuss “the season ticket drive and the growing effort to bring the CFL to Atlantic Canada.”

The Schooners are a long way from making it to the field, with Halifax Regional Council still awaiting a business case analysis on a 24,000-seat stadium proposed by Maritime Football, an organization composed of business executives and former owners of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.

The report, voted on by council in November, indicated that Maritime Football has proposed Shannon Park, a 38-hectare swath of land on the east side of Halifax harbour formerly used by the Department of Defence for housing, as the preferred location for the multipurpose stadium.

READ MORE: Singer Tom Cochrane to invest in Halifax CFL bid, ownership group says

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A new CFL team would be the anchor tenant of the stadium, which comes with an estimated price tag of up to $190 million.

But a deal on a stadium, which Ambrosie has previously called a critical part of any expansion bid, is far from complete.

Maritime Football has said they hope to have players on the field as early as 2020.

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