The company proposing to bring a CFL team to Atlantic Canada has launched a lobbying effort to seek federal funding for a new stadium in Halifax.
Three consultants from Ottawa’s Summa Strategies registered last week with the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada to lobby on behalf of Schooners Sports and Entertainment, previously known as Maritime Football Partnership Ltd.
Schooners Sports is headed by former owners of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes Anthony Leblanc and Gary Drummond, as well as Bruce Bowser.
iPolitics first reported the news on Monday.
The three consultants include Kriston Wilton, Robin MacLachlan and Timothy Powers, the firm’s vice-chairman.
According to information in the registry, all three have been tasked with arranging meetings with government officials to discuss “federal financial support” for the construction of a stadium in Halifax and to seek potential funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) for a major sporting event in Atlantic Canada.
David Wallace, a member of the Halifax-based law firm McInnes Cooper, has also registered to lobby with the federal government.
He has been tasked with seeking a formal evaluation of the team proposal and partnerships with federal, provincial and municipal governments.
A request for comment with Schooners Sports has been re-directed to the CFL, who is now handling communications for the organization.
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LeBlanc has previously said the organization hopes to have players on the field as early as 2020, although games would likely be staged at Moncton Stadium until the potential new facility in Halifax was finished.
The potential team would be the Atlantic Schooners.
Shannon Park, a former military housing complex in Dartmouth, N.S., has been identified as the preferred location of the 24,000-seat stadium.
The stadium is still waiting for approval from the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and is estimated to cost between $170 million and $190 million.
On Monday, a spokesperson for the HRM, confirmed that the municipality had yet to receive a formal proposal about “a site specific development that includes a stadium and a commercial district.”
“The proponents advised the municipality they remain in discussions with private land owners on a number of sites and hope to have a definitive site selected in the near future. Once a site has been selected, we expect to receive a business case supporting the stadium, the CFL franchise, and ancillary commercial district,” said Brendan Elliott.
“Following receipt of the proposal, municipal staff will need to assess it before being in a position to present recommendations to Regional Council.”
If a team does come to fruition, it would be the 10th team in the CFL.