The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are likely to remain an east division team for the foreseeable future according to CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon, even with the return of Ottawa to the Canadian Football League next season.
“You know, I don’t see any move with Ottawa coming back” said Cohon.
When asked if that meant the Bombers would be staying in the east, Cohon responded saying “likely, I think they’ll be staying in the east.”
The Blue Bombers first moved to the east from the west on the eve of the 1987 CFL season when the Montreal Concordes franchise folded. Because of CFL expansion to the United States, the Bombers were part of the north division in 1995 and then came home to the west in 96 when the Montreal franchise return to the league. However they were back to the east division the following year when the Ottawa Rough Riders folded.
Five years later in 2002, the CFL was back in the nation’s capital as the Renegades and the Bombers headed west again.
In 2006, Ottawa was gone from the league again and the Bombers have been an eastern team and will be again next year even with the CFL’s return to Ottawa with the Redblacks.
“They (board of governors) don’t want a lot of movement back and forth,” said Cohon. “They want to really see what our long term vision is.”
Cohon added that the Bombers return west may hinge on his success in adding an expansion franchise.
“If we get to a 10th team – that would be the right time to make a move.”