10th team in Halifax - Braleys ulterior motives

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cjones2451
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Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:21 pm

http://www.tsn.ca/group-makes-very-cred ... e-1.917745

Farhan also tweeted on this

And this the reason that many in #CFL circles believe David Braley is hanging onto #BCLions for at least one more year - to cash one more expansion cheque. @CFLonTSN

A group of businessmen with ties to Eastern Canada would like to make the Canadian Football League’s dream of a tenth franchise come true in Halifax.
The group made a presentation to the league’s board of governors several weeks ago in Toronto. Meetings have since taken place with various levels of government in Nova Scotia, including an in-camera session with Halifax city council this week that was attended by CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie.
“We have had discussions with the CFL’s board of governors and ongoing discussions with commissioner Ambrosie,” said Anthony Leblanc, a partner in the group and former president and CEO of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.
“The conversations have all been very productive. Chief among all we have discussed, we have a clear understanding of the CFL’s requirements for an expansion franchise, and this clarity is allowing us to move our project forward in a thoughtful way.”
Along with Leblanc, whose family is from New Brunswick and who began his business career in the province, the group includes Bruce Bowser, a Halifax native who is currently president of AMJ Campbell Van Lines, and Gary Drummond, a businessman from Regina who was president of hockey operations for the Coyotes.
A league spokesman confirmed it had received an expression of interest for a Halifax franchise but said that a process and timetable for awarding a team has yet to be established.
One CFL source described the group’s presentation as “very credible.”
The Halifax group is modelling its plan on that of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, which received a conditional franchise from the CFL in 2008 and then redeveloped Frank Clair Stadium and the land surrounding it.
It’s believed the Halifax group would like to have a conditional franchise granted before the start of the 2018 CFL season, with a goal of beginning play as soon as 2020.
The potential owners want to brand the franchise to identity not just with Halifax but all of Atlantic Canada.
Halifax mayor Mike Savage has been on record as saying he would like to see his city host a CFL franchise. Sources say discussions with Savage and members of his council have been very positive over the past few months.
Central to the idea is the construction of a multi-purpose stadium, at one of several locations currently being explored – one of which is the Shannon Park, located next to the A. Murray MacKay Bridge.
Commissioner Ambrosie is expected to update the league’s board of governors on the state of the Halifax proposal when they meet the day before Grey Cup Sunday.
Besides expanding the league’s television footprint into Atlantic Canada, a Halifax-based franchise would allow the league to create two five-team divisions and avoid the number of bye weeks required with a nine-team league.
The CFL awarded a conditional franchise to a Halifax group in 1982 under the name Atlantic Schooners but the financing to build a suitable stadium never materialized.
Dating back to the mid-1980s, the CFL has staged exhibition games in Halifax. In 2010, 2011 and 2013 it played three regular-season games in Moncton, N.B.

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Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:42 pm

I hope the pursuit of a 10th franchise in Halifax is successful but I can’t see it happening in Braley’s timeline. The most optimistic estimate is that they would have a stadium built in time for the 2020 season. I believe it took the Ottawa owners a lot longer to get up and running after they were awarded a conditional franchise in 2008. Braley is not going to be around to cash this cheque but he can dangle the prospect of an expansion fee in front of prospective buyers.
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Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:04 pm

B.C.FAN wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:42 pm
I hope the pursuit of a 10th franchise in Halifax is successful but I can’t see it happening in Braley’s timeline. The most optimistic estimate is that they would have a stadium built in time for the 2020 season. I believe it took the Ottawa owners a lot longer to get up and running after they were awarded a conditional franchise in 2008. Braley is not going to be around to cash this cheque but he can dangle the prospect of an expansion fee in front of prospective buyers.
Agreed. It took Ottawa 7 years from point of being granted a conditional franchise and actually playing football. Being awarded a team is the easy part. That's like having to climb Mount Blackstrap. Getting a stadium is like having to climb Mount Logan. They would need to have shovels going into the ground in the spring to have a stadium operable in time for 2020. If the processes for new stadiums in Hamilton, Winnipeg and Regina are any indicators it will likely take until at least 2020 just to get to where funding and approval is in place to start construction on a new Halifax stadium. So yes I think the prospect of collecting on an expansion fee would be something more pertinent to future owners than Braley. Even at that we aren't talking NHL type money here. It was nearly a decade ago but the franchise fee for the REDBLACKS was only $7 million. I don't know how they split it but assuming 9 ways for the 8 existing teams + league and it's down under $800K each. This time around the pie gets cut into an extra piece what with there being 9 teams now. If there is an attraction for Braley to an expansion fee it might be in how it sets or confirms values of CFL franchises in general.
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Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:45 pm

This CFL fan would love to see a franchise in the Maritimes.

As to Braley hanging on to ownership of the Lions to collect on a share of the franchise fee, I cannot see it. Peanuts or chump change to a man with Braley's wealth, it seems to me.
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Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:01 pm

The prospect of having at least a numerical balance between east and west is tantalizing. And based on what we are witnessing with teams in the smaller markets (non-Van, TO or Mon) in terms of fan support, I think a Halifax-based franchise could be very sound economically.

I am probably a little biased, St. Mary’s is my favourite USports football team from the days of Chris Flynn, the most exciting ever in CIS IMO. If this materializes and the Lions are still running Operation Orange, I am in like “Flynn” for a trip. Halifax is a great city.

Now maybe Braley wants to sell the Leo’s to Halifax and have them relocate... :tease:

Tongue firmly planted in cheek on that last point...

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Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:06 pm

B.C.FAN wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:42 pm
I hope the pursuit of a 10th franchise in Halifax is successful but I can’t see it happening in Braley’s timeline. The most optimistic estimate is that they would have a stadium built in time for the 2020 season. I believe it took the Ottawa owners a lot longer to get up and running after they were awarded a conditional franchise in 2008. Braley is not going to be around to cash this cheque but he can dangle the prospect of an expansion fee in front of prospective buyers.
I believe the timeline in Ottawa was very much affected by organized opposition to the proposed development of Lansdowne. Without that particular hurdle, the RedBlacks may have begun playing sooner.

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David
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Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:09 am

Here's a free slogan for the CFL's 10th franchise in Halifax ('cause it's not worth much more than that). :wink:

We'll be playing football by the 2020 season. Or Schooner.


DH :cool:
Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.

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Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:58 am

Unless city and provincial politicians are prepared to come up with $200-$300 million of taxpayers dollars to build a 20k seat stadium, a 10th CFL team is just a fantasy. Nice to see some Halifax businessmen willing to benefit from taxpayer spending, though. :wink:

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Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:01 am

DanoT wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:58 am
Unless city and provincial politicians are prepared to come up with $200-$300 million of taxpayers dollars to build a 20k seat stadium, a 10th CFL team is just a fantasy. Nice to see some Halifax businessmen willing to benefit from taxpayer spending, though. :wink:
It looks like the city doesn't want to cough up any money for a new Halifax stadium. The mayor says the effort will have to be led by the private sector. This proposal will go nowhere fast.

Halifax CFL team an ‘exciting opportunity,’ but city won’t lead effort
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Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:51 am

B.C.FAN wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:01 am
DanoT wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:58 am
Unless city and provincial politicians are prepared to come up with $200-$300 million of taxpayers dollars to build a 20k seat stadium, a 10th CFL team is just a fantasy. Nice to see some Halifax businessmen willing to benefit from taxpayer spending, though. :wink:
It looks like the city doesn't want to cough up any money for a new Halifax stadium. The mayor says the effort will have to be led by the private sector. This proposal will go nowhere fast.

Halifax CFL team an ‘exciting opportunity,’ but city won’t lead effort
Exactly. They can throw a great "kitchen party" but you can't play football in the kitchen.
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Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:55 am

David wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:09 am
Here's a free slogan for the CFL's 10th franchise in Halifax ('cause it's not worth much more than that). :wink:

We'll be playing football by the 2020 season. Or Schooner.


DH :cool:
Very Good, Very Good :rotf:

The water and fishing analogies are already forming.

Now we know what Braley is thinking, the jig is up.
If they build the stadium badly will they have longlines?
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Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:29 am

normally, I do not like the idea of taxpayer funded pro sports. However, in this case, I would suggest that they try for a combination of federal and provincial as well as some from the CFL with contributions from each individual team according to their profitability, as well as some private contribution. I would like them to build a 20-25k seat stadium in Moncton because it would truly be a Maritime team and would be more likely to get more fans from New Brunswick as well as Nova Scotia. Perhaps the other maritime provinces as well. Maybe even some from Maine.
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Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:41 pm

The biggest plus for Moncton is that it's the most centrally located "major" city in the Maritimes. In terms of size though the municipality of Moncton is about the same size as Prince George being in the low 70K range. The surrounding area brings it up to 144K. Other "major" cities such as Fredericton, Saint John and Charlottetown are all 1-1/2 to 2 hours away. Halifax which is nearly 3 times as big at over 400K is 2-1/2 hours away. Those are distances are at that borderline area where fans may not be so willing or even able to make it in for non-weekend games. The Achilles heel for Moncton would be that success would be absolutely reliant on fans travelling from those distant communities. Halifax on the other hand has the population mass to make for a solid local core of ST holders. The big question I would think is do Maritimers have the same willingness to travel an hour or two for a game as do Prairie folks who don't bat an eye at travelling 3 or 4 hours for something be it football or to go shopping in big box stores? And could they do it often enough during the season to justify STs? I could see a situation where Moncton may need to rely on those other major communities for 2/3 of their ST base whereas Halifax might be able to draw 2/3 of their base from within their city limits.
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Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:34 pm

The thing you guys aren't getting on this is that it's a real estate play. It's not about public money going directly into building a stadium.

Shannon Park is an old military housing complex and barracks in Dartmouth close to transportation links. A whole community could be rebuilt there, and the developers could receive a window of tax breaks and deferrals along with infrastructure assistance. They've run the numbers on both sides.

For those who have visited Lansdowne Park before and after the redevelopment, you'll see where the real estate and development play transformed things.
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Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:27 pm

Jim Mullin wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:34 pm
The thing you guys aren't getting on this is that it's a real estate play. It's not about public money going directly into building a stadium.

Shannon Park is an old military housing complex and barracks in Dartmouth close to transportation links. A whole community could be rebuilt there, and the developers could receive a window of tax breaks and deferrals along with infrastructure assistance. They've run the numbers on both sides.

For those who have visited Lansdowne Park before and after the redevelopment, you'll see where the real estate and development play transformed things.
Understood. The initial story said there were several sites under consideration. That would probably require more consultation than the Ottawa proposal, which had to clear a lot of hurdles with the city. Even if they clear all hurdles, they're probably a few years away from putting shovels in the ground.

I think the point that many of us have made is that this isn't a quick money grab for Braley or the league. It's a long-term project that will likely have marginal financial benefits to existing franchise owners, and could possibly have detrimental on-field effects by diluting the talent pool. I'm not so sure of the latter point, given the improved depth of the CFL draft in recent years.
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