Moncton's CFL game Saturday evening wasn't a complete sell out but the league's commissioner says he's still optimistic about establishing a team in Atlantic Canada.
The Hamilton Tiger Cats beat the Montreal Alouettes by a score of 28 to 26 in front of a crowd of nearly 16,000 at the Moncton stadium.
Canadian Football League Commissioner Mark Cohon said although ticket sales were slower this year than in previous years, he's pleased with the turn out.
"Right now we're really focused on Atlantic Canada. We really think the national dream of connecting this country from coast to coast is one that we should pursue and really has a viable business opportunity," he said.
David Cochrane is a big football fan. He's happy to be able to catch a CFL game in his hometown.
He said though Moncton isn't a large city, the fan support is solid.
"I'm not sure if we have the exact population density but I know people would definitely show up — maybe not to the same tune as they would in Saskatchewan or Calgary — but we would do it," said Cochrane.
Cohon said he'd like to see a regional approach when it comes to setting up a team in Atlantic Canada.
"I know in talking to any of the business leaders, the economy is a little bit tougher out here regionally. Moncton is doing a little bit better but some of the surrounding cities are having their challenges with unemployment, I think that might have an effect on this, but I know the people who are here are having a good time but it's also a good learning experience for us as we think about what does the future hold for this region in terms of having a tenth team," he said.
In the end, only about 500 seats went unsold.
The CFL confirmed that 15,123 tickets were sold of the 15,605 tickets available.
The nearly 16,000 available seats are down from the 20,000 seats at the last game in 2011, where there was more seating in the field’s end zone.