CFL game will generate $4M for Moncton
Premier Shawn Graham is projecting the revenue Moncton will reap from next year's Canadian Football League game will surpass the amount of government funds invested in the event.
The federal and provincial governments are investing a total of $1.5 million to lure the CFL's Toronto Argonauts to play a regular season game next September at the University of Moncton's new track stadium.
"The economic spinoffs from this weekend event is enormous," Graham said.
"We have the potential to see up to $4 million in economic revenue being generated here in the city of Moncton."
The federal government's $800,000 share will help raise awareness of the region's capacity to host major national and international sporting events.
The $700,000 invested by the New Brunswick government will help cover marketing and other infrastructure costs.
The key component to landing the CFL in Moncton was the new stadium at the city's university.
Mark Cohon, the CFL commissioner, said the Argos will likely take on a western division team next fall.
Game raises hope for permanent team
The $21-million stadium, which received more than half of its funding from the federal, provincial and municipal governments, normally seats 10,000 people but it will expand to hold 20,000 for the event.
Local officials are working to organize a "mini-Grey Cup" that will be a weekend-long festival that will include parties, music, family fun and plenty of football.
The New Brunswick premier said he's confident Atlantic Canadian fans will support the event and hope corporations will come forward to offer their support for a permanent team.
Graham used the Thursday news conference to again hold out the possibility of attracting a permanent CFL team in New Brunswick.
"And what is so exciting today about the commitment of the league of bringing their first permanent east coast game here in Atlantic Canada is that it has the potential to see a permanent team being built here in this region," Graham said.