The IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships were held in Moncton in July. ((CBC))

Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly says he's been blindsided by news his city could lose a major athletic event to Moncton.

The Uteck Bowl, a university football national semifinal, will be held at the new stadium at the Université de Moncton and may not return to Halifax until 2017.

Atlantic University Sport is expected to announce the details on Wednesday.

Kelly said he's troubled by this news.

"We have a large tradition here and it has worked very well. And to take it from here and put it elsewhere is a concern and needs some further follow-up," he told CBC News.

The Uteck Bowl is named after Larry Uteck, a football star, university coach and city councillor who died eight years ago. Saint Mary's University has hosted the tournament, held every two years, since 2003.

But Halifax's football hosting duties go back even further. Before the Uteck Bowl, the Atlantic Bowl was played in Halifax regularly over three decades.

Steve Sumarah, head coach of the Saint Mary's Huskies, said there were discussions about moving the Uteck Bowl to Moncton last year.

He said it would be disappointing to lose the game because it's a big cultural and sporting event, as well as a money-maker for Halifax.

Huskies Stadium is half the size of the new stadium in Moncton.

The $23-million facility at the Université de Moncton can seat up to 20,000 fans. The IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships were held there in July.

The Edmonton Eskimos and the Toronto Argonauts will play in Moncton on Sunday before a sellout crowd. It will be the first regular season CFL game in Atlantic Canada.