Moncton CFL franchise possible: commissioner
Moncton is a frontrunner for a Canadian Football League franchise in Atlantic Canada, according to the commissioner.
A decision to expand the league won't happen quickly, Mark Cohon said.
But the success of a Sept. 26 game in Moncton — the CFL's first regular season game in Atlantic Canada — will play a role, he said.
Tickets for the game, dubbed Touchdown Atlantic, are scheduled to go on sale Wednesday.
'I think over time if there really is the community backing, you know, there's the potential, but again it will take some time.'— Mark Cohon, CFL commissioner
"We obviously want to ensure that this is a success first," Cohon said.
"And then if we can expand [the Moncton Stadium] and make it a little bit bigger and then look for local ownership . … And through this process, you know, I want to get out and meet the business leaders in the region to see if there is any interest.
"I think over time if there really is the community backing, you know, there's the potential, but again it will take some time."
The expansion fee for a franchise in Atlantic Canada would be more than $7 million, Cohon said.
The Moncton game will be held at the new Moncton Stadium, which is still under construction at the University of Moncton.
"It regularly holds close to 10,000 people we're going to add another 10,000 seats," Cohon said. "But also we've looked at Moncton and it really is becoming the entertainment capital of the region."
Tickets to see the Toronto Argonauts take on the Edmonton Eskimos go on sale Wednesday for fans who pre-registered, Thursday for the general public.
Prices will range from $29 to $79, but more than half of the tickets will be less than $50.
Cohon has said the prices are affordable and he hopes this will draw spectators from across the Maritimes.
New Brunswick's government has committed $700,000 to Touchdown Atlantic, mostly in infrastructure funding.