Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Highlanders president now suiting up for N.L. team

The future of the Cape Breton Highlanders franchise is up in the air after team president Tyrone Levingston agreed to become president of the St. John's Edge.

Tyrone Levingston's departure raises questions about the team's future

Cape Breton Highlanders executive Tyrone Levingston is now working for the St. John's Edge. ( George Mortimer/CBC)

The future of the Cape Breton Highlanders franchise is up in the air after team president Tyrone Levingston agreed to become president of the St. John's Edge.

The Sydney, N.S., basketball team was granted a one-year hiatus from the National Basketball League of Canada for the 2019-20 season because of financial problems the team was having.

In an email to CBC News, Levingston confirmed he has taken a position with the Newfoundland team.

Levingston couldn't be reached for further comment.

Marty Chernin is a major shareholder with the Highlanders. He said Levingston's departure doesn't necessarily mean the end of the team, which is in debt with the league.

"We owe them a little bit of money, but they're not forcing us to pay it," said Chernin. "We can pay it over time."

Game 3 of the playoffs between the Cape Breton Highlanders and the Halifax Hurricanes on April 8, 2019. (Vaughan Merchant/Cape Breton Highlanders)

The team held a season-ticket drive this summer, but came up roughly 1,000 tickets short of their goal of 1,500. If that goal would have been reached, the team would have taken part in the upcoming season.

The Cape Breton Regional Chamber of Commerce assisted with the season-ticket drive and officials there said they would continue to support any investor looking to keep professional basketball league in Cape Breton.

Chernin is hopeful the franchise remains in Cape Breton.

"We miss it, but we need more investors," he said. "We were in it for three years and we never made money any year and it was starting to come along, but we needed more investors to get in the league this year."

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