HFX Wanderers announced as name for Canadian Premier League soccer franchise
'We really love how centrally located the Wanderers Grounds is and it's really the beating heart of the city'
A professional soccer team based in Halifax that opens play in the Canadian Premier League next spring has a fitting name — HFX Wanderers.
The name of the team was announced Friday. The Wanderers will play out of the downtown Wanderers Grounds, which will use about 6,500 temporary seats for the games.
"What we're really excited about is creating a new experience, and a new downtown experience, that hasn't really existed in Halifax for as long as I can remember," said Derek Martin, the president of Sports and Entertainment Atlantic, the group behind the franchise.
"So, the idea that you can have an outdoor sports entertainment venue just steps from all the entertainment that's downtown, whether it be Argyle Street or Spring Garden Road, even Quinpool Road, we really love how centrally located the Wanderers Grounds is and it's really the beating heart of the city."
The soccer season will run from May to October in the eight-team league. Other than Halifax, teams have been announced in Calgary, Ontario's York Region and in B.C. at an unspecified location.
When asked how much tickets would cost, Martin didn't provide a specific answer, but said the prices would be reasonable.
According to a league press release, the club's colours are aqua ocean, harbour blue and naval grey, which represent "the sea and the region's steel-toned skies."
League commissioner David Clanachan said teams will have some local players, some players from across Canada and some imports.
He said the league will serve as a stepping stone to higher pro leagues.
"It's really about developing Canadian players and creating a pathway for young Canadians," said Clanachan.
As part of its conditions for setting up at the Wanderers Grounds, Halifax council imposed certain requirements, such as including coverings for the back side of the bleachers, wrapping up the matches by 11 p.m. and prompt cleanups.
With files from Amy Smith