CFL: Moncton Experiment Will Be Taken Further in 2012

Steve ThompsonAnalyst IIISeptember 13, 2011

MONCTON, NB - JULY 21: Elena Lashmanova (L) Anna Lukyanova (R) of Russia lead the 10,000 Meter Race Walk on day three of the 13th IAAF World Junior Athletics Championships at the Stade Moncton 2010 Stadium on July 21, 2010 in Moncton, Canada.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

For those CFL fans who have been pining for the day when the league finally has ten Canadian cities (Ottawa's future return has been confirmed), that possibility will be even more tantilizingly, teasingly closer in 2012.

Next year, the Hamilton Tiger Cats will be homeless and CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon indicated during the Labor Day game in Hamilton, that at least some of their 2012 games will be played in Moncton, New Brunswick.

For the past two seasons Moncton has (and will be) the home of two successful CFL regular season games labeled TouchDown Atlantic.

The CFL has long wished to expand into the Maritime region (though most pundits were expecting Halifax to lead the way), and upstart Moncton, trying to prove that it is THE Maritime city, managed seize the initiative by hosting an international games that required an almost-CFL-size stadium to be built.

Both Touchdown Atlantic games were (will be) successful at the ticket window, and next year Moncton will be rewarded by being allowed to host more than one Hamilton game.

If potential investors are waiting to see if Moncton can successfully be a permanent CFL franchise, next year's multiple games experiment should provide a clearer picture about the long term possibilities of a team in Moncton.

Certainly the CFL is doing its best to dangle Moncton as a successful expansion site for a permanent CFL franchise before potential investors.  One wishes them the best of luck in finally luring an interested owner.

Commissioner Cohon also made it clear that the fans in Hamilton will be able to see their team play some of its games in the Hamilton region.

This opens the possibility of taking the Moncton experiment into new territory.

Does Hamilton erect a temporary facility like BC did and play their games within city limits?

Or does the league try the Moncton experiment in other southern Ontario cities?

Within reasonable driving distance of Hamilton lie two cities that have grown into potential CFL size franchises, Kitchener-Waterloo, and London.

Both have successful CIS football teams so the CFL could be tempted to see if university football success can be translated into professional football success.

Another possible choice could be Oshawa, on the east side of Toronto, that was rumored to be a permanent destination for the Tiger Cats, when the Bob Young-city council feud turned nasty.

And if the CFL wanted to try more long distance experiments, there are Quebec and Halifax.

2012 will be the year of the Hamilton-Moncton-Kitchener-London-Oshawa Tiger Cats.