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Thanks for responding again, Graham. I agree with you totally that public money shouldn't go into sports franchises, considering the loyalty of the owners. As far as Quebec's hockey ambitions go, there is nothing etched in stone as far as the arena goes. The Provincial Government has pledged a sum far less than the $175 million that Quebec wants from both the Federal and Provincial Governments. But Quebecor, the principal investor for a returned franchise is supposed to be looking for additional partners for both the franchise and arena and the more they can find, the less public money, if any they will need.
It would be good if the CFL expanded to Halifax, but that is more sentiment thinking than survival thinking. In my first BR article I divided the cities that one day might be in the CFL into short term, long term, and very long term categories and I placed Halifax as a long term franchise along with Victoria, Oshawa, and Windsor. In the short term category (cities which could probably support a CFL franchise right now and survive successfully) I placed Quebec, Kitchener, and London as being the only Canadian cities that have both population and population growth for immediate CFL expansion. Unfortunately, the Maritimes and Saskatchewan have the slowest population and economic growth in Canada. Again the issue of a CFL-size (25,000 minimum) stadium is a problem. The best that is occurring for the CFL is that Moncton is building a 10,000 seat multipurpose stadium which can have 10-15,000 additional temporary seats added. The Toronto Argonauts will play a regular season game there next year. Moncton would be a great franchise, but its population is so small (126,000) that I had to put it in the very long term category.
Thanks reading and commenting on my article, Graham and for choosing it for one of the first articles you've read. Actually the point of my argument is that the CFL needs public support and perhaps government money to build stadiums/arenas for CFL/NHL expansion. But when an ownership like Majestic sets out to lure an existing franchise from its home, what is the point of building a sports facility only to see your franchise stolen? Whether its the NFL, CFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL, this type of action will discourage the building of new sports facilities. Why should taxpayers be called upon to fund sports facilities for fickle owners? Why should fans invest their emotional resources in supporting a team that may leave if offered a better deal?
The NFL is notorious for not defending its member cities. Cleveland, Oakland, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Houston all lost their franchises even though they were filling their stadiums to capacity. In the case of the CFL, it has been trying to expand from 8-9 teams for decades and the main obstacle is the lack of quality stadiums in non-CFL Canadian cities. No other city outside of the 9 traditional markets has a CFL-size stadium. London, Kitchener, and Quebec are at the size now where they could probably support a team but why should local residents put up money when they see the example in Los Angeles? Although it is unlikely that any other Canadian city will "steal" a CFL franchise, this example and things like the loss of the Montreal Expos, the shift of the Winnipeg and Quebec NHL teams leave a bad memory and will discourage attempts to raise money to invest in stadiums and new franchises.