Atlantic Schooners
Atlantic Schooners AtlanticSchooners

Founded 1984
Folded 1984
Based in Halifax/Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
League Canadian Football League
Colours Black, silver, gold, white and blue
Head coach John Huard
General manager J.I. Albrecht
Owner(s) Maritime Professional Football Club Ltd. (Included John Donoval, J.I. Albrecht, and R.B. Cameron) [1][2]

The Atlantic Schooners were a conditional Canadian Football League expansion team that was to begin play in 1984 out of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

On May 13, 1982, Maritime Professional Football Club Ltd. was granted a conditional expansion franchise. The team was to pay a $1.5 million expansion fee and could begin play in 1984 if a suitable stadium was built in time for the league opener.[3] The team name was derived from a name-the-team contest in which "schooner" was the winning selection. The logo was a stylized "A" in the shape of a schooner that rode on four waves, each representing the four Atlantic provinces, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.[4] Acadia Axemen coach John Huard was named the team's first head coach.[5] The Schooners proposed home was a 30,000-seat stadium located on leased land in the city of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The owners purchased a scoreboard from the New England Patriots for use in their new stadium.[6] The Schooners were unable to meet the deadlines set by the league, including the deadline for a financing plan for the new stadium. On June 16, 1983, Maritime Professional Football Club Ltd. officially withdrew their application for a franchise.[7] Since then there have been endless rumours of a stadium being built in the area and with it, a CFL team, although none has yet been built.

Fan desire for a team in the region remains strong. There is a group on Facebook that was formed in hopes of building a stadium and starting a franchise. It has over 3,700 members.[8]

One urban legend around the Halifax area is that the old scoreboard from the Foxboro Stadium is in a warehouse in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, left there awaiting the proposed stadium. Another legend is that J.I. Albrecht had already bought turf for the stadium. When the club folded he took the turf and threw it into the Atlantic Ocean.

On June 11, 2005, a CFL exhibition game, called "Touchdown Atlantic" between the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, was held in Halifax. This game served as a gauge for possible CFL expansion. The venue was Huskies Stadium (capacity 11 000) on the campus of St. Mary's University. Tickets for the event, which cost upwards of $60.00, sold out rapidly. The game ended in a 16-16 tie. Another CFL exhibition game would have taken place on June 3, 2006, but the suspension of the Ottawa Renegades, who were scheduled to play the game, forced the game to be cancelled altogether.

If Halifax had landed the 2014 Commonwealth Games, a stadium likely would have been built for the event, which would have removed a major hurdle facing Atlantic Canada's chances of getting a franchise[citation needed]; however, Halifax withdrew its bid for the games in early March 2007.

Nevertheless, a Schooners delegation took part in the festivities at the 2007 Grey Cup.[9] A ninth CFL team has been located in Ottawa, meaning were the Schooners to join the league they would become the tenth club. The CFL has been extremely cautious about expansion in recent years, following the failed expansion into the United States of the mid 1990s and the failure of the Ottawa Renegades in 2005. It is believed that the league are keen to have a tenth team (Ottawa is slated to return to the CFL with a revamped franchise no later than 2013, which would give the league nine teams), with five in the eastern division and five in the west. This has been seen as supportive of the idea of a team in Halifax making the league "truly national".[10]

Also in the Atlantic region of Canada, Moncton, New Brunswick (a city that is roughly 250 kilometres (155 mi) from Halifax, which is slightly longer than the distance between Ottawa and Montreal), built a 20,000-seat stadium (New Moncton Stadium) to host the IAAF 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics.[11]. There is also hope that the stadium will help land a CFL team for the city, someday.[12] In pursuit of luring the CFL to expand to Moncton, a regular season game dubbed Touchdown Atlantic was played between the Toronto Argonauts and the Edmonton Eskimos on September 26, 2010. The game was won by Edmonton 24 - 6.

There are plans for a new game to be hosted by Moncton in 2011, with the details of the teams that will be playing to be announced with the release of the CFL's 2011 schedule.[13]

See alsoEdit

References Edit

  1. "Canadian League Expand". Associated Press. May 14, 1982.,7259682&dq. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
  2. "Yanks' Owner Blasts Umpires". The Montreal Gazette. August 30, 1982.,5940350&dq. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
  3. "Canadian League Expand". Associated Press. May 14, 1982.,7259682&dq. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
  4. Football fans remain loyal to Atlantic Schooners
  5. Jeff Adams (June 13, 1983). "Schooners Coach Waiting for a Decision". Canadian Press.,1740329&dq. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
  6. "CFL scuttles Schooners". Canadian Press. June 17, 1983.,4124554&dq. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
  7. "McEnroe hopes shoulder heals for Wimbledon". Lakeland Ledger. June 17, 1983.,920128&dq. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
  8. Build a Stadium in Halifax, Nova Scotia
  9. Coutts, Matthew (2007-11-24). "Football fans remain loyal to Atlantic Schooners". CTV. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
  10. Windsor 'ready and willing' for CFL expansion team
  12. Crase, Dave. New stadium puts hopes for a CFL franchise on high. CanWestNews Service. 23 April 2008.

External links Edit

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