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'Couldn't be more thrilled,' says Maritime Football's LeBlanc of season ticket drive

On Wednesday afternoon the organization hoping to bring the Canadian Football League to Halifax launched the drive to gauge interest in a potential team

Maritime Football's season ticket drive is already being considered a success by the group.

On Wednesday afternoon the organization hoping to bring the Canadian Football League to Halifax launched the drive to gauge interest in a potential team.

CFL fans are putting down a $50 deposit per package which gets them on the priority list for season ticket membership and first come, first served seat selection.

"We couldn't be more thrilled, we're at thousands. Already thousands have submitted their season ticket deposit," said Anthony LeBlanc, founding partner of Maritime Football Limited Partnership.

The group doesn't have a firm goal for the campaign, but LeBlanc is hoping to see between 10,000 to 12,000 deposits, which would roughly fill half of their proposed 24,000 seat stadium.

"Let's put it this way, we have already exceeded what I would consider the fall-short number, so that's very encouraging," he told NEWS 95.7's The Rick Howe Show. "Having that said, I don't want to discourage people from continuing to put their deposits in."

Listen to Rick Howe's full conversation with Anthony LeBlanc:

The group hasn't yet provided the price tags for various season ticket packages, but LeBlanc said they usually equate to 20 to 40 per cent off the cost of a single ticket.

"We anticipate that the single tickets will range from anywhere from, call it $20 in the upper deck, to a couple hundred dollars for club seats."

As for why people are being asked to put down a deposit for a team that doesn't yet exist or even have a place to play, LeBlanc said this is just part of the process.

"This is text book, this is exactly what Vegas had to do," he explained. "The most recent example in the National Hockey Leaque is in Seattle. Similar sort of thing, they wanted to re-do the arena for a Seattle NHL expansion team and it was very clear from the city of Seattle, before we approve you've got to go do a season ticket drive, which they did."

He added, if the team never takes the field, the deposit is fully refundable. Maritime Football won't touch the money. It will be held in trust by Ticketmaster.

Those who pay their $50 will also get to help name the team. They'll be able to pick one of four proposed names, the Atlantic Admirals, Convoy, Storm, and Schooners, or they can submit their own ideas.

LeBlanc made it clear, although the plan is to have them play in Halifax, the aim is for it to be a regional CFL team.

"It's okay for the city of Boston to have their team referred to as New England, and it's for very similar reasons," he stated. "They want to have people from Connecticut, Vermont and Maine feel a part of their team and it's no different."

"We feel very strongly, this isn't just Halifax's team. This a team also for the rest of Nova Scotia, for New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Newfoundland."

Maritime Football's market testing appears to back up that idea. The group hired Corporate Research Associates to conduct exhaustive research, which LeBlanc said has given them the indication the CFL team could see between 6,000 and 8,000 fans travelling to Halfiax for home games that live outside Nova Scotia.

Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for
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