The Nova Scotia Keltics will host the Super League Rugby Championships in Halifax on Sunday.
Defending champions, they’ll have to fight through the pain and win all weekend to regain the crown at the end.
But while this is a huge chance for the team, hosting this tournament at the Wanderers Grounds is also a win for Halifax.
“Rugby events are important for us to host at the Wanderers as we see a great synergy between soccer and rugby and feel it is important to continue supporting the rugby community with events such as this,” said Derek Martin, founder of Sports Entertainment Atlantic.
He sees the event as a huge win for Halifax, and one that will draw some attention.
“These are the very best senior men's players playing today in Canada so the fans are in for a real treat in terms of the quality of play and intensity of competition,” he said.
“Every time we can execute a large scale sporting event we improve Halifax's status as a host city so it is important we keep demonstrating the value of these events.”
Last summer’s 7,000 person showing at the Rugby Canada men’s game against the United States team.
“What last year's event demonstrated was a desire to see top level events at the Wanderers Grounds. The success of that event was a combination of pent up interest in seeing what we had created at the grounds and a desire by the rugby community to get out and support their country,” he said.
Martin sees the Wanderers Grounds, revamped and restored, as a facility that is among the elite in the country.
“As the only premier grass sports and entertainment facility east of Montreal, the Wanderers Grounds provides soccer and rugby opportunities for Atlantic Canadians that would have never been possible before its creation,” he said.
He also says the prime real estate location of the Wanderers Grounds allows for unique opportunities for tourism and for guests.
“Our downtown location ensures that the entire event experience, before, during and after the game, is fantastic. Downtown venues close to the entertainment district are not commonplace so the Wanderers Grounds can provide a very unique total experience,” he said.
He’s hoping for an incredible weekend, with teams from Ontario, eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and P.E.I. all trying to take on the Keltics this weekend.
“It is always great to welcome the country to Halifax and show the rest of the country what we have to offer,” he said. “If the fans come out and support this event we will certainly continue to bring rugby events to the region as they have always proven to be successful.”