Getting 400+ Atlantic Canadians to not only talk football...but to talk professional football in Atlantic Canada? That is a step in the right direction.
No franchise was announced...yet. No stadium was announced...yet...but the momentum is starting to have a tangible inevitability to it. That is not only a step in the right direction, but it’s just plain exciting.
The format of yesterday’s event is a great illustration of the positive direction the CFL has taken in recent years. It was a town-hall that was open and inclusive. CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie and future Atlantic franchise owners Bruce Bowser and Anthony Leblanc took questions on a variety of topics. Notable and important themes that rose from these interactions included: diversity, youth involvement, community participation and funding model amongst others. All of these items were actually discussed openly and honestly, illustrating that they are topics being considered and addressed by the ownership group and the league. That is not only a step in the right direction, it’s just plain refreshing.
Additionally, the overall theme of “intent” recurred in the form of questions stemming from a fanbase’s deep rooted scepticism. It’s understandable, because this is a market and fan base that had a franchise given to it, then taken away before a single down was played. A somewhat hesitant “Why should we trust you now?” vibe surrounded these questions. Ultimately, the answers clearly laid out the facts that this is neither the ownership group, nor is it the league of the 80’s. The very fact that there has not been a rush to make public announcements, promises or proclamations from this group illustrates their diligent approach and intent. Approaching this major undertaking with the goal of sustainability is the right way to do this. Scepticism gave way to excitement. That is an important step in the right direction.
While we all eagerly await the next steps, yesterday’s event provided a good indication that whenever they come, they will be in the right direction.