Poll shows strong support for CFL franchise in Halifax, Huskies coach favours idea

Haley Ryan
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Hamilton Tiger-Cats' Samuel Giguere (11) snags a pass in front of Desia Dunn (23) during the first half of their CFL game in Winnipeg.

A new poll suggests the people of Halifax want a professional football team, and a local university coach says the city could “definitely” bring a Maritime party to the Canadian Football League.

On Wednesday, Corporate Research Associates released a survey showing the majority of people in Halifax, Bedford, Dartmouth and other areas of HRM – 65 per cent in fact – would support a CFL team.

Another 21 per cent were opposed, and 14 per cent were unsure.

“I personally love the idea,” said Saint Mary’s Huskies football coach Perry Marchese.

“It’s a sports town … and a good indication is the Mooseheads and the success they’re having.”

Marchese, who has helped coach the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, said he saw the city’s appetite for football when Halifax hosted the Touchdown Atlantic pre-season game between Hamilton and Toronto in 2005.

“The support then was good and I believe it would be good now,” he said.

Marchese said the “first hurdle” for Halifax is getting a proper stadium, which Mayor Mike Savage said last month he wants to look into.

If Halifax decides to make a real bid for a CFL team, Marchese said Nova Scotia has an advantage because we’re very good at making things “an event.”

“We can make things a party … the NFL is built around tailgate parties and merchandising, and we can do that here.”

A total of 405 people were surveyed in the poll, which carries a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.

Organizations: Canadian Football League, Corporate Research Associates, Toronto Argonauts NFL

Geographic location: Halifax, Bedford, Dartmouth Saint Mary Nova Scotia

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