It’s been a little quiet for Canadian Premier League updates of late, but on Monday we got two in one evening.
Firstly, Soccer New Brunswick executive director Younes Bouida last night publicly confirmed his interest in bringing a CPL team to Moncton. According to an article in Acadie Nouvelle, different groups have already approached Bouida regarding a potential bid and he is aiming to canvass further support from the City of Moncton as well as potential private investors.
“I want to sound the alarm,” he said. “There is a good possibility here that we will miss out on if we do not move.”
He added: “We have undeniable strengths. We have the stadium, but also an interesting economic boom, an international airport and a geographic location in the centre of the Maritimes.”
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Bouida believes the 2015 Women’s World Cup proved that there is enough of an appetite for soccer in Moncton to support a professional team.
“It has already been proven with the Women’s World Cup that we are able to attract and promote major sporting events,” he said. “Moncton would be a good choice for a Canadian league.
“At the World Cup, for a Norway-Ivory Coast match at 5pm, we were able to attract 5,000 people. We’re not going to tell you that we will not be able to attract 6,000 or 7,000 fans for a professional match on a Saturday afternoon.”
Canada Soccer president Victor Montagliani, meanwhile, appeared on Anthony Totera’s Red Card show to speak about the progress that had been made in working towards the league’s targeted 2018 launch date.
“We get closer every day, but we also want to make sure it’s right because it’s not just about the league and how many teams and the schedule and all the technical stuff,” Montagliani said. “It’s also about the business model, which I can’t really share with anybody right now because obviously there’s confidential information there, but it’s about getting the business model right.
“We’re still on track and we’re very, very confident that the league is going to go. It’s just a matter of… we want to make sure the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed.”
That does not tell us a whole lot we didn’t already know, but Montagliani did add – on a related note to the Moncton news – that he had been surprised by the number of prospective ownership groups interested in putting themselves forward for a team.
“The interest has been quite surprising,” he continued. “I knew there would definitely be six to eight ownership groups that would be interested but I’ve been surprised that the number has been higher than that.
“I think we’re comfortable with that number [six to eight] and away you go [for a quicker launch]. You’ve gotta get the ball rolling and once it gets rolling it’s just going to build and grow from there.”