Growth in Halifax pro sports scene a good sign

News source from CTV News

Soccer players from around the region hit the turf on Thursday, trying to turn their soccer goals into a new reality.

But the new team joins three other professional sport leagues in the city.

More than 100 hopefuls were sprinting, weaving, and hoping to earn a call back to Friday’s try outs.

“We said don’t leave anything on the bench, put it all out there,” said David Clanachan

Commissioner of the Canadian Premier League.“Because we’ve got coaches right from across Canada, representing all the teams, looking at and evaluating talent, so there’s a distinct opportunity here.

The Canadian Premier League is soccer’s newest outlet in Canada.

There are seven teams across the country, including the Halifax Wanderers.

This time next year, the city will also welcome a professional lacrosse team, as the national league expands to Halifax.

But instead of crowding the market, officials say more teams means more choice.

“The more events we have and the more sports and entertainment we have in this city, the more vibrant this city feels,” said Carrie Cussons, the president of Scotiabank Centre.“For folks, especially young families and people that choose to want to live here, I think it’s great to be able to have those sorts of sports and entertainment offerings right here in Halifax.”

And through all of this, Maritime football is still working towards a CFL team in the region. They say as support for one team grows, it actually increases support for other sports.

“This is a region on the move,” said Kristan Hines,spokesperson for Maritime Football Ltd.“And from a CFL perspective, we know the league wants to be here, we know the players want to play here, we have the population and the fan base to support a team.”

But first, teams need players, some as young as sixteen.

Mykeo Parker-Christmas is still in high school, but he’s hoping to nab a spot on the home team.

“Playing for my home city would be one of the greatest things,” said Parker-Christmas.

The Halifax Wanderers should begin playing in April, while lacrosse fans will see their first matches in December 2019.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff.

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