Schooners Season Ticket Holder in NB – Big Commitment?

In November, Randy Ambrosie and the Atlantic Schooners’ ownership group announced live from Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia that a season ticket drive would be kicking off immediately. Wray and I were streaming the announcement from his living room while on lunch. I left to return to work before the press conference was finished, but my season ticket deposits were made before I even started my truck.

There was never a question in my mind that if Atlantic Canada finally got a CFL franchise that I would be a season ticket holder and attend every home game. When I asked my friends and work colleagues if they made their deposits yet, I was often greeted with a laugh. The most common response was that they definitely planned to attend some games, but being a season ticket holder was a pretty big commitment knowing the team would be located in Halifax and not here in Moncton.  OK fair… I never even thought about it really, because I knew I was willing to make a big commitment.

Just how big of a commitment would it really be though? It never occurred to me to bother analysing it, until today.

A couple caveats here…

  • This analysis is specifically from the perspective of someone living in the Moncton, New Brunswick area, which is about a 2.5 hour drive from Halifax. Saint John, Fredericton, and Miramichi are all approximately 4 hours away, which I still consider reasonable but understand that some would disagree.
  • I am using the 2019 Montreal Alouettes schedule as a proxy, as it is the closest CFL franchise proximity-wise. I understand that once a 10th team is added to the league that there may be fewer bye weeks, but for this exercise they will remain.

To measure the level of commitment this would require, I am using 3 metrics:

  1. Would I need to take a day off work? Thursday night games would always be a yes here, unless the Friday is a holiday.
  2. Would I need to book a hotel and stay in Halifax? Any home game with a start time later than 5:00 PM will result in a yes for this category.
  3. Will the game interfere with watching the NFL? Yes, I am a Cleveland Browns fanatic, and the CFL in Atlantic Canada will not change that. I used the 2018 Browns schedule as a proxy. A game would impact my NFL viewing if the game were on a Sunday (rare), or if I had to stay over in Halifax on a Saturday night and travel back home the following day.


With all that said, here’s the deal:

 

travel grid


Summary:

  • I would need to book 2 Fridays off work early on in the season, otherwise no other days off would be required.
  • If I use the 5:00 PM cutoff as a firm requirement, I would need to book a total of 6 nights worth of hotels in Halifax in the 4-month span between early-June and mid-October. In actuality, I would probably choose to drive back after the game at least half of those weeks. The schedule above is for Montreal who plays in Eastern time. I would imagine Schooner games would start an hour earlier.
  • The entire season would require making the drive to Halifax on back to back weeks only twice. Weeks 8 and 9, and weeks 19 and 20.
  • On 2 occasions, there would be almost an entire month pass between drives to Halifax. Preseason Week 3 to week 4, and Week 9 to Week 13. Yes, this could change if the league cuts down on bye weeks.

I stated off the top that I was more than willing to make a large commitment to this CFL team. Now that I’ve mapped out the potential impact it could have on my life, I have to say… I’m laughing. For the folks in the rest of the province who would likely need all 6 of those hotel bookings, you may disagree.

Tell me what you think.

8 comments

  1. I had been a season ticket holder for the Bombers for 15+ years. Driving 4 hrs one way to cheer them on at home. Regina was only 3 hrs away but I bled blue. This spring I am retiring to Nova Scotia and I too signed up for season tickets for the Schooners. We had Thursday games and I had took a day and 1/2 holiday to go. We did have family to stay the odd overnight but we had many commitments back home so we would drive back after the game. Lot less traffic. There were only 10 home games, maybe one more if they got a home playoff. Many thought we were crazy but I couldn’t imagine doing anything different as I love to watch a CFL game live!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve had season tickets to the Eskimos for 10 years. It’s a 3.5 hour drive one way. Thursday games straight up suck either try and get away from work early, take the day off or just don’t make them to it. Same goes with Friday games that aren’t before 8pm. Over the years we have missed the first quarter for some of them as well. But majority of the time drive back the same night cause of work. Usually not home til 2-3 am by the time get out of the city fuel up and make it home. Makes for long days the next day but totally worth it in my mind. Can watch games on tv but being there live is definitely a better experience. Calgary is only 2 hours away but being a esks fan don’t think need to explain why don’t get tickets there haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point. And it actually crossed my mind to use them. In the end i chose a team in the Eastern Time Zone as that felt a bit more reasonable. Might toss their schedule into the spreadsheet and see how it looks. Thanks Brent

      Like

  3. You state that you are a “Cleveland Brown’s Fanatic ‘! I’m wondering how many time you have travelled to see them live? I suspect that your entire CFL commitment to the Atlantic Schooners would pale in comparison to attending just 1 game of your Brown’s. I have attended NFL games and sat so far back that the most entertainment was from the other ‘fan’s in the cheap seats! The 5 Grey Cup festivals that I attended were all fantastic, 2 of them were decided in overtime and I didn’t break the bank on any of them. I will be a season ticket holder for the Schooners and will happily travel 5+ hours each way from Sydney for every home game.

    Liked by 1 person

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