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:
- Would I need to take a day off work? Thursday night games would always be a yes here, unless the Friday is a holiday.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.