The contest for the name of the proposed CFL team seemed to be a "horse race" between Atlantic Schooners and Atlantic Storm, according to a businessman who tried to land a franchise for the largest city in Atlantic Canada.
In an interview, Anthony LeBlanc of the Football Maritime Partnership will not say the name is on the wind, although many believe Schooners are a chance on favorites which will be announced Friday at an event during the Gray Cup celebration in Edmonton.
"I was surprised that it was that close," said LeBlanc from the contest.
Maritime Football puts forward an initial list of four possible names this month: Admiral Atlantic, Convoy, Storm, and Schooner.
Privateers have claimed
People who have set season ticket deposits also have the opportunity to send their own team's name, and at least two – Privateers and Destroyers – prove attractive, said LeBlanc.
He said Privateers were a particular favorite, even though they eventually could not be used.
"Unfortunately that [Privateers] "It was secured by the lacrosse team who came to the city," he said.
The exclusive contest is part of a seasonal ticket raising which was launched two weeks ago.
LeBlanc said that the group has received more than 5,000 deposits to date, of which $ 50 puts fans on the priority list for seasonal ticket membership and the selection of seats based on first-come, first served.
"When you consider the idea that we haven't done paid marketing until now, that's a pretty phenomenal number," LeBlanc said. "I met the CFL governor council last week and they are happy with the results."
LeBlanc said the details outlining a broader campaign would also be announced during Friday's event.
He previously said it was important to get a "good foundation" from season ticket holders to help fill the stadium with 24,000 seats, and he felt 12,000 were achievable goals.
For its part, the Canadian Football League said it did not have the minimum number of season tickets he wanted to see.
The partnership effort to land the team cleared a major hurdle last month after the Halifax Regional Council directed city staff to conduct business case analysis of group stadium proposals. The partners have proposed vacant land at Shannon Park on the east side of Halifax port as a stadium location, and said the $ 170 million to $ 190 million project would need public money.
LeBlanc said his group met last week with the municipal chief administrative official, Jacques Dubé, and other senior staff to "discuss concepts and ideas."
He said the aim was to present the package to Dube in the beginning or mid-December so that analysis could be carried out on the proposed stadium funding model known as tax increase financing.
Under the proposal, the construction owners of Shannon Park will pay property taxes on real estate, but the money will be set aside by the city government and returned as payment for stadium debts.
Other options are also considered to help pay the entire bill, including increased hotel marketing retribution and new car rental taxes.
"The biggest problem, and no one avoids this, is to find out what the level of risk is for each participant and what level of risk is acceptable here," LeBlanc said. "Everyone always says the same thing – they want to see numbers, so that's what we do."
Public consultation in 2019
Public consultations at the proposed stadium site will also begin in January, together with the current owners, the Canadian Land Company.
LeBlanc said it was hoped the results of the analysis of the municipal area would be available in early spring.
The team-name announcement Friday in Edmonton with CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie is scheduled to be a simulcast at the HFX Sports bar in Halifax at 9pm. local time.
"I don't think it will be a night of debate," LeBlanc said. "Of course everyone has their opinions about the name of the team what will happen. Hopefully everyone will embrace him and have fun."