Saskatchewan is a target for a franchise in the upcoming Canadian Premier League, with Regina or Saskatoon being the likely host city.
Plans were announced in May for the new Tier 1 FIFA-sanctioned soccer league, which is expected to launch in cities across Canada in 2018. More information on possible markets has been emerging since, and now a group is reportedly looking to launch a team in Saskatchewan.
Behind the plan are Toronto-based lawyer Grant McGlaughlin and national men’s soccer team player Joe Belan. The pair is pitching the franchise for Regina or Saskatoon, and says it would have a focus on the Saskatchewan province regardless of where it lands. Details are also in place for the vision they have for a new soccer-specific stadium in either city. More from The National Post:
Ideally, a Saskatchewan team would play in an 8,600-seat downtown stadium with 24 luxury suites — a facility that McGlaughlin estimates would cost between $15 million to $20 million.
“What makes this doable are the modular stadiums that are out there now,” he said. “It’s a totally different price point than $250 million. It’s the reason this is even possible.
“We want to create a soccer-specific stadium to have that intimate feel and so that people can feel that real soccer experience, like in Europe.”
McGlaughlin said a centrally located stadium is preferable in Regina or Saskatoon because it is “a key to the revitalization or development of downtown,” although alternate options — such as the use of Mosaic Stadium and its 33,500 seats — could also be on the table.
McGlaughlin stated that a meeting recently took place with officials in Saskatoon. Plans were also in place to meet with Regina officials on Friday. The Canadian Premier League has commitments from the owners of CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for teams in their respective markets.
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