In a Rush to buy CFL team

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:12 AM ET

As a kid Bruce Urban sold popcorn at McMahon Stadium during Calgary Stampeders' games.

Now all grown up and a multimillionaire, Urban wants to become a CFL team owner. He's set his sights on the 'For Sale' sign on the Ottawa Renegades' front lawn.

Urban, the Calgary-based entrepreneur who owns the National Lacrosse League's Edmonton Rush, told the Sun that he wanted to connect with CFL commissioner Tom Wright and make initial inquiries about purchasing the failed franchise. But Urban's plan would not involve keeping the team in the nation's capital.

"The plan would be to move the team to Halifax," said Urban. "It is a great city and I think they'd go absolutely crazy for their own team."

Urban has zero interest in trying to make the team work in Ottawa, even if it means shutting the club down for a year while setting up shop in Nova Scotia.

"To do it for this season would probably be impossible but the timing to do the deal is now," he said.

"Another year in Ottawa would be suicide and my feeling is everyone there is ready to bail out. Ottawa has proven it is not the right city."

The CFL was non-committal on the possibility of moving the Renegades to the East Coast.

"In the next few weeks the commissioner will be looking to speak with various potential owners because he is committed to finding new owners for the Ottawa Renegades," said CFL spokesman Alexis Redmond.

Halifax has frequently been viewed by the CFL as a potential spot for expansion and the league will host its second Touchdown Atlantic exhibition game at Huskies Stadium prior to the start of the 2006 season. The venue on the campus of Saint Mary's University has permanent seating for 2,500, which was upped temporarily to 11,000 for last year's pre-season contest.

A new stadium is part of the plans if Halifax wins the right to hold the next Commonwealth Games.


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