The CFL got a close-up view of the Renegades yesterday, sending an envoy to the club's football building to take stock of the equipment.
Kevin McDonald, the CFL's manager of football development, counted helmets, shoulder pads, jerseys and other items to find out what remains following a winter of solitude and neglect.
More importantly, McDonald's mission was to report to league headquarters whether the club would be equipped to operate if the Renegades take the field for the 2006 season.
ALL ABOUT TIMING
The visit was significant in its timing.
With the CFL pushing to solve the club's ownership situation in time to field a team for the upcoming season (the Renegades are scheduled to begin training camp May 21 and have an exhibition game in Halifax slated for June 3), the league wants to assure potential buyers that scenario is doable, even at this late stage.
Bruce Urban, a Calgary entrepreneur and owner of the National Lacrosse League's Edmonton Rush, became the first person to publicly state his interest in a purchase of the club after telling the Sun on Tuesday he would travel to Ottawa and visit Lansdowne Park next week.
He will be in Ottawa with Duane Vienneau, president of the Rush.
Vienneau said after the lacrosse team plays a game on Sunday in Portland, Ore., the plan is for he and Urban to travel from there to Ottawa on Monday.
"When we get to Ottawa, we'll take a look at all the nuts and bolts," Vienneau said.
A GLIMMER OF HOPE
The league has received other interest, including contact from a potential local buyer.
Renegades fans received a glimmer of hope with Urban's declaration.
Urban also revealed the league isn't entertaining offers to sell the team and move it to another city.
He also said the CFL wants the team operational for the 2006 season, a gargantuan task given the short time frame.
Meanwhile, it's believed the league's board of governors will wait until the week before Easter (April 16) to make a decision on the team's status for 2006.
With Good Friday falling on April 14, it's believed the governors will decide either on the Wednesday or Thursday of Easter week whether this modern-day resurrection might take place.