Hoops: Halifax gets the Final 8 back...probably

It's looking pretty clear at this point that the men's Final 8 tournament will return to Halifax after its three-year vacation in Greater Kanata.

We have a CIS press release telling us the AUS put forth the only bid* for the 2011 and 2012 championships. We have a 24-year streak, broken last year, of the Final 8 playing in front of Haligonians. We have AUS executive director Phil Currie talking up the town and the fact that Ottawa wasn't financially successful (if they weren't, one wonders how successful the smaller, more-isolated-from-Upper-Canada town was, but I digress). We even have the CIS CEO maintaining that there's going to be a review, wink-wink, and it's not automatic, nudge-nudge.

It's not clear whether a Halifax team will act as host like Carleton has, but there are approximately 14 university basketball teams in the HRM, so a hometown team will likely be there anyway. (Which, I think, is always a good way to drum up attention for a niche sport, despite objections that the host doesn't always "earn" their way in.)

* A snarky response to Currie's comment that he "expected the University of British Columbia to also bid" is "Why? They're too busy bidding for the D-II finals."
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  1. I attended the Final 8 in Ottawa in March, and I think the Civic Centre would have been a much, much better venue:
    -Scotiabank only had about half the seats full, which would mean something close to a sellout in the Civic Centre
    -The CC is walkable to bars, restaurants, etc.

    There was no good reason for this tournament to be held in a cornfield on the edge of the national capital. It could have been done so much better.

  2. The Final 8 is Capital Sports show, though. I recall that when Carleton/Capital Sports won the rights, when I was pretty new to Ottawa (still am), suggesting why they didn't play at Civic Centre. Most people were down on the idea ... it's a bad, 1960s building.

  3. Well, I grew up in Ottawa (in Montreal these days), and personally, I think it's a fantastic idea for the simple fact that 10,000 people there is a better time than 10,000 people at the Bank.

    But this is just me.

  4. Melnyk's boys backed the Carleton U bid with hard cash guarantees. Melnyk owns Scotiabank Place not the Civic Center , so there never was a posibility to hold it there.He did not get in on the deal to send the show to a rival arena.

    Odd that Hamilton has not bid? in the past they expressed a strong desire to get the tournament. What happened? Sending it back to Halifax so soon will destroy the intent of moving CIS finals around to get all parts of Canada interested.

  5. (a) how does Phil Currie or anyone else out East know how much money was made or lost in the first of 3 Nationals ?
    (b) if I were Phil Currie I would low ball Marg McGregor and the rest of her weak organization that does absolutely nothing to market their sports and even less to support the National championships. Good on everyone else around the country to not bid and if Currie has any brains he'll low ball the bid so that McGregor has to go back to her board and explain why one of if not the most important revenue generating events for the CIS just lost them hundreds of thousands of dollars. The real issue why the CIS is glorified intramurals starts with the bureaucratic, political "leadership" in Ottawa and ends with the dopes who renewed the "leaders" contract for 5 more years recently. A total joke.

  6. I was disappointed in the coverage of this by Halifax newspapers who interviewed only Phil Currie for their reports and took his word about the financials in Ottawa rather than doing more investigation themselves. Maybe the scribes who run this site could provide this subject more justice by trying to uncover more on this issue including:

    1. how did Ottawa really do with the financials in the first year and how do the next 2 years project ? (use a source other than someone from out east who is speculating)

    2. why didn't anyone else (Mac, UBC, Alberta) bid on the games (my guess: people around the country are fed up with the CIS and their do-nothing-except-take-the-money approach to this event).

    3. specifically, why didn't Carleton bid again (my guess: Carleton is respecting the view that this championship should move around the country).

    Halifax is a great place for these championships just not all the time. Still, it is very disappointing that certain folks out east continue to show bitterness about losing the event for a few years and come up with speculative statements about how an event does without having any clear evidence backing up their statements; further, it appears that reporters in Halifax are happy supporting these claims without doing their own research to confirm or refute the statements.

    Clear all this up for us guys !

  7. A great day for the AUS by their account of it. Question for Phil Currie and friends: how much did they have to guarantee the CIS to get this event ? and second question: whatever the number is, did they pay too much ? With no other bids forthcoming, does this not put the AUS in the financial driver's seat with the CIS and this event which has gone from numerous rich bids to one single bid. Bottom line: Did Currie and company, given the position they are in as the only bidders, over pay for this event, especially given how much they said they couldn't make ends meet in the last few events they hosted. Let's see how good of a negotiator Mr. Currie and team turn out to be especially given how quickly they discount the financial results of other events. Here's hoping Currie and team low ball the CIS to where the AUS makes out well financially and the AUS resists the temptation to provide guarantees like Carleton's because clearly the market has changed.