Touchdown Atlantic

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Touchdown Atlantic (French: Touché Atlantique) is a series of Canadian Football League games played in the maritime provinces of Canada.

In 2003, the league had struck a committee to examine the feasibility of adding a tenth team, with the leading candidate cities being Quebec City and Halifax.[1] Before the suspension of the Renegades, league commissioner Tom Wright had indicated that Halifax was the leading candidate for expansion.[2] With the success of Touchdown Atlantic 2010, Moncton has moved into position of front runner for CFL expansion.[3]

As every CFL field has an artificial surface, the Touchdown Atlantic game is the only CFL game played on grass all season. However, artificial turf has to be laid over the track at each end of the stadium in order to accommodate the end zones.

Exhibition games[edit]

Prior to the official Touchdown Atlantic series, Saint John, New Brunswick, hosted a pair of exhibition games. In 1986, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeated the Montreal Alouettes 35–10 at Canada Games Stadium before a sellout crowd of 11,463 fans.[4][5] The following year, the Alouettes returned to the Port City and lost 14–13 to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats; the Alouettes would fold a week later.[4][6] An exhibition game between the Ottawa Renegades and Montreal was held in Quebec City in 2003 at PEPS Stadium, with the Alouettes winning 54–23 in front of 10,358.[7][8]

The first game of the Touchdown Atlantic series was an exhibition pre-season match played in Halifax, Nova Scotia at Huskies Stadium in June 2005. The game, between the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, ended in a 16–16 tie.[9] The game was to gauge Halifax's support for a potential CFL expansion team, which would likely be named the Schooners. Temporary seating was added to boost the capacity, and a sellout crowd out 11,148 attended. It was also used by the league to test its instant replay challenge system[10] which was implemented in the 2006 CFL season.[11]

A second game was to be played on June 3, 2006 at Halifax's Huskies Stadium, with temporary seating for a capacity of 11,000 fans.[12] This game was canceled after the suspension of the Ottawa Renegades, who were supposed to play the Montreal Alouettes.[13][14]

Regular season games[edit]

Touchdown Atlantic 2010.jpg

In October 2009, it was officially announced that the Edmonton Eskimos would face the Toronto Argonauts in Moncton, New Brunswick, on September 26, 2010, in the first regular season game ever in Atlantic Canada. That game was referred to as Touchdown Atlantic.[15] The game was played at the new Moncton Stadium on the campus of Université de Moncton in front of a reported sell-out crowd of 20,725. Tickets went on sale to the general public on March 25, 2010, with a one-day pre-sale being conducted the day before. After 32 hours of being up for sale, the 2010 Touchdown Atlantic was announced as a sellout on March 25, 2010.[16] The Eskimos won the game 24–6 thanks to their 247 interception return yards on six interceptions, the second most interception return yards in CFL history.[17]

A 2011 Touchdown Atlantic game, somewhat erroneously known as Touchdown Atlantic II, took place during the 2011 CFL season, again in Moncton.[18] The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were the designated home team and faced the Calgary Stampeders on September 25, 2011 at Moncton Stadium.[19] Hamilton won the game, 55–36.

No Touchdown Atlantic was held in 2012. The 2013 edition of Touchdown Atlantic featured the Tiger-Cats hosting the Montreal Alouettes in Moncton on September 21, 2013. The game was held in Moncton due to their stadium in Hamilton being replaced; although Moncton attempted to have the Tiger-Cats play the whole season in Moncton, the team opted to only play one game there and have the rest of the season closer to Hamilton (specifically Guelph). Hamilton won 28-26. No Touchdown Atlantic will be held in 2014.

Potential for Moncton expansion[edit]

Moncton is now considered a frontrunner for a Canadian Football League franchise in Atlantic Canada, according to commissioner Mark Cohon. The success of a September 26 game in Moncton — the CFL’s first regular season game in Atlantic Canada — has cemented Moncton in this role.[3] Moncton is also well positioned because of its centralized location in the region; a team based in Moncton would represent all three maritime provinces due to the region's small population. Moncton officials negotiated to temporarily host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the 2013 season while Ivor Wynne Stadium is demolished and Tim Hortons Field is under construction. However, citing a desire to be closer to home, the Tiger-Cats announced they would play eight of their nine home games at nearby Guelph, with the ninth being the Touchdown Atlantic contest.[20][21]

List of games[edit]

Game Date Visitor Score Home City Stadium Attendance Ref
Preseason June 11, 2005 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 16-16 Toronto Argonauts Halifax, NS Huskies Stadium 11,148 [22][23][24]
Preseason June 3, 2006 Montreal Alouettes Cancelled Ottawa Renegades Halifax, NS Huskies Stadium [25][26][27]
Regular Season September 26, 2010 Edmonton Eskimos 24-6 Toronto Argonauts Moncton, NB Moncton Stadium 20,725 [28][29]
Regular Season September 25, 2011 Calgary Stampeders 36-55 Hamilton Tiger-Cats Moncton, NB Moncton Stadium 20,153 [30][31]
Regular Season September 21, 2013 Montreal Alouettes 26-28 Hamilton Tiger-Cats Moncton, NB Moncton Stadium 15,123 [32][33][34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CFL considering Quebec or Halifax expansion". CBC Sports Online. November 14, 2003. Retrieved December 4, 2006. 
  2. ^ Adam Richardson (January 27, 2006). "CFL returning to Halifax". Halifax Daily News. Archived from the original on March 22, 2007. Retrieved December 4, 2006. 
  3. ^ a b Moncton CFL franchise possible: commissioner
  4. ^ a b "2011 Canadian Football League - Game Notes". Canadian Football League. September 25, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ "1986 Montreal Alouettes". The Pro Football Archives. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  6. ^ "1987 Montreal Alouettes". The Pro Football Archives. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Calvillo, Alouettes hammer Renegades". CBC Sports Online. June 9, 2003. Retrieved December 4, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Schedule". Archived from the original on February 5, 2005. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  9. ^ Canadian Press (June 11, 2005). "Argos, Ticats tie in Halifax". TSN.ca. Retrieved December 4, 2006. [dead link]
  10. ^ Canadian Press (June 13, 2006). "Instant replay has kinks to work out". TSN.ca. Retrieved December 4, 2006. [dead link]
  11. ^ "CFL to introduce instant replay for 2006". CFL.ca. June 13, 2006. Retrieved December 4, 2006. 
  12. ^ TD Atlantic returns to Halifax
  13. ^ Canadian Press (January 26, 2006). "Argos, Ticats tie in Halifax". TSN.ca. Retrieved December 4, 2006. [dead link]
  14. ^ Canadian Press (April 9, 2006). "CFL suspends operations of Renegades". TSN.ca. Archived from the original on March 18, 2007. Retrieved December 4, 2006. 
  15. ^ "Our League is coming to Atlantic Canada". Canadian Football League. October 15, 2009. Retrieved February 13, 2010. 
  16. ^ Tickets to Touchdown Atlantic sold out
  17. ^ "Turnover Atlantic: Esks enjoy East Coast win". Canadian Football League. September 26, 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Touchdown Atlantic returning to Moncton | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League". CFL.ca. February 7, 2011. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  19. ^ 2011 CFL schedule is here
  20. ^ Radley, Scott (August 31, 2011). The Moncton Tiger-Cats? Hmmmmmm. Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  21. ^ Naylor, Dave. TICATS MULLING OPTIONS FOR HOSTING GAMES IN 2013. TSN. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  22. ^ "Game stats". Canadian Football League. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  23. ^ "2005 CFL Schedule". Canadian Football League. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Touchdown Atlantic returns to Halifax". The Sports Network. January 26, 2006. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Touchdown Atlantic returns to Halifax". Canadian Football League. January 26, 2006. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Renegades Announce 2006 Game Schedule". January 27, 2006. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  27. ^ "CFL suspends operations of Renegades". The Sports Network. April 9, 2006. Archived from the original on March 18, 2007. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Game stats". Canadian Football League. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Turnover Atlantic: Esks enjoy East Coast win". Canadian Football League. September 26, 2010. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Game stats". Canadian Football League. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Ticats get Thiggy with it in Moncton win". Canadian Football League. September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Game stats". Canadian Football League. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Tiger-Cats head East and close out Alouettes". Canadian Football League. September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  34. ^ "2013 CFL Schedule". Canadian Football League. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 

External links[edit]