The City of Charlottetown is making a pitch to host this year’s modified Canadian Premier League (CPL) soccer season.
“Charlottetown is open for business,” Mayor Philip Brown said in a news release. “I’m excited to be able to extend an invitation to the CPL and its eight members to play their modified single-city season in the birthplace of Confederation – it doesn’t get any more Canadian than right here in Charlottetown.”
Brown said Sunday things are at the preliminary stage and a lot of questions still need to be answered.
"It's exploratory but we got their eye, we got their ear, now let’s see if we can get to the next stage to move forward and make it happen,” he said.
Having the league come to P.E.I., Brown said, would be a boost to the economy during the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic.
Games could be played at UPEI and the Terry Fox Sports Complex in Cornwall. Brown said he has heard Victoria, B.C., is the other community interested in hosting the league.
Brown said the city hasn't been asked yet to invest any money to host the eight-team league.
“When we get to the next stage, lets see what their offer is,” he said.
If the league does come to the capital region, Brown stressed the teams will follow the health protocols in place here, including the quarantine time.
The CPL is a professional soccer league that features teams from five different provinces.
The Province of P.E.I. recently confirmed it had been approached by the CPL looking for a safe destination to host its teams during the summer months.
The CPL announced in a news release its owners, clubs and player leadership unanimously agreed on the structure and concept of a proposed strategy on the possibility of a 2020 season.
“Our position since we began the journey of building the league from the ground up has been to work together,” said CPL commissioner David Clanachan. “We started this process behind the scenes many weeks ago in consultation with our owners on the many details and protocols required to safely return to the field of play, and potential opportunities that may emerge.
“This led to the next step of a collaborative discussion with the players (last) week.”
The release notes the next step will be to engage with fans and partners as the league and its clubs work collectively to find a solution for a 2020 CPL season. Brown expects a decision soon with players having to quarantine before hitting the turf.