Saskatoon Stifled: CPL Expansion In City Put On Hold
It’s been over 900 days since the Canadian Premier League announced a formal expansion to Saskatchewan pending a solid stadium ground, but the ownership group behind the bid to plant one in Saskatoon has just agreed to ‘adjourn’ the proposed project amidst taxpayer-funded stadium plan delays and a ten million dollar lawsuit.
CTV Saskatoon’s Matt Young broke the announcement on Twitter, writing that the Prairieland board of directors, who own the land on which the stadium was proposed, and Living Sky Sports and Entertainment, who own the tentative CPL expansion team rights, had mutually agreed to call off the project.
The failed bid to bring a Canadian Premier League franchise to Saskatoon should prove a cautionary tale for a league spotlighting a project before the basics are in place, with no shovels ultimately going into the ground for a proposed stadium that came with a twenty-eight million dollar price tag for taxpayers.
Prairieland Park had long been the planned location to plant a CPL team even before Living Sky Sports and Entertainment won the CPL bid, ousting original expansion leader Joe Belan in the process – though their split ultimately led to the aforementioned lawsuit.
The Canadian Premier League has yet to comment on the news, and right now it’s unclear if Living Sky Sports and Entertainment will attempt to secure land elsewhere in order to retain their expansion rights. Al Simpson had once opined that Regina could work, and his group had done light work on alternate locations to Prairieland within Saskatoon, too.
Whatever comes next, the fact that a Canadian Premier League team landing in Saskatchewan still seems years away is not a great sign, especially with the Windsor expansion team still without a stadium solution, either.