Atlantic Schooners Announced as Name of New CFL Team

The Atlantic Schooners are ready to set sail in the Canadian Football League… and they’re serious this time.

On November 3, 1982, it was announced that a new Halifax CFL club for 1984 would be known as the Atlantic Schooners, they even unveiled a logo featuring a schooner inside an “A”, the four waves at the base of the “A” was said to represent the four Atlantic provinces in Canada. Bob Russell, then an 18-year-old meat cutter, submitted the winning entry telling the Canadian Press at the time, “it took me about three seconds to decide on a name, more people know about Nova Scotia schooners than anything else”. A schooner is a sailing ship, for those who are unaware… or those wondering where the beer goes.

Newspaper clipping announcing the original, ill-fated Atlantic Schooners – November 1982

Unfortunately, the original Schooners never played a down, let alone three. What followed the announcement was a debate about whether the stadium should be in Halifax or nearby Dartmouth as well as issues getting public funding for the project. The target for their inaugural season was pushed back to 1985 and then 1986, it wasn’t long before the plug was pulled for good.

Or so we thought.

Because tonight! Exactly thirty-six years and twenty days after that original announcement, Maritime Football, Ltd. made it official that their new proposed Halifax-based football team would be known as the Atlantic Schooners with a target inaugural season in the CFL set for 2021.

A new team in Halifax would finally make the CFL a ten-team league with five teams based in the east and five in the west. It feels right. And with over 5000 deposits put down on season tickets already, it seems like it’s really going to happen this time.

The Schooners name was chosen as the winner in a poll held by the ownership group for those who put down those season ticket deposits beating out Storm, Convoy, and Admirals. It had been used by a CFL booster club based in the Maritimes for many years who cleverly boast that the team is still undefeated since 1984.

There is no logo yet beyond a wordmark, I’m hoping they go with a slightly modernized version of that original logo from 1982.