HALIFAX -- The mayor of Halifax says the city should have its own mixed-use stadium and he likes the idea of having a CFL team as an anchor tenant, but Mike Savage says discussions with the league and potential investors are just starting. Savage, who met Monday in Halifax with CFL commissioner Mark Cohon, declined to discuss timelines or the degree of interest from the private sector or other levels of government -- the lack of which has sunk previous bids. "We dont have a stadium and I dont have a model for a stadium," the mayor told a news conference at a downtown hotel. "I have a belief that we should have a stadium in this municipality and it would be great if the CFL was part of that... . This is the year we have to figure out how serious we are about having a stadium." Savage said city council voted two years ago to contribute $20 million toward construction of a 20,000-seat stadium for the 2015 FIFA Womens World Cup of soccer, but there werent enough partners to make the proposal a reality. At the time, the provincial government said it wasnt interested in contributing, which left private investors reluctant to sign on. "There is an atmosphere in this city that says we can do some things that we couldnt do before," Savage said. "In terms of a stadium, the private sector will always say, Wheres government on this? " Cohon said establishing a CFL team in Halifax is part of the leagues long-term plan. But he declined to name any of the national or local business leaders that he and the mayor are talking to. "Its Day 1, guys," he said. "Its our first meeting." The commissioner repeatedly pointed to the new CFL franchise in Ottawa, the RedBlacks, as a potential model for Halifax. But he stressed that the talks that led to that teams rebirth took seven years to come to fruition. Cohon said the new, mixed-use stadium in Ottawa, the result of a public-private partnership, features a large retail space, condominiums, parkland and office space. The total cost for the project was $290 million, with $173 million coming from the city, the projects website says. "We have a proven model that is working right now in Ottawa," Cohon said. "We have to think big. Dont just think about CFL. Think about this as a catalyst for a bigger opportunity." No one in the sports community was expecting a big announcement Monday, considering Cohon had said last week the Halifax meetings were just exploratory. Still, Cohon suggested that Halifax is the next logical location for a CFL franchise, even though there has been significant interest expressed in Moncton. "I think the challenge in Moncton, its a bit of a smaller community with a smaller business community," he said. CFL teams last played an exhibition game in Halifax in 2005, and there have been three Touchdown Atlantic games in Moncton. Cohon said all CFL teams except one is either making a profit or breaking even. Staying in the black requires annual revenue between $17 million and $20 million, he said. Despite Cohons optimism, plans to build a stadium in Halifax have gone off the rails three times in the past 30 years. In the mid-1980s, financing fell through for a 30,000-seat stadium that was supposed to be used by a CFL team called the Atlantic Schooners. In March 2007, the city and the province pulled out of a bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games when cost estimates jumped from $785 million to almost $1.7 billion. Plans for a 20,000-seat stadium died along with the bid. jerseys wholesale nfl
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. Priscilla Lopes-Schliep and Perdita Felicien both failed to qualify for Canadas team bound for London in a dramatic womens 100-metre hurdles final that saw heptathlete Jessica Zelinka emerge the winner. EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With the prospect of a trade for Dwight Howard fading and the season opener less than a week away, New Jersey Nets coach Avery Johnson was getting a feel for his team. That all changed Thursday when centre Brook Lopez broke his right foot, an injury that left Johnson shaking his head and considering his options. Lopez, the Nets leading scorer, had surgery Friday for a nondisplaced fracture. He was hurt in a pre-season game against the Knicks on Wednesday and will be sidelined at least six weeks and probably more. In the meantime, general manager Billy King acquired former all-star centre Mehmet Okur from Utah for a second-round draft pick, signed free agent guard DeShawn Stevenson and waived forward Ime Udoka. With the additions of Okur and Stevenson, the Nets have hit the salary cap, so their revamped team is set. It has one star, point guard Deron Williams, and a lot of new faces -- Okur, Stevenson, free agent forwards Shawne Williams and Sheldon Williams, rookies Marshon Brooks and forward Jordan Williams and holdovers Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, Damion James and Kris Humphries. "Every day is a new day I tell our players," Johnson said Friday. "When you get up in the morning you think about being a difference maker. You think about positive energy. Everybody is undefeated now." The Nets (24-58) probably arent going to stay that way long. They open on Monday at Washington and play 10 of their first 14 games on the road. The home opener is Tuesday against Atlanta. "There is no surrender in how we react as coaches, how we approach practice," Johnson said. "Its not necessarily the situation we diagrammed going in, so we adjust. So if plan A doesnt work, you have to go to plan B and C and thats what we are doing." The big question is Okur, who is to practice with the team Saturday. "We needed another guy to fill in, but hes just not filling in," Johnson said. "Hes a veteran player. Hes had a solid career so far. He knows how to play and how to pass. Hes still shooting the ball pretty good." Okur played in 13 games last season while recovering from Achilles and back injuries. The 32-year-old Turk has averaged 13.7 pooints and 7.dddddddddddd1 rebounds in 617 career games with Detroit and Utah. Deron Williams played with Okur in Utah, and the two spoke Thursday. "He was shocked a little bit at first, probably my reaction, but hes warming up to it and excited coming over, excited to play with me again," Deron Williams said. "Ill try to make the transition as easy as possible." Deron Williams said the Nets would not have to revamp their offence because Lopez played more on the outside than in the paint. "Its our team," Deron Williams said. "Whether I am comfortable or not, its our team. Weve got good guys, guys who know how to play basketball and make plays. Thats all we need as long as our defence is locked in. Guys can hit shots, hit big shots, and I think we do. I like we added DeShawne. He can hit shots but he also brings that toughness and can guard people." Johnson also is comfortable with his team, for now. "I know they will play hard," Johnson said. "When you have a team with Deron Williams as the point guard he will do a good job of quarterbacking the team." King expects Lopez to play in a game in six-to-eight weeks. Dr. Martin OMalley, a foot specialist, and team orthopedist Dr. Riley Williams III inserted a screw into the fifth metatarsal of Lopezs foot at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. OMalley said rehabilitation will start in two weeks. Lopez averaged 20.4 points and 6.0 rebounds in 82 games last season. "We go to him a lot late in games and stuff," Humphries said. "We wont have that. Well probably have to play at a little different pace and be sharper with the shooting and be more up and down and precise in executing on the break. Depending on who plays his minutes, well be more of an up-tempo team." Stevenson averaged 5.3 points and 1.2 assists in helping the Mavericks win their first title last season. He was used mostly in a defensive role and can score more if needed. "It probably will be tough coming from the team where I came from, but at the same time its a challenge," Stevenson said after his first practice with the Nets. "We were challenged to win a championship and this is a different type of challenge." ' ' '