The CCCRL Eastern Conference Cities have been confirmed: Analysis

Canada Ravens player Tiera Reynolds is tackled by the Australian Jillaroos at Southern Cross Stadium
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The CCCRL Eastern Conference cities have been confirmed. They are Hamilton, Montreal, and Toronto. All these three cities will have a men’s and a women’s rugby league nines pro-am team in the CCCRL.

The CCCRL Eastern Conference Cities Confirmed

 

This news has been a long-time coming. The league was officially announced in February and now the cities are being revealed. Toronto is the biggest city and the financial centre of Canada. Montreal and Hamilton will also have a major rugby league presence for the first time.

Rugby League arrives in Hamilton and Montreal

It is important to note that both Hamilton and Montreal also do not have professional rugby union teams. So, for both of these cities, the CCCRL (Canada Co-Operative Championship Rugby League) will be the main rugby team for both men and women in their respective cities. Also, there is no domestic competition in Quebec like there is for Ontario.

So, the province of Quebec benefits immensely from the presence of a Montreal CCCRL team for both men and women. Montreal is also the second-biggest city in Canada, so it is no surprise that the team was awarded there.

It is also not surprising that Hamilton, Ontario also got a team. In fact, the second professional rugby league team could have been in Hamilton (Montreal was also considered). Founder of both the Toronto Wolfpack and the Ottawa Aces XIII, Eric Perez revealed that Hamilton almost got a rugby league team according to Alex Simmons (then Rugby AM):

“We were really close to choosing Hamilton.”

Unfortunately, Hamilton was not able to get the team and instead went to Ottawa to become the Ottawa Aces XIII.

Toronto gets two more rugby league teams

Lastly, Toronto with the presence of both the Wolfpack and the Arrows can be considered one of the hubs if not the hub of professional rugby in the Americas.

It is also a big sports city with teams in extraordinarily rich leagues like the NHL, NBA, and MLB. However, this is the first time that Toronto had a major rugby women’s team in either code of rugby. This is great news as the Canada Ravens players (pictured above with Canada Ravens player Tiera Reynolds) get more opportunities to hone their skills.

The CCCRL Eastern Conference Overview

The CCCRL Eastern Conference cities for the 2022 season have been revealed. It is important to note that next year, both the Eastern and Western teams will play at Lamport Stadium. However, from 2023 onwards, they will start playing in their home cities. So, the Montreal and Hamilton teams will start to play in their home markets in 2023.

It also marks a trend for professional or some form of professional sports teams to come to Montreal and Hamilton. Hamilton recently got pro soccer, basketball, and lacrosse teams to its city. Also, Montreal will have a pro basketball team next year and likely a pro women’s hockey team in 2022 according to John Wawrow from The Associated Press.

All three cities are familiar with each other in the sports world. Toronto and Montreal are the two biggest cities in Canada and therefore have intense rivalries in the NHL, MLS, and the CFL. In the MLS season games, Toronto FC and CF Montréal (formerly the Montreal Impact) rivalry is known as the Canadian Classique.

Similarly, the CFL rivalry games between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Toronto Argonauts in early September are known as the Labour Day Classic. Hamilton is only about a one-hour drive from Toronto.

The uniqueness of the CCCRL and what is still unknown

It is also important to remember that this league is different than most other leagues. This is what the CCCRL Vice President, Sandy Domingos-Shipley said about the news:

“The people who really own these sports clubs are the fans, because, without the fans, there is no sports team anyway.”

This league is unique compared to many other sports leagues around the world. 60 percent of the league is owned by the fans while 40 percent of the league is owned by private equity.

The names of the teams have not been revealed yet but will be revealed at a later date. Also, there will be three CCCRL Western Conference cities that have not been revealed yet. These cities will come from the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.

 

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