CCCRL Eastern Conference Cities Confirmed: Analysis


CCCRL Eastern Conference cities have been confirmed. They are Hamilton, Montreal and Toronto. All of these three cities will have a pro-am men’s and women’s rugby union team in the CCCRL.

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 revealed. Toronto is the largest city and the financial center of Canada. Montreal and Hamilton will also be present for the first time in a major rugby league.

The Rugby League arrives in Hamilton and Montreal

It is important to note that Hamilton and Montreal do not have professional rugby union teams either. Thus, for these two cities, the CCCRL (Canada Co-Operative Championship Rugby League) will be the main male and female rugby team in their respective cities. In addition, there is no national competition in Quebec as is the case in Ontario.

Thus, the province of Quebec benefits immensely from the presence of a Montreal CCCRL team for both men and women. Montreal is also the second largest city in Canada, so it’s no surprise that the team was honored there.

It’s also no surprise that Hamilton, Ont. Has a squad as well. In fact, the second professional rugby league team could have been in Hamilton (Montreal was also considered). Founder of 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 couldn’t get the team and instead traveled to Ottawa to become the Ottawa Aces XIII.

Toronto gets two more rugby league teams

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

It’s also a great sports city with teams in extraordinarily wealthy leagues like the NHL, NBA, and MLB. However, this is the first time that Toronto has had a large women’s rugby team in either rugby code. This is great news because the Canada Ravens players (pictured above with Canada Ravens player Tiera Reynolds) have more opportunities to develop their skills.

Overview of the CCCRL Eastern Conference

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

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

The three cities know each other in the world of sport. Toronto and Montreal are the two largest cities in Canada and therefore have intense rivalries in the NHL, MLS and CFL. In MLS season games, the rivalry between Toronto FC and CF Montreal (formerly the Montreal Impact) is known as the Canadian Classic.

Likewise, the CFL rivalry games between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Toronto Argonauts in early September are known as the Labor Day Classic. Hamilton is only an hour’s drive from Toronto.

The uniqueness of the CCCRL and what is still unknown

It is also important to remember that this league is different from most other leagues. This is what the vice-president of the CCCRL, Sandy Domingos-Shipley said of 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% of the league is owned by fans while 40% of the league is privately owned.

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

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