The BC Lions held their annual off-season state of the union conference call with the media today and while we weren’t privy to the call, we were fortunate to have the Tweets of Mark Masters, writer for the National Post (@markmasters), to give us some of the highlights of the discussion. Make sure if you’re a CFL fan on Twitter you follow Mark, as he always has great scoops and information on the CFL.
In attendance for today’s call were Vice-President George Chayka, Head Coach and GM Wally Buono, and President & CEO Dennis Skulsky.
Here, in point form are the comments tweeted by Mark during today’s call:
George Chayka: Empire Field construction should be completed in six weeks (June 15).
George Chayka: New season ticket sales are 50% ahead of where they were last year.
Wally Buono: Last year was not the kind of team we had in past; it was important to address changes.
Wally Buono: Casey Printers is in the prime of his development & growth as a QB.
Wally Buono: Two biggest signings are Keron Williams & Davis Sanchez from Montreal. Sanchez helps change the defensive philosophy.
Wally Buono: Re: draft – Watkins & Gore are good enough that we will wait; hopefully not more than 6-12 months.
Wally Buono: Hamid Mahmoudi like a young Davis Sanchez. Joash Gesse is like a young Javier Glatt.
Wally Buono: Joash Gesse would have been 1st round pick in CFL draft if not for injury.
Dennis Skulsky: Moving training camp to Kamloops will help tap into fans outside Vancouver; stresses ‘BC’ in BC Lions.
Dennis Skulsky: We want to be the biggest thing that happens in the City of Kamloops this summer.
Wally Buono: Printers & Chapdelaine have a ‘tremendous chemistry of trust’.
Wally Buono: His decision to extend contract in BC was twofold (1) He wants another Grey Cup (2) He still enjoys coaching.
Wally Buono: This year’s team must be more physical & play better under pressure.
Wally Buono: The Lions are still on the lookout for an established left tackle.