Game on in Bathurst: major junior hockey team will not relocate
The Acadie-Bathurst Titan hockey team will stay in the north shore community of Bathurst, N.B., and will not be moving to St. John's, N.L., the team's owner announced on Monday.
Leo-Guy Morrissette told a news conference at the K.C. Irving Arena in Bathurst on Monday afternoon that he will retire and sell the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team to his son and daughter. The Titan will stay in Bathurst, which the team has called home since the 1998-99 season.
For the last week, a group of local business investors and a group in St. John's had been trying to purchase the franchise.
The Titan has been struggling this season with poor attendance.
On Saturday, St. John's council approved a tentative agreement to move the team to the city, a move that would replace the Fog Devils major junior hockey team that left last year.
Gerry Smith, the chairman of St. John's Sports and Entertainment, said on Sunday his understanding is that as long as the league approves the transfer, which needs two-thirds approval of the 18 teams, the Titan will be going to St. John's.
"We did all the things through negotiations, and all issues were resolved and agreed to," Smith said.
"So, I guess really then the ball goes to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and to the Bathurst team to get approval from the Q."