Puck may drop at St. John's Mile One
City talking to the American Hockey League and the Quebec Major Juniors
Officials in St. John's are going to Quebec to look for a hockey team to play at Mile One Centre in the capital city.
Officials from St. John's Sports and Entertainment board are expected to meet with the commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QJMHL) Monday and Tuesday.
City Coun. Danny Breen, a sports and entertainment board member, said there have also been discussions with the American Hockey League (AHL).
The St. John's Fog Devils QJMHL franchise left Newfoundland in 2008.
Breen said Monday that a new team could be playing in the city as soon as 2011, but added that hockey fans in the area shouldn't get too excited yet.
"This is really very, very preliminary. [We want to] look at what's happening and to have that conversation with Gilles Courteau, the QMJ commissioner, and see where we go," said Breen, who is St. John's City Council's representative on the St. John's Sports and Entertainment board.
The Mile One Centre is owned by the city of St. John's and operated by the St. John's Sports and Entertainment Board.
The entertainment venue has survived without a full-time tenant, but Breen said a hockey team would improve its financial situation and create economic spin-offs for St. John's.
"It's good to generate the activity downtown and it's another 40 nights in Mile One that'd be busy and provide some employment to people. It would be a good thing for the city," he said.
Breen said council will only accept proposal with a solid business plan because he said the amount the city now subsidizes Mile One will not increase.