Brampton Battalion owner hoping to move OHL franchise to North Bay
Deal will have to approved by OHL board
The Brampton Battalion are on the verge of relocating to North Bay for the next Ontario Hockey League season.
The City of North Bay approved an agreement-in-principle Monday to a 15-year lease with the team to play at Memorial Gardens.
The deal, which includes a $12-million renovation and expansion to the arena, requires 2,000 season tickets sold for three years and still needs to be approved by the OHL board of governors.
Battalion owner Scott Abbott said in a statement on the team's website that he's looking forward to the new home.
"The city has a rich hockey history, and we hope to add to it," said Abbott. "There's a longstanding association with the military in the community, and it will be a goal of ours to build a Memorial Cup championship team at Memorial Gardens."
North Bay has been without an OHL team since the Centennials were relocated to Saginaw, Mich., to become the Spirit in 2002.
North Bay Mayor Al McDonald said he's confident the community will support the return of junior hockey.
"The return of OHL hockey is good for the city of North Bay," said McDonald. "Being the home of the Battalion will not only contribute to the local economy but it presents the opportunity to put North Bay in the spotlight and enhance our image."
The Battalion made their debut in 1998-99 and will complete a 15-year lease agreement at Brampton's Powerade Centre at the end of the season.
The team is last in the Central Division with a 6-7-5 record.