Gatineau rejects Sensplex-style home for QMJHL's Olympiques
Council decides to partner with Vision Multi-Sports Outaouais instead
The City of Gatineau has opted against a proposal by the Ottawa Senators to build a four-rink facility that would replace the aging arena currently housing its major junior hockey team.
Last year, the Senators and one other group, Vision Multi-Sports Outaouais (VMSO), put competing proposals before Gatineau council to build a much-needed new home for the Gatineau Olympiques, who play in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The Robert Guertin Centre, the Olympiques' current home, is 60 years old and is set to be demolished in 2018.
Council decided Thursday to enter into negotiations with VMSO, who have proposed a 4,000-seat arena with extra community ice surfaces, instead.
The Senators had wanted to build a facility with four rinks: one with 4,000 seats for the Olympiques and three other ice surfaces for the community to use, much like its two Sensplex buildings in Ottawa's Kanata and Gloucester neighbourhoods.
The Gatineau centre would have been owned and run by a not-for-profit organization — just as the Sensplex is — in order to keep costs as low as possible, Senators president Cyril Leeder said last fall.