Editor's Note: Please note earlier it was reported in this story that The Lakers had a deal in place with the city, that information was incorrect. The Lakers are working on a deal with the city. We apologise for any inconvenience.
North Bay City Council put the wheels in motion on Monday evening to technically evict the Garden’s current resident teams.
The Nipissing Lakers and the North Bay Trappers now have the arduous task of finding new facilities for their ice time and games.
Councillor Dave Mendicino says the need for new arrangements has been known for some time, although even with an amicable relationship on both sides, it’s still hard to see things change.
Both teams have seen a great turnout and have produced highly entertaining sports events for North Bay’s hockey fans.
The Lakers Do Not have a deal in place with the city, but are working very hard to put one in place and stay at the Gardens, however, they are in a second dibs situation to the newly arriving OHL Battalion team.
In the case of the Trappers, nothing concrete has been announced but negotiations are underway at the West Ferris Arena and will most likely be announced shortly once minor hockey and other arena users can come up with a plan to accommodate everyone’s needs.
Mendicino also quickly put to rest rumours that the West Ferris Arena was to going to be upgrading its facility, saying that funds are already tight in order to get renovations to the Gardens under way and completed.
He says that a clause in the official Garden’s contract was all that the council needed to invoke the changes to give notice.
The craftily written document, enabling the city to move ahead to swiftly bring the OHL back to the city, speaks highly of those who organized the city’s arenas, with the foresight to include the ability to be very adaptive.
Council also passed other contracts, awarding portions of the upgrading contract without tender or bid (sole sourcing) in order to speed up work on the project.
In particular, the architectural portion of the 12 million dollar project was sole sourced by the city to Matthew Delean, who is notably the son of Lucien Delean, the original architect on the Memorial Gardens project.