BayToday was just informed that the deal is done the OHL Board of Governors has approved the move.
It has been a whirlwind ride for Battalion owner Scott Abbott and his management team since formally announcing that he wants to move his team to the Bay, but the team still has one major hurdle to cross today before the deal is sealed -- get the blessing of the OHL Board of Governors.
Both Abbott and Battalion President Mike Griffin told BayToday on Thursday that they feel the process will be an easy one as they have built a solid case for relocation including winning the community’s support.
“I was confident we could get to 2,000 (tickets) in this community but to say I was sure it would happen that quickly, in fact less than 6 days – 15 minutes short of 6 days after the official launch of the campaign is astounding,” states Abbott.
“First of all we looked at the issues we knew we had to address and one of them was the support level and we put that on the table as part of our agreement of principal,” explains Griffin.
“We are going to the board on Monday; we have a very solid presentation.”
Griffin says armed with a solid business case and the respect Abbott has with his fellow governors he doesn’t expect the board to belabour their decision.
“Honestly I could not imagine something that could prevent a unanimous vote.”
Abbott says North Bay is essential to Canada’s hockey landscape and that is why he decided this was the right move for his team and with the commitment of the community why he is confident today’s vote will go in his favour.
“I feel a lot better now than I did two weeks ago,” he states with a smile.
“In the GTA where we have been for 14 plus seasons it is easy to get lost in the clutter. We don’t get the media attention there that clearly we get here.”
“I think this is the kind of community that deserves an OHL team and will embrace an OHL team and I’m not sure should have ever lost it 10 years ago,” states Abbott.
“I feel very well armed going to the OHL board of governors next week to ask for their approval to relocate the Battalion to North Bay.”
“It`s clear it has been 10years of frustration and pent up desire to see North Bay to return to the OHL and I hope that we can together make that happen.”