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Brantford eyeing bid to make the Bulldogs move permanent

Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis (L) with Bulldogs owner Michael Andlauer

With the Brantford Bulldogs’ season ticket drive sitting at 2.400 for a 3,000-seat arena, the city is taking a serious look at making the team move to Brantford permanent by building an OHL-compatible arena.

On Tuesday night, Branford Councillors voted 10-0 in favour of exploring upgrades that would bring the building up to a 5,000-seat capacity, thus meeting OHL requirements.

City staffers have now been given the green light to work on a financial plan, hiring an engagement and retaining service and sport consultants to create more ice and seating in the city.

Dan McCreary

Ward 3 Councillor Dan McCrary wants to see progress made on the project during the three-years the Bulldogs have contracted to be in Brantford. “We’ve got a three-year arrangement … three one-year options, so time is not unlimited and that’s why we want to advance this during 2023,”

Both the City of Brantford and the Bulldogs will pour an estimated $7.5 million into the downtown Brantford arena to facilitate an agreement that offers the team three year-long renewals.

Brantford has agreed to spend $4.67 million including $1.63 million to install a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

Today, Andrea Horwath told 900 CHML’s Good Morning Hamilton on Wednesday she’s “hopeful” the team will make its way back to the city once a multi-year $100-million renovation of FirstOntario Centre is complete.

‘It does need to be done,” Horwath said.

“Then we’ll have a state-of-the-art arena and we’ll see, hopefully, the Bulldogs back.”

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