|Senators prospect Shane Prince is a current star with the Ottawa 67's, who announced today they'll be moving their home games to Scotiabank Place for the next two seasons (Photo by Aaron Bell/CHL Images).
The Ottawa Senators have extended a helping hand to a neighbour in need.
With their home rink compromised by impending construction at Lansdowne Park, the Ottawa 67's announced today they will play the home portion of their Ontario Hockey League schedule at Scotiabank Place during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. The 67's plan to return to a refurbished Ottawa Civic Centre for the start of the 2014-15 campaign.
The move is subject to approval by Ottawa City Council and final approval by the same body of the Lansdowne Partnership Plan, which includes renovation of Frank Clair Stadium and the lands surrounding it at Lansdowne. The Civic Centre is located underneath the north side grandstands at Frank Clair and, in order to expedite tight construction deadlines, the 67's deemed it too difficult to continue to play in their home rink during that process.
"Fortunately for us and our fans, we have a world-class alternative to the Civic Centre in Kanata," said 67's owner Jeff Hunt, also a partner in the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, which has partnered with the city to rejuvenate Lansdowne. "I'm grateful to the Ottawa Senators for agreeing to share it with us."
Senators president Cyril Leeder said Scotiabank Place is pleased to welcome the 67's over the next two years.
"The revitalization of Lansdowne will be an important project for the whole city," said Leeder. "We're happy to be able to work with our neighbours in Hockey Country while the renovations take place. The 67's and junior hockey are an important part of our region's passion for the game and we are pleased that Scotiabank Place can allow for this two-year transition to be as smooth as possible for them."
The 67's have played games at Scotiabank Place in the past, most notably during the OHL playoffs when the Civic Centre was unavailable due to an annual home show. Their current roster includes centre Shane Prince
, a second-round pick (61st overall) by the Sens in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The native of Spencerport, N.Y., currently ranks second on the 67's with 88 points (25-63) in 59 games and is age-eligible to return to the team next season.
Fans who normally use public transit to attend 67's games downtown will have the same access to Scotiabank Place via OC Transpo's Connexion 400 service. For spectators who drive to games, the 67's have negotiated a 30 per cent decrease in the usual parking rate at Scotiabank Place. As well, prices for ticket packages and game-day tickets won't change from current 67's rates.
Schedules for the 2012-13 season for the Senators and 67's are expected to finalized in June.