Photo Contribution by Jeremy Vyn
The Ontario Hockey League is back in Brantford for the first time since 1984.
The Hamilton Bulldogs are going under renovations and long-term closure at their home arena, FirstOntario Centre.
This move will see Brantford host another OHL team since hosting the Hamilton Fincups from 1978 to 1984.
The Bulldogs will be having home games at the Brantford Civic Centre.
The City of Brantford and the City of Hamilton have agreed on a three-year contract starting at the beginning of the 2023-2024 season, with potential for a three-year extension after that.
Bringing an OHL team to Brantford will bring attention to this city, especially for three years.
“Having an OHL team here in Brantford is exciting, I think this will have a positive impact for the citizens of Brantford and for the city overall,” said Nia Maidens, a second-year student at Wilfrid Laurier University. “It can allow for Laurier to potentially sell tickets to students and make tickets a part of giveaways.”
With Brantford being filled with students, the Bulldogs won’t have any issues gaining an audience for home games. This allows an opportunity, not only for Laurier, but for schools around Brantford to promote this team.
With Brantford having this team for at least three years, this opportunity can inspire the city to pursue another attraction for the people of Brantford. If this turns out to be a success for Brantford, we might see an official team here in the foreseeable future.
However, the Brantford Civic Centre does not hold a large capacity and there might be some issues with fans attending games. If Brantford does want an official OHL team in the future, a new arena would have to be built and the contract they are under could push the city to build one.
With the season fast approaching and tickets selling out, the Bulldogs are looking to make an impact for Brantford and its future.