The City of North Bay has approved an agreement in principle that is designed to allow the Brampton Battalion to relocate north in time for the 2013-14 Ontario Hockey League season.
North Bay was the home of the OHL's Centennials from 1982-2002, when the club moved south to become the Saginaw Spirit.
The deal is subject to approval by the OHL Board of Governors, and is contingent on the city of North Bay selling 2,000 season tickets in a community campaign.
"I'm pleased that we've reached an agreement-in-principle and look forward to the support of hockey fans in North Bay," said Battalion owner Scott Abbott. "The city has a rich hockey history, and we hope to add to it. There's a longstanding association with the military in the community, and it will be a goal of ours to build a Memorial Cup championship team at Memorial Gardens."
"On behalf of the citizens of the city of North Bay and members of council, I extend our thanks to Battalion owner Scott Abbott for his commitment to relocate the team to our community," said North Bay Mayor Al McDonald. "He's considered by many to be the most passionate owner in all of hockey, and I have assured him that fans in North Bay will embrace the return of the OHL to a place it belongs."
The Battalion joined the OHL as an expansion team for the 1998-99 season. Their 15-year lease at the Powerade Centre expires at the end of this season.
The City of North Bay has committed $12 million to renovate and expand the Memorial Gardens - the same arena where the Centennials played a decade ago.