Because of the ongoing renovations at the Frank Doherty Arena in Thorold, the Thorold Jr B Blackhawks announced earlier this week that they’ll be moving all home games of their upcoming season to the Port Colborne Vale Centre.
Now, the City of Thorold has released a statement expressing their disappointment and regret with the team’s decision.
“City of Thorold staff made the effort to accommodate the Thorold Blackhawks at Canada Games Park as a temporary solution until the upgrades were complete,” reads the city’s press statement. “Despite these efforts, they have recently announced that they intend to play their 2022 to 2023 season in Port Colborne.”
As ThoroldToday reported, due to the ongoing renovations at the Frank Doherty Arena it’s not looking likely that the ice will be ready in time for the start of hockey season.
“In February of this year, Thorold City Council awarded a $1-million contract to complete renovations for needed upgrades to the ice plant at the arena,” reads the city’s press statement. “These upgrades are on track to be completed in September.”
Mayor Terry Ugulini stresses that the City did everything it could to keep the Blackhawks in Thorold.
“Staff worked closely with the Thorold Blackhawks to accommodate their scheduling needs,” he said, in a press statement. “Alternate arrangements for practices, league games and a storage locker were secured at Canada Games Park Facility until the new ice plant at Doherty Arena was completed.”
These arrangements were not to the satisfaction of the Blackhawks so the team decided to move to Port Colborne for their upcoming season.
“After dealing with two years of COVID issues, the players need a stable home,” read a statement from the team’s general manager Scott Barnes at the time.
Even though the Blackhawks won’t play in Thorold for a while, they have assured fans that they’ll be back after next season.
“The City of Thorold wishes the Thorold Blackhawks luck in their temporary home this year and looks forward to having them back for a successful 2023 to 2024 season," concludes the city's press statement.