Maine Hockey Journal

Are the Maineiacs heading to Summerside?

Maine Hockey Journal has learned that there is a prospective deal in place to relocate the Lewiston Maineiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to Summerside, Prince Edward Island in time for the 2011-‘12 season.

The deal would see the Maineiacs franchise move from the Androscoggin Bank Colisee where they’ve called home since 2003 into the Consolidated Credit Union Place, a 5,000 seat arena that opened in March, 2007 for next season.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has a January 31st deadline for teams to confirm if they will operate or apply for relocation to another city for the following season.

According to Summerside businessman Tim Banks, a deal to bring the Maineiacs to Summerside has already been struck, with a $1.5 million (CDN) gate guarantee to be furnished by the City.

Banks, in an interview with Maine Hockey Journal, indicated that the Islands’ current franchise, the Prince Edward Island Rocket, is potentially on the move – rumors have the team moving to Sherbrooke – and owner Serge Savard Jr. has been advised that the relocation of the franchise in Lewiston to Summerside is a done deal with the city only 40 miles down the road from the Rockets current home, the Charlottetown Civic Center.

“Mr. Savard has been advised that there is a deal done in Summerside to relocate the Maineiacs and the deal is a private deal,” said Banks, “and they are not looking to the government for any form of subsidy other than they have some type commitment from the town of Summerside.”

Banks, a former Director and General Manager of the Summerside Western Capitals of the Maritime Hockey League, also indicated that the QMJHL including Commissioner Gilles Courteau had been to Summerside to tour the arena and meet with city officials.

The Maineiacs have been in constant rumors of relocation for much of the last three seasons dating back to 2009 when the franchise announced they were relocating to Boisbriand, QC, a suburb of Montreal. A move that was later denied by the Montreal Junior who were protecting their exclusive territory.

Lewiston over this past summer made several changes to the organization in order to help boost attendance and community support for the franchise which included bringing in minority ownership in Paul Spellman and the hiring of Bill Schurman, a native of Summerside, PEI, as the a managing consultant before being recently named Team President.

Attendance has still waivered this season with an announced crowd at their last game of 1,465 against the Halifax Moosehead. The Maineiacs season high attendance was 2,811 back on Nov. 26 against Moncton.

The Maineiacs were contacted for the story and were unavailable for comment.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply