'We need a new arena': Pats' ownership serious about new facility
REGINA -- The new owner of the Regina Pats Hockey Club has a vision for the Pats that extends beyond governance of the team.
With the Brandt Group of Companies' new sole ownership of the Regina Pats comes a discussion of a new facility.
“We believe that there should be a new arena – we need a new arena for the Pats,” said Shaun Semple, the CEO of Brandt.
Built in 1977, the Brandt Centre has undergone various renovations since it was first known as the Agridome. Before hosting the Memorial Cup in 2018, the arena had upgrades to improve dressing rooms, lighting and hockey boards. But the clock is ticking on how much longer the facility can be used.
“The Brandt Centre probably has five to seven years left of it’s usable life and a decision will need to be made about whether to refurbish that or go in a different direction,” Regina Mayor Sandra Masters said.
However, the City of Regina is still paying off its $100 million debt for the construction of Mosaic Stadium.
“If there was an interest in somebody privately building an arena we would be completely open to that,” Masters said.
Semple – who bought out his previous Pats co-owners Anthony Marquart and Todd Lumbard to become the sole owner – said they’re willing to discuss options.
“We’re prepared to step up and help out and we’d like to facilitate a new business model moving forward,” Semple said. “We’ll work with city council and with Sandra to determine what the best step forward is for a new arena.”
Brandt first became an owner of the Pats in 2014, when the Parker family sold the Pats to Queen City Sports and Entertainment for $7.5 million.
“The Pats have been centre in the community, helping people have a place to gather, have a place to succeed, a place to feel proud of where they live and that’s really what the Regina Pats symbolize,” Semple said.
The current space is primarily used for the junior hockey team and is currently serving as a hub for seven WHL teams. But Semple believes a new and upgraded arena could attract other enterprises.
“Maybe there’s other sports teams and there’s other entertainment that could be facilitated through this as well,” Semple said.
Semple didn’t discuss what locations they’re considering for the potential new arena. He sais they’ll work with Regina’s city council to discuss options.
“[We will] do what we have to do make Regina as an attractive place to be and to live as any other centre,” Semple expressed. “For our Pats fans, have a stadium and arena that can deliver an NHL experience.”