Niagara IceDogs Home Opener Rescheduled

Niagara IceDogs Logo

According to multiple sources, the Niagara IceDogs new home, the Meridian Centre, is scheduled to open on time but unfortunately will open after the IceDogs’ first regular season home game.

On Wednesday, the IceDogs issued a press release stating:

The Niagara IceDogs, in conjunction with the Ontario Hockey League, announced today that their Thursday, October 2nd home game against the Mississauga Steelheads has been rescheduled for Tuesday, January 13th at 7pm.  The change comes as a result of the fact that the Meridian Centre will not be ready in time for the game on October 2nd.

With this rescheduling, the IceDogs 2014-15 home opener and the first game at the Meridian Centre will be Thursday, October 16th at 7:00pm against the Belleville Bulls.

This led many to believe that the arena was behind schedule.  However, multiple sources at St. Catharines City Hall have confirmed that the arena is not behind schedule and will open on time.  One city official told me that the opening of the arena is not delayed and that the OHL booked the IceDogs’ home opener without consulting the city.

This was confirmed by city councillor Matt Siscoe who tweeted:

This also seems to be in line with information I received earlier this year that the first event at the arena would  be a concert on Friday, October 3rd followed by the IceDogs’ home opener the following night.

However, I have to wonder if timelines are really so tight that a hockey game on October 2nd is out of the question but that the arena will be ready for a concert on October 3rd. If a concert was scheduled for October 2nd, would the arena still not be ready to open until October 3rd?  Equally puzzling is the fact that the OHL schedule was released June 15th and now, almost two months later, the IceDogs are forced to cancel what could arguably be the most anticipated hockey game since the IceDogs’ inaugural home opener at the Jack Gatecliff Arena almost seven years ago.

The city has done a superb job in planning for this facility.  Construction of the arena has gone for the most part without a hitch.  The facility remains on time and on budget.  However, now the Meridian Centre’s first event has been cancelled, leaving many IceDogs fans disappointed.

This was not the way the Meridian Centre was suppose to open.

 

Kevin Legros

Kevin Legros is the Executive Editor of LocalSportsReport.com and the Managing Editor of the OHL Blog. He follows all local sports in the Niagara Region including the Niagara IceDogs, where he has been a season ticket holder since the first season.

Kevin was involved in the process of planning for the IceDogs new home arena, the Meridian Centre, which included sitting as a member of the Mayor’s Task Force Committee, the St. Catharines Entertainment and Sports Complex Advocacy Committee and the Meridian Centre Fundraising Task Force Committee.

10 Comments

  1. Frankie

    August 13, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    I heard that an unexpected delay has occurred but was not given more details. Apparently it was something pretty big.

  2. rinkrat

    August 13, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    The Dogs home opener was originally on Saturday Oct 4 and then suddenly moved to Thursday Oct 2 without explanation. Perhaps this has something to do with the arena not being ready.

  3. London Knight

    August 14, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Another reason the London Knights are far beyond any organization. This mix up would have never happened in London. Pretty stupid to ruin an opening.

    • bobby boucher

      August 14, 2014 at 11:49 am

      yea your the best London.. way to go… loser…

      • London Knight

        August 14, 2014 at 4:08 pm

        Jealous as usual. 3 championships in a row…..the best team in over a decade …..right……what have you won loser

        • Petes 1987

          October 5, 2014 at 2:19 am

          But it took London thirty years to win their first championship. London has only won three in fifty years in the OHL. Peterborough won nine in 58 years. The Hunters have done a good job in London and have had good success. That can change with a couple of bad drafts. Look at Windsor. They won back to back Memorial Cups and have floundered over the last three seasons. They appeared to be a dynasty in the making, but a couple of bad drafts and mistakes and they were no longer a power house.

  4. Bobby Boucher

    August 21, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    3 straight championships? When did this happen? Are you referring to the 3 straight mem cup flops, capped off with the honour of being the only host team in the history of the mem cup not to win a single game.

  5. London Knight

    August 23, 2014 at 1:24 am

    So you never said…what has your team won loser? You don’t even have a team with your city name. To ashamed of that dirty city of St. Catherines to call the team that. London Knights are all the envy of the CHL. Dave Branch even says so pal

  6. Bobby Boucher

    August 29, 2014 at 1:18 am

    Haha if you’re a true ohl fan then you know the obvious and brilliant marketing behind naming the team after the region. You tell me first, LOSER, when did the knights win 3 straight league championships? No doubt the knights are a great organization but its no thanks to a bum fan like you who doesn’t even know your teams history! You probably don’t even show up to games until playoffs!

  7. London Knight

    September 1, 2014 at 11:06 am

    You still dance around it…..what has your team done? Nothing. Btw I am at every game