North Bay Battalion
|North Bay Battalion|
|City||North Bay, Ontario|
|League||Ontario Hockey League|
|Founded||December 3, 1996|
|Home arena||North Bay Memorial Gardens|
|Colours||Olive, yellow, black and white
|General manager||Stan Butler|
|Head coach||Stan Butler|
|Affiliate(s)||North Bay Trappers (NOJHL)|
|2013–present||North Bay Battalion|
The North Bay Battalion is a major junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League based in North Bay, Ontario, Canada. The franchise was originally known as the Brampton Battalion and founded in 1996. The team was relocated to North Bay, as a result of consistently having the worst attendance in the OHL (last for final four seasons) and will play its inaugural season in North Bay during the 2013–14 OHL season after spending fifteen seasons in Brampton.
Early Years, 1998-2013
The Brampton Battalion's inaugural season began in 1998-99, and the team struggled, winning only 8 of 68 games. However, it would be one of only two seasons (the other being 2001-02) in which the Battalion would miss the playoffs. The fifteen season tenure in Brampton saw the Battalion finish with a .484 win percentage in 1020 regular season games and win four Central Division Championships and one Eastern Conference Championship.
During the summer of 2012 rumours of the Battalion franchise relocating began to swirl as the their lease agreement with the Powerade Centre was nearing an end. An attendance that was never healthy on a regular basis to begin with was declining in Brampton. Combined with an unfavorable lease in Brampton, owner Scott Abbott had no choice but to look for other options as the 2012-13 season got under way. On Monday, November 5, 2012 following a meeting with city counsel in North Bay, Ontario an agreement in principal to move the Battalion to North Bay for the 2013-14 season was agreed upon. Just nine days later fans in North Bay had already bought 2,000 season tickets as per the conditions of the agreement. The Battalion would play out of the North Bay Memorial Gardens which will start seeing renovations on and off the ice begin in early 2013. Franchise owner Scott Abbott indicated that the team will still be named Battalion in North Bay, mentioning the city's strong military history.
Uniforms and logos
The Battalion's uniform is primarily an army-like shade of olive green. The shoulders feature black bars, with white outlining, this is then further outlined in black. Evenly between the shoulder and elbow lie three military-style chevrons, connoting rank (here, sergeant) completing armed forces theme.
The logo itself, featuring their mascot, Sarge, gritting his teeth is also army olive green, a mix of yellow and beige, white, fleshish pinky-orange, black, and red. The name Battalion, emblazoned on their uniform is pure red, and is created in a way that it looks three-dimensional.
- Uniform Colours: Olive Green, Yellow, Black and White
- Logo Design: "A militant with an army hat with Battalion under the militant."
The North Bay Battalion play out of the North Bay Memorial Gardens. Built in 1955, it is best known as the home of the North Bay Centennials, which called the Gardens home from 1982 until 2002, after which they moved to Saginaw, Michigan and became the Saginaw Spirit. Most recently, it has served as the home of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League's North Bay Trappers, which called the Memorial Gardens home immediately after the Cents left in 2002 (and are set to remain in North Bay even with the Battalion in town, playing at the West Ferris Arena), as well as the Nipissing University Lakers hockey team playing in Canadian Interuniversity Sport as a member of the Ontario University Athletics conference.
For the Battalion's arrival and subsequent 15-year lease, the Gardens will undergo a $12 million renovation; the seating capacity will be increased to 4,246, the ice surface will be reconfigured to new OHL standards, 10 private boxes will be added and a new 2-level team dressing room will be built.
- North Bay Memorial Gardens - The OHL Arena & Travel Guide
- Capacity = 4,246
- Ice Size = 200' x 85'
On September 3, 2013, the Battalion & CKAT announced that CKAT would be the radio broadcaster for the team. Bob Coles would call the play-by-play, and Matthew Sookram would provide scores and updates from around the league.
- North Bay Battalion Official web site
- Ontario Hockey League Official web site
- Canadian Hockey League Official web site