MOTIVATION- The Bentley Generals are set to move to Lacombe next season.

Bentley Generals set to move to Lacombe

After 16 seasons playing out of the Bentley, the Generals franchise will officially become known as the Lacombe Generals.

  • Dec. 17, 2015 5:00 p.m.

The Bentley Generals are on the move.

After nearly 16 seasons playing out of the old Bentley Arena, the Generals franchise will officially become known as the Lacombe Generals starting next season.

“We just don’t get the crowds that we need to sustain operations,” said General Manager Jeff McInnis about why the team decided to move.

During their regular meeting on Monday, Lacombe City council directed staff to amend the existing Barnett Arena renovation scope of work to include a $3.4 million expansion to the building itself.

The expansion will allow for construction of a brand new 2,067 sq. ft. dressing room for the use of a senior men’s hockey team. The money will go towards five new dressing rooms, and to making the existing spaces more functional.

“We’ve been moving our games since the spring of 2007 around Central Alberta and we’re well versed at it, we’re used to that. What I’m looking forward to is for our staff and our trainers and our men to be able to put up shop and stay at a place from training camp all the way through the season,” McInnis said, adding the decision to move away from Bentley wasn’t an easy one.

“We look forward to building a home in Lacombe because we feel that that city, and all the surrounding areas, will support it. We feel that our fans from Bentley should, hopefully, understand why we’re moving and I hope they still love us and want to support us.

“We’re not turning our backs on anyone, we’re just trying to stay alive,” McInnis said.

He also noted the team has been experiencing a drop in attendance in recent years, which has made managing costs a challenge, despite the fact that the Generals are a perennial contender at the senior men’s AAA level.

“I don’t now if it’s the geographic distance or that our rink is cold. With the combination of everything, people aren’t wanting to come watch us. We feel our hockey deserves a better crowd than it’s been getting.”

The Generals approached Lacombe City council last month about the possibility of relocating.

McInnis said the organization eventually settled on Lacombe as a potential host city because of its proximity to Bentley as well as the facilities it has.

“Lacombe’s got the right facility. Lacombe’s got the right proximity to where our men currently are. Lacombe is nice and close to Highway 2 and Lacombe’s got a history of senior hockey,” McInnis said.

“When the bills come piling up, you need to evaluate your situation. Do you stay put because you love it, because it’s home? Or do you move on in order to survive?”

While the specifics of a deal between the City of Lacombe and the Bentley Generals have not been decided, barring any unforeseen circumstances the Lacombe Generals will play their home opener at the Barnett Arenas in September of next year.

zcormier@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce hosts 38th annual Spring Trade Show

Show runs April 26th, 27th at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex

Lacombe Grade 6 students become Mayor for a Day at City Hall

Students took part in a mock City council meeting

Town of Blackfalds holds Multi-Plex Open House

Designs for dual-arena, expanded library shown at public consultation

Lacombe’s Galactic Wranglers Robotics Club earns way to World Championships

Community donates over $18,000 for Houston trip in five days

Lacombe Rams Rugby off to promising start in 2019

Coach looking for right mix of veterans and new players

Avalanche hot at the right time, cruise past Flames into second round

Avalanche onto second round with a 5-1 win over the Calgary Flames in Game 5

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

Most Read