Portage reverses decision to bring hockey team to Cold Lake
Cold Lake has acknowledged Portage College’s reversal of its decision to bring the Voyageurs Men’s Hockey team to the city. The team will not be moving to the City of Cold Lake for the 2018 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men’s Hockey season.
“Our council works hard to support community stakeholders and to help them find success through a collaborative partnership with the city, and that is the spirit with which we approached this opportunity,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Although I am sure there will be some disappointment in the community that the team will not play here, we support Portage College’s decision and wish the Voyageurs all the best in their 2018 season.”
It is the City of Cold Lake’s understanding that Portage College reversed its decision to avoid what could have been a costly legal defense against a lawsuit and a request for an injunction filed by Lac La Biche County. In addition to the cost of defending against the lawsuit, the potential delays could have threatened the team’s 2018 season.
Earlier this year, council was approached by Portage College with a business plan to assist the Voyageurs Men’s ACAC Hockey team with a sponsorship package. In early May, councillors voted unanimously to accept the business plan, which included a direct financial commitment of $300,000 over three years, as well as commitments to provide for other operational requirements needed by the team. City staff immediately began making preparations to bring the team into the Energy Centre.
“I know that our staff were working hard to accommodate the Voyageurs for the 2018 season and that the people of Cold Lake were welcoming the team with open arms,” Copeland said. “Although the reversal of the decision came as a surprise, we are pleased that Portage College has received the financial support necessary to maintain their men’s hockey team. It is our hope that the student athletes on the team find success in all their future endeavors, regardless of the arena they call home.”