Steelheads owners working on ‘smooth transition’ from Mississauga in move to Brampton

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Published January 31, 2024 at 4:03 pm

Packing up and leaving town could give the Mississauga Steelheads a new fan base as the team has set its sights on Brampton, filling a hole left by the Brampton Battalion’s departure a decade ago.

The Steelheads announced on Tuesday that the team is in the process of moving to Brampton for the 2024/25 season, bringing an end to more than two decades of Ontario Hockey League action in Mississauga.

And while the Steelheads say the decision wasn’t made lightly, moving up the road to Brampton is appealing due to the city’s growing hockey community.

In an update on Wednesday, the Steelheads owners said the move is “aimed at enhancing our team’s growth and expanding our fan base.”

“Brampton’s vibrant diverse community and its growing hockey fan base present a thrilling new chapter for the Steelheads, offering our players, staff, and fans a fresh and dynamic environment,” the statement reads, adding that the owners “are confident that this change will contribute to the continued growth and success of the hockey club.”

The Steelheads say they are working with all stakeholders and with the OHL to ensure a smooth transition, and any relocation is still subject to the approval of the OHL Board of Governors.

“Our commitment to our fans and partners remains unwavering during this transition period,” the owners said. “We are incredibly grateful for the support and loyalty shown by the Mississauga community over the years and aim to maintain strong ties with the city.”

Leaving town has been a possibility for years, but Tuesday’s announcement marks the team’s official intention to wrap up play at Mississauga’s Paramount Fine Foods Centre in favour of the Powerade Centre in Brampton.

And despite the potential move, the team says Mississauga “will continue to be part of our home territory.”

Insauga.com has previously reported one reason for the move could be a rent hike from the City of Mississauga. The city and the Steelheads have been discussing an extended lease, but in the end Brampton came up with a deal the team couldn’t turn down, according to sources.

Brampton was left without an OHL when the Battalion departed for North Bay in 2013, and the Steelheads’ move could be a draw for hockey fans in both cities.

Mayor Patrick Brown said he’s excited to see future hockey players develop in Brampton, pointing to previous exports like Cassie Campbell, Sean Monahan, Jamie Storr, Rick Nash and Tyler Seguin.

“Brampton’s passion for developing the next generation of sport talent, makes it the perfect new home for the team, and we are excited about the community spirit and local support this move will ignite,” Brown said in a statement.

The Steelheads are currently in third place in the Central Division of the OHL.

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