Killer Bees look to add more seating, big screen at Alvinston arena

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After a season which brought hundreds of people to the arena, The Alvinston Killer Bees want to upgrade the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre.

The new team had been drawing good crowds during the regular season, particularly when Lambton County rivals, the Petrolia Squires, came to town. On one occassion, the Brooke Fire Service Chief met with the club concerned about the arena being over capacity.

Then, when the senior hockey team went to the Western Ontario Super League finals this year, the arena and the community centre were packed with people waiting in line for hours before the game to get a spot along the boards to catch the action.

Club President Dan Cumming, in a letter to council, said the club is looking to improve the fans experience at The Hive and for other arena users.

One of the big asks was installing a large screen TV. “With live streaming proving to be popular and as a way to display the game with a few seconds delay, it is our hope to erect a large screen TV in the ice rink area to be viewed by spectators for replays, important safety messages, community notices, game day information and advertising promotions of local businesses.”

It was the advertising portion of the proposition which led to some concern at council.

Mayor Dave Ferguson says there needs to be a discussion about revenue sharing of any advertising on the screen. “It’s going to replace advertising on the wall… they’re going to cover advertising (already on the wall.) That’s going to be addressed with staff,” Ferguson told The Independent.

“They’re going to put something up and replace advertising for their advertising, so there is going to be some discussion income sharing. “

Ferguson also wants staff to talk with the club about the type of advertising on the screen.
Council approved the request in principle but the mayor says the club should retain ownership of the screen since it would be expensive for the municipality to replace if damaged.

The club has also been given approval to mount a four-foot square sign at the main entrance advertising the home games.

Killer Bees organization is also looking for ways to provide more seating in a safe way.
Cumming says the club is also working with engineers to provide raised seating areas on the east end of the arena.

“We’ve contacted Spriet Engineering and verified with the County of Lambton Building services that these addtions would be feasible and meet or exceed the buidling code requirements for public facilities.

“With the approval of council, we can commission the work at no cost to the municipality. The benefits would be available for all facility users,” says Cumming. The club has already been working with Brooke-Alvinston staff and the plan will move ahead if the new seating is possible.

The club also wants to number the seats and the standing room area for all games. Ferguson likes the idea.

“They’re over capacity – that’s a good thing, that they can know that and also the proper number of tickets to not be in danger going over the fire code numbers. Now, we have proper numbers for proper seating,” he says.

Councillor Jenny Redick says the club is working with officials “making sure they know the capacity of the ice level now. “To be building more seating in their arena? We were very happy – that’s a good problem to have.”