Victoria’s hockey fans have three reasons to cheer this spring — the Canucks’ amazing playoff run, the success of our own Salmon Kings, and the plans — confirmed Wednesday — to move a Western Hockey League team here in the fall.

That announcement spells the end, almost, of the Salmon Kings after seven years.

Our new WHL team will fulfil a promise made when the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre was first proposed — that it would house a team from that league. The arrival of the new team means that the City of Victoria’s deal with RG Properties, the arena’s operator and the team’s owner, will be extended by a decade. The two sides had agreed to the extension if a WHL franchise could be obtained. This means RG Properties will have control of the facility until 2046. RG has said that the longer term would provide “a more stable environment” for the team. RG will be responsible for 100 per cent of the capital improvement costs in the arena in the final 10 years.

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GSL Group