Council selects Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group L.P to revitalize Hamilton’s entertainment district

Press Release

HAMILTON, ON – Today, in a historic decision, Hamilton City Council announced that the City will move forward with the development plan from Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group L.P. (known as ‘the Precinct Group’) to deliver entertainment, culture, and renewed vitality to Hamilton’s downtown core. The Precinct Group’s plan includes a modernized arena, a newly renovated convention centre and concert hall, significant investment in the Art Gallery of Hamilton, as well as new residential, affordable housing, office and retail space development.

Today’s announcement signals an important first step in the development process. Next steps include negotiations between the City and the Precinct Group to create a “Master Agreement”, which is expected to be finalized in late 2020. The completion of this “Master Agreement” would see arena renovations beginning in the Fall of 2021.

In addition to taking on all capital costs for the renewal of the City’s entertainment facilities, under the plan approved by Council today, the Precinct Group would take over responsibility for the operations and maintenance of the FirstOntario Centre and the FirstOntario Concert Hall for a period of 99 years and of the Hamilton Convention Centre indefinitely, without any monetary contribution from the City. In a 2019 study completed by Ernst and Young, the elimination of the City’s ongoing subsidization and capital commitments at its entertainment assets would provide Hamilton taxpayers with $155M in savings over the next 30 years. The City’s contribution to this initiative involves City owned lands in the downtown core and deferrals of a portion of any additional property taxes resulting from the new developments.

The Precinct Group’s proposed $50M renovation of FirstOntario Centre includes a new building exterior, comprehensive transformation of the lower bowl, expanded concourse level, and a new flexible and attractive curtaining system for the upper bowl balcony. Fans will have access to premium amenities like a microbrewery, suites, and hospitality clubs. Fans will also have year-round access to the experience through street-level hospitality activations on York Blvd. and Bay Street. The management of the transformed arena will pursue global partnerships to supply top touring artists and live events in the facility. The Precinct Group looks forward to the continued partnership with the Hamilton Bulldogs as the arena’s anchor tenant.

In addition to the comprehensive arena transformation, the Precinct Group’s plan also includes over $16M in capital upgrades to the existing Hamilton Convention Centre, FirstOntario Concert Hall, and Art Gallery of Hamilton. As well, an estimated $340.5M in auxiliary mixed-use development, including affordable housing, will be part of any residential developments that stem from this initiative.

The City of Hamilton would like to thank Darko Vranich and his Vrancor Group team for their continued investment in the Hamilton community. While their proposal was not ultimately selected, Vrancor Group invested significant time and effort into this process. The City commends Vrancor Group for their vision, professionalism and passion for our city, and looks forward to more opportunities to work together as part of Hamilton’s transformation story.

The Precinct Group’s proposed revitalization plan lays the foundation for a world-class entertainment precinct, right in the heart of downtown Hamilton, that will drive additional tourism and serve as a premier sports, entertainment, and cultural center for all Hamiltonians. On behalf of Council, I would like to thank the Precinct Group, Vrancor, and all other private sector entities that participated in this process.” – Mayor Fred Eisenberger, City of Hamilton

“The transformed arena will be a destination for sports fans, music lovers, and families, creating a first-class guest experience in the urban heart of the Greater Hamilton area. We also look forward to working with the Hamilton Bulldogs to ensure they have a modernized facility to call home for years to come.”

 “While our Precinct Group is proud to have been recommended in this process, we want to extend our thanks and appreciation to our competitor. Both proponents have demonstrated a significant commitment to the urban core, and we look forward to working with the Vrancor Group in helping urban Hamilton reach its ultimate potential.” – PJ Mercanti, Precinct Group President and Carmen’s Group CEO

Quick facts

  • The Precinct Group is a forward-thinking private-sector consortium including LiUNA, Fengate Capital, Meridian Credit Union, Paletta Group, and Carmen’s Group. The Precinct Group’s mission is to honour and enrich the communities they build in with thoughtfully designed arts, entertainment, sports, residential, commercial and mixed-use properties.
  • On December 1, 2017, Hamilton City Council approved a motion that directed staff to investigate opportunities for a private sector-led redevelopment of the FirstOntario Centre, the Hamilton Convention Centre, and the FirstOntario Concert Hall.
  • In the Summer of 2019, Ernst and Young (EY) completed a comprehensive review of the FirstOntario Centre, FirstOntario Concert Hall and the Hamilton Convention Centre, collectively referred to as Hamilton’s Entertainment Venues.
  • Upon completion of the Entertainment Venues Review, Council directed staff to engage with various private sector entities to explore their interest in a potential reimagined Downtown Entertainment Precinct, and staff marketed the investment opportunity over a 3-month period.
  • In February 2020, Council authorized and directed staff to simultaneously negotiate proposed private sector offerings through Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with each of Vrancor Group Inc. and Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group L.P., for a period not to exceed 120 days, with respect to the redevelopment of Hamilton’s Entertainment Venues.

Logan Morrison – Hamilton Bulldogs – Player Profile

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 175 Pounds

Date of birth: July 9, 2002

Hometown: Guelph, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 18th overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
C Prospect C Prospect 184 N.A.

190 N.A.

With stars Arthur Kaliyev and Jan Jenik already drafted by NHL squads, there weren’t a lot of reasons for the scouting community to converge on First Ontario Center in Hamilton and catch a glimpse of the Bulldogs young pivot Logan Morrison. That is, until Jan Mysak joined the team following the World Junior Championships. But was it enough?

With the cancellation of the season due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it’s provided the opportunity to go back to re-read notes and dissect video.

Morrison was a first-round selection, 18th overall at the Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selection following an impressive year of Minor Midget AAA hockey with the Guelph Jr. Gryphons during the 2017-2018 season. In 33 games, Morrison scored 32 goals and assisted on 42 others.

Logan Morrison of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Logan Morrison of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Morrison also did well with the Gryphons at the OHL Cup scoring 4 goals and 2 assists in 4 games. He would also represent Team OMHA White at the OHL Gold Cup and scored 5 goals in 4 contests.

From OHL Central Scouting:

Logan is one of the smartest offensive players in this year’s Priority Selection. He has a great understanding of the game and each situation. He is creative offensively but also makes the simple safe play which is usually the right one. He is a good skater that once in full stride he is deceivingly quick. He has great vision with the puck and scored numerous big goals for his team this season. Logan is one of those players that makes players around him better and he should continue to do this in the OHL.

The 2018-2019 season was Morrison’s rookie campaign in the OHL and had an impressive season with 14 goals and 20 assists in just 47 games. His 34 points were good for 9th among rookies but his .72 points-per-game were good enough for 6th.

A case could be made that Morrison didn’t make the expected jump offensively this season, based on his 23 goals and 22 assists in 59 games, and his .77 points-per-game rose only slightly. But when your lineup boasts Kaliyev, Jenik (until his injury) and Mysak (after his arrival), the top offensive situations are going there first – and there is no second guessing that although he did play with Jenik and Kaliyev at times.

The biggest improvement in Morrison from his rookie season was in his skating. I think he’s improved on his first step, his acceleration and his top speed. While it’s not explosive, he’s not slow and if he continues to put in the work and maybe adding a separation gear, it can only help him offensively.

Morrison is an extremely intelligent player. One of the more underrated aspects of his game is his puck possession abilities. He can hold onto the disk, sees plays developing quickly and dishes off perfect passes. But what is impressive is his play without the puck. He is able to move into space or drive the net knowing full well he is going to draw attention and create space for his teammates.

Despite his size, Morrison is not afraid to do battle behind the goal line on the forecheck and works his tail off to try and gain possession. He’s going to need to add some bulk to continue battling against bigger opponents.

Morrison is not just an offensive player. His defensive game has come a long way. His positioning is very good, he uses his stick effectively and he is good at transitioning to offence. In the neutral zone, he’s very good at anticipating and has shown improvements in breaking up plays before the opposition enters his zone. Again, adding some strength will help him win battles defensively.

Morrison has also shown marked improvement in his faceoff abilities. He’s still just at 48% on the season but that’s a big jump from the 40% a season ago.

NHL Central Scouting has Morrison at 190th among North American Skaters. That would put him outside the draft and looking at next season as a second opportunity. I think an NHL team should take him this season because if there is one thing we know for certain, it’s that Morrison will put in the work necessary.

Jan Mysak – Hamilton Bulldogs – Player Profile

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 176 Pounds

Date of birth: June 24, 2002

Hometown: Litvinov, CZE

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 20th overall, 2019 CHL Import Draft

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
C Prospect B Prospect 9 Europe

28 N.A.

If there is one thing we know about Jan Mysak of the Hamilton Bulldogs it is that he does nothing but put up points wherever he goes. Consider this: As a 15-year-old during the 2017-2018 season Mysak skated for HC Litvinov Under-16 (12 games – 41 goals – 18 assists), HC Litvinov Under-18 (36 games – 30 goals – 23 assists) and HC Litvinov Under-20 (6 games – 2 goals – 6 assists). Once again: As a 15-year-old.

Mysak began the following season with the HC Litvinov Uner-19 squad. In 9 games he accumulated 13 goals and 9 assists. But then he signed with HC Litvinov of the Czech Extraliga. Just when you think he struggled with just 3 goals and 4 assists in 31 games, when the playoffs came around, Mysak took matters into his own hands scoring 5 goals and 4 assists in 6 games and saving his squad from relegation. That’s against men, as a 16-year-old.

Mysak, Jan
Jan Mysak of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Photo by Hockey Herald

Mysak also brings a wealth of international experience on his resume. He has participated in the World Hockey Challenge Under-17, World Junior Championships Under-18, World Junior Championships Under-20 and the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup among others. In total, he has 58 international games under his belt and scored 22 goals while assisting on 22 others in those contests.

Mysak was drafted by the Hamilton Bulldogs with the 20th overall pick at the 2019 CHL Import Draft. On January 9, 2020, Mysak signed with the Bulldogs and the door was open for him to join the OHL squad. It couldn’t have come at a better time for Hamilton as they lost Jan Jenik to an injury at the World Junior Championships. Mysak would finish the season with 15 goals and 10 assists, and despite playing in just 22 games, finished 17th among rookies in scoring. That’s almost identical in points per game (1.136) to Kingston Frontenacs phenom Shane Wright (1.137). There’s just no telling what kind of numbers Mysak could have put up with Jenik and Arthur Kaliyev and Jenik not been injured.

There were a few concerns about how Mysak would handle the transition to North America and being away from home for any length of time for virtually all his hockey life, seeing that he’s only played for one team, his hometown Litvinov. The transition could not have gone any better.

Mysak isn’t exactly a physical player. But that doesn’t prevent him from battling along the walls or getting into the slot. He’ll take a hit to make the play and won’t shy away from taking a physical beating. If he comes away with the puck in those battles, he can create opportunities for himself and has the elite vision and playmaking skills to set up his teammates. He is also an excellent puck possession player. He has an elite wrist shot and his backhand is as good as anyone’s.

Mysak’s skating was questioned in some circles prior to coming to the OHL. Granted, it’s a small sample size, I didn’t see it. Technically, he is a very good skater with long strong strides, His top end speed, while not elite is good enough. He possesses a separation gear that. He is very efficient at turning and skating backwards.

Mysak is an extremely intelligent player who can play in any and all situations. At times, he ran the powerplay for the Bulldogs from the point where he showcased his vision and playmaking skills. He is also very good on the penalty kill and a threat to score when down a man – evidenced by two of his first five OHL goals came while on the PK.

Mysak is also very adept at the defensive game. He comes back hard on the backcheck and applies pressure to the puck carrier extremely well, especially before they enter his zone, and he creates a lot of turnovers that way. His positioning is sound and he keeps his stick in lanes, taking them away effectively. He also has the ability to be a one-man breakout.

Mysak projects very well to the NHL. Skating, hockey sense, shot, IQ all trend to NHL level. He can be a top six NHL’er with a 200 foot-game.

KNIGHTS’ LIAM FOUDY NAMED OHL ‘ON THE RUN’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Foudy

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Liam Foudy of the London Knights is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week with seven points in three games including two goals and five assists along with a plus/minus rating of plus-4.

Foudy’s recognition marks the fourth time a Knights player has received the honour this season after he registered multi-point outcomes in all three of London’s wins last week. The fleet-footed winger picked up a pair of assists in Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime win over the Guelph Storm before he earned first star honours with a goal and a helper in Friday’s 4-2 victory over the Soo Greyhounds. Foudy was the third star of Sunday’s 6-3 road win over the Erie Otters, notching a goal and two assists as the Knights improved to 41-15-1-1 for first place in the Western Conference.

A 20-year-old native of Scarborough, Ont., Foudy is riding a 14-game point streak that dates back to Jan. 26th, a span in which he also suited up in two NHL contests with the Columbus Blue Jackets, recording his first career NHL point with an assist on Feb. 13th in Buffalo. The 6-foot-1, 182Ib. left-winger sits fourth in London scoring with 62 points (26-36–62) over 41 games including a team-leading plus-34 rating. The former first round (18th overall) pick by the Knights in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection has accumulated 185 points (95-90–185) over 226 career regular season games. He won gold as a member of Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in January. Foudy was Columbus’ first round (18th overall) pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

A pair of other candidates were also given consideration for the award, ones that performed well despite their clubs going winless over the course of the week. Erie Otters forward Chad Yetman registered eight points (3-5–8) over three contests to reach the 70-point mark on the season. Hamilton’s Arthur Kaliyev tied the Bulldogs’ franchise points mark, coming within three points of 100 on the campaign with eight points (1-7–8) over three outings.

OTR_2017_Logo

2019-20 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Feb. 24 – Mar. 1: Liam Foudy (London Knights)
Feb. 17 – Feb. 23: Tyler Tucker (Flint Firebirds)
Feb. 10 – Feb. 16: Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit)
Feb. 3 – Feb. 9: Evgeniy Oksentyuk (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 27 – Feb. 2: Connor McMichael (London Knights)
Jan. 20 – Jan. 26: Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 13 – Jan. 19: Mitchell Hoelscher (Ottawa 67’s)
Jan. 6 – Jan. 12: Philip Tomasino (Oshawa Generals)
Dec. 30 – Jan. 5: Jacob Ingham (Kitchener Rangers)
Dec. 16 – Dec. 29: Joseph Garreffa (Ottawa 67’s)
Dec. 9 – Dec. 15: Jacob Ingham (Kitchener Rangers)
Dec. 2 – Dec. 8: Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds)
Nov. 25 – Dec. 1: Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s)
Nov. 18 – Nov. 24: Riley McCourt (Flint Firebirds)
Nov. 11 – Nov. 17: Jan Jenik (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Nov. 4 – Nov. 10: Cam Hillis (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 28 – Nov. 3: Connor McMichael (London Knights)
Oct. 21 – Oct. 27: Nico Daws (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 14 – Oct. 20: Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 7 – Oct. 13: Mack Guzda (Owen Sound Attack)
Sept. 24 – Oct. 6: Philip Tomasino (Niagara IceDogs)
Sept. 23 – Sept. 29: Connor McMichael (London Knights)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 22: Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (Peterborough Petes)

OHL ANNOUNCES ACADEMIC PLAYERS OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY

academic players for February

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Lawson Sherk of the Hamilton Bulldogs, Ethan Cardwell of the Barrie Colts, Aidan Campbell of the Erie Otters and Braeden Kressler of the Flint Firebirds have been named OHL Academic Players of the Month for February.

East Division: Hamilton’s Lawson Sherk is February’s East Division Academic Player of the Month. Sherk achieved a 93.3% average over three first semester courses at Ancaster High School that included university level Physics and Chemistry.

His teachers praise him for his good attendance and his perseverance and his second semester teachers have already provided positive feedback.

The Bulldogs rookie has put up four goals and 10 assists for 14 points over his first 58 games. He was drafted by Hamilton 40th overall in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection following a 50-point season (15-35—50) with the OMHA’s Halton Hurricanes.

Central Division: Ethan Cardwell has been recognized as February’s Central Division Academic Player of the Month. The Barrie Colts winger received marks of over 90% in three of his four university level courses and over 80% in his fourth. His courses included English, Calculus, Leadership and Elite Athlete, and he’ll graduate from high school upon completing his current university courses in English, Business Management, and World Issues.

Cardwell was commended for his involvement both on the ice and in the community. His dedication, maturity, and commitment to balancing academics with athleticism were also applauded.

The 17-year-old sits second in scoring among his Barrie teammates with 44 points (21-23—44) over 57 games in his sophomore OHL season. The Courtice, Ont. native was originally a second round pick of the Saginaw Spirit in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

Midwest Division: Aidan Campbell of the Erie Otters is February’s Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month. The 17-year-old goaltender has been working toward six online courses as well as a major senior project at Fairview Senior High/Seneca Valley Senior High.

“He consistently works at the highest academic level and maintains a positive attitude despite his rigorous schedule,” wrote advisor Leigh Kostis.

The native of Cranberry Township, Penn. has posted an .878 save percentage and 3.50 goals-against average over 25 appearances in his rookie season with the Otters. He was picked up in the 12th round of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection out of the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite U15 team and spent the 2018-19 season with the U16 elite squad where he posted eight shutouts and held a 0.69 goals-against average and .944 save percentage.

West Division: Braeden Kressler of the Flint Firebirds has been named the West Division’s Academic Player of the Month for February. He earned a 3.78 GPA in Physical Education, Modern Tech, Leadership, and Math at Grand Blanc High School, and has been praised for his work ethic both in the classroom and on the ice.

The rookie centreman has amassed seven goals and eight assists for 15 points through 41 games in his rookie season with the Firebirds. The Kitchener, Ont. native was drafted 28th overall by the ‘Birds in last year’s OHL Priority Selection after spending the 2018-19 season with the Mississauga Senators where he put up 30 points (18-12—30).

2019-20 OHL Academic Players of the Month:

East Division:
February – Lawson Sherk (Hamilton Bulldogs)
January – Tye Austin (Peterborough Petes)
December – Cameron Tolnai (Ottawa 67’s)
November – Lleyton Moore (Oshawa Generals)
October – Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)

Central Division:
February – Ethan Cardwell (Barrie Colts)
January – Ethan Del Mastro (Mississauga Steelheads)
December – Giordano Biondi (Sudbury Wolves)
November – Jonah De Simone (Niagara IceDogs)
October – Pacey Schlueting (North Bay Battalion)

Midwest Division:
February – Aidan Campbell (Erie Otters)
January – Logan LaSage (Owen Sound Attack)
December – Stuart Rolofs (London Knights)
November – Michael Vukojevic (Kitchener Rangers)
October – Zack Terry (Guelph Storm)

West Division:
February – Braeden Kressler (Flint Firebirds)
January – Will Cuylle (Windsor Spitfires)
December – Jacob Holmes (Soo Greyhounds)
November – Ryan Mast (Sarnia Sting)
October – Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit)

Last season, the OHL Centrally Administered Scholarship Program facilitated scholarships for 340 OHL Alumni at 69 different academic institutions across North America with a total scholarship payment in excess of $3.2 million. Since the 2007-08 season, OHL Scholarship payments have totalled more than $25 million.

Click here for more information about ‘OHL Players First’ programs.

Forwards Evangelista & Francis added to 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Press Release

2020 Top Prospects Game

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with National Hockey League Central Scouting announce that forwards Luke Evangelista of the London Knights and Ryan Francis of the Cape Breton Eagles have been added to the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

The pair replace Hendrix Lapierre of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and Oliver Suni of the Oshawa Generals who will be unable to compete due to injury.

Evangelista is a 17-year-old from Oakville, Ontario, playing in his second season with the Knights after being chosen in the first round of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.  He ranks fourth in team scoring with 33 points in 35 games including 14 goals and 19 assists.  Francis, an 18-year-old from Beaver Bank, Nova Scotia, is in his third season with the Eagles where he ranks second in team scoring with 15 goals and 32 assists for 47 points in 35 games.  He was originally selected by the club in the second round of the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft.  Both players were identified as ‘C’ rated prospects in NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list released in November.

The 25th annual showcase of top CHL players eligible for the NHL Draft takes place on Thursday January 16, 2020, and is hosted by the Hamilton Bulldogs with 40 talents from across the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is proudly supported by new title partner Kubota Canada, and CHL associate partners CIBC, Kia Canada, and Cooper Tires.  The game will be broadcast live across Canada on Sportsnet and TVA Sports, and in the United States on NHL Network.

Tickets are on sale for the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game at ticketmaster.ca or call 855-985-4357.  For group and promotional inquiries, please contact the Hamilton Bulldogs at 905-529-8500.

For more information please visit http://kubotatopprospects.ca.

About Kubota Canada
Kubota Canada Ltd. (KCL) is a subsidiary of Kubota Corporation, a tractor and heavy equipment manufacturer based in Osaka, Japan. KCL markets and distributes Kubota-engineered and manufactured equipment, which includes a complete line of tractors (up to 210-horsepower), performance-matched implements, compact and utility tractors, compact construction, landscaping and public work equipment, residential lawn and garden equipment, commercial turf products and utility vehicles. For product literature or dealer rentals, visit: kubota.ca.