GFL Gardens gets $1,000,000 overhaul

GFL Gardens Improvements

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds opened the doors to media today to show off some of the off-season upgrades done to the arena.

Greyhounds President Tim Lukenda said the club has spent over $1,000,000 in co-operation with the city. A $600,000 dollar scoreboard system now hangs over the ice, new lighting adorns the building. The stanchions and glass have all been replaced.

Lukenda said the improvements were going to be happening regardless of the pandemic and they hope it will help the bid for the Memorial Cup. He made a point of noting the scoreboard was completely paid for by the Greyhounds organization.

However, there is a plan in place where over a long period of time the city will own the scoreboard.

“It certainly was in our minds as something we thought would be an enhancement to our bid,” said Lukenda. “I think we would have done them in any case but the timing was certainly helpful and it’s another way to showcase our great facility.”

The lights no longer hum in the arena and can be turned on and off instantaneously. There are multiple settings depending on the required amount of light and game situation. The board is controlled from a production room in the facility inside the centre and a new 360-degree camera hangs from the bottom of the board to help with video production.

Mayor Christian Provenzano was at the announcement. Although he would not take questions from Sault Online directly, he did note in his general remarks how this is an important investment in a team that means a lot to this city.

“I think it’s important that we invest in it because a lot of people have a lot of fun, pleasure and enjoyment when they come here,” said Provenzano. “We have a tremendous history here with the Greyhounds and it’s a team the community loves very deeply. It’s important to all of us that we keep investing in the Greyhounds and making sure they are successful here.”

The OHL plans to have camps open in about a month with the regular season starting December 1, 2020.