Tuesday: Hockey Team Edges Closer To Using Watertown Arena
A pro hockey team is closer to calling Watertown home. If things work out, it could be costly.
The Thousand Islands Privateers are looking to relocate to the Watertown Fairgrounds arena. A decision from the Privateers is expected within two weeks.
The big issue - locker rooms. The players need a place to change, and what the Fairgrounds arena has now doesn't cut it.
For year one, there could be a work around. The Privateers could bring in trailers to serve as dressing rooms for the home team, while some modest changes to the fairgrounds locker rooms would allow them to accomodate visiting teams.
"We need some renovations done down at the arena anyway. So whether they come or not, their will be some improvements made to the arena," said Teresa Macaluso, Watertown city council member.
"It doesn't necessarily mean radical changes to the building," said Thousand Islands Privateers owner Nicole Kirnan.
However, after year one it may take something radical, and costly, to keep the team in town: a new locker room.
"A thousand square feet, even using relatively modest renovation costs, would certainly be into six figures, well into six figures," said John Krol, interim city manager.
Still, city officials see the benefit of adding another source of entertainment in Watertown.
"I think if you got something like the Privateers in there, you'd have a broader use of the facility, more people visiting it and that would in turn justify making some of the improvements you need," Watertown mayor Jeff Graham told 7 News.