Regina-based machinery manufacturer the Brandt Group is levelling up from partner to full owner of the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats.
Brandt, which since 2005 has held the naming rights to the Pats’ home arena, Brandt Centre — formerly the Regina Agridome — said Friday it has approval from the league’s board of governors and takes sole ownership effective immediately. Financial terms weren’t disclosed in Friday’s release.
The company until now has been a partner in Queen City Sports and Entertainment Group, which bought the Pats from longtime owners Russ and Diane Parker in 2014.
“The pandemic has created exceptional challenges for sports organizations like the WHL and the Pats have felt the effects like everyone else,” Brandt Group CEO Shaun Semple said in a release.
“At Brandt, we are huge Pats fans and strong believers in the importance of community. Regina is our hometown and we’re committed to ensuring a secure future for our home team.”
“Especially now, as we look forward to an end to the uncertainty resulting from COVID-19 and its restrictions, it is tremendously reassuring to have the strong backing of the Brandt organization and the Semple family,” Pats general manager John Paddock said in the same release.
The Pats’ current president — Todd Lumbard, one of the Queen City ownership group members — will stay with the organization in an “advisory capacity,” Brandt said.
The team was founded in 1917 as the Regina Patricia Hockey Club, named for the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, a combat unit today based at Edmonton and at Shilo, Man. The Pats today stand as the oldest major junior hockey franchise in the world to have continuously operated under the same name in the same town.
The WHL, which today includes 17 teams across Western Canada and five in the northwestern U.S., is using Brandt Centre this season as the lone hub centre for its East division, which includes the league’s five Saskatchewan and two Manitoba teams.
The East division’s season began Friday and runs until April 28, but with no in-person attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings.
Products made by Brandt’s agricultural division in Regina include loaders, excavators, skid steers, heavy harrows and land rollers as well as augers and other grain handling equipment. Other Brandt divisions make equipment for the construction, mining, forestry and rail sectors. — Glacier FarmMedia Network