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Will a casino help bring back the Bulls?

By Molly Little [1] and Charlotte McParland [2]

BELLEVILLE – If Belleville gets a casino, as news reports this week have indicated, will it help bring back an Ontario Hockey League team to the Quinte area?

Jason Easton, a member of the Bring the Bulls Back group [3], says the future is promising.

“Whenever you have large-scale private investment coming in the city and there is talk of having an arena and entertainment facility included in that, it certainly gives you reason for optimism,” Easton told QNet News Tuesday. There have been suggestions that a sports complex could accompany the casino in Belleville.

Easton said he appreciates the idea of new investors coming to town because the Bring the Bulls Back group does not have the finances to invest in a team.

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The Bulls, who were sold last spring and transferred to Hamilton, Ont., were a source of entertainment that drew thousands of fans out on a regular basis, Easton said.

“That’s what brought people together. The OHL franchise was the symbol of the city … it was the symbol of the Quinte area.”

There have been suggestions that the Yardmen Arena, where the Bulls played, could be updated to not only bring it up to OHL standards but also accommodate a casino. Easton noted that the loss of the team left an impact on the city, and that any proposal to bring the Bulls back is important.

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