By Matthew Murray 
BELLEVILLE – Belleville city council approved $20 million worth of renovations to the Yardmen Arena  at a special session held Monday morning.
Matthew Delean of Ottawa-based company Architecture49  spoke before council, showing off his company’s plan for an upgrade to the nearly 40-year-old arena. Architecture 49 has handled previous arena redesigns, including the Meridian Centre  in St. Catharines, Ont. and the Canalta Centre  in Medicine Hat, Alta.
The proposal would see the capacity jump from 3,200 to around 4,400 seats. Of the new seats, about 450 would be considered premium ones along the boards of the rink. The plan will also see 45 accessibility seats added.
The current Olympic-sized ice surface would be changed to meet National Hockey League standards. A 9,000-square-foot home-team dressing room and a new score clock for the arena were also discussed. Upgrades to the concourse and a new entrance at the northeast end of the building were also outlined in Delean’s presentation.
— Matthew Murray (@MattMurray_QNet) September 26, 2016 
The $20 million upgrade approval comes as the Ottawa Senators announced they will be holding a press conference at the Yardmen Arena Monday at 11 a.m., fueling speculation that top-tier hockey may be returning to Belleville.