The British Columbia Hockey League Board of Governors have unanimously approved the relocation application of the Burnaby Express franchise to the City of Coquitlam for the 2010/11 season. The decision was made at the league’s Semi- Annual Governors meeting held in Nanaimo, B.C. on Wednesday.
"We’re thrilled to be returning to Coquitlam and the newly renovated Sports Centre, where we enjoyed tremendous success in our first four years of our franchise," Express Governor Darcy Rota says.
"The City of Coquitlam staff, Mayor Richard Stewart, the Coquitlam Minor Hockey Association and the Coquitlam Adanacs Senior A Lacrosse Club, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce and local hockey fans have all been very welcoming and enthusiastic about our potential return. Our Express ownership group is excited about the opportunities for future success in Coquitlam."
The finishing touches on the move should take place in the coming weeks as a lease is finalized between the Express ownership and the City of Coquitlam.
The Express relocated to Burnaby at the beginning of the 2005/06 season. Despite winning a National Championship in 2006 and developing future first round NHL draft pick Kyle Turris for two seasons, the franchise found it increasingly difficult to operate in Burnaby because of dwindling crowds and limited access to adjacent parking lots due to a dredging project at Burnaby Lake that began in August of 2009.
"For our five seasons in Burnaby, our ownership, staff, players and volunteers have all worked very hard to ensure a successful relationship with the City of Burnaby and community while playing at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre," says Rota. "However, it became increasingly clear that a move was in the best interests for the team’s future. We would like to thank all our fans in Burnaby and we hope that they will continue to support us in the coming seasons in Coquitlam."