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City still hopes to bring Privateers to Watertown

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The city and the Thousand Islands Privateers are continuing their talks about possibly bringing the Federal Hockey League team to the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds next season.

A new home-team locker room remains the biggest stumbling block, but the Watertown City Council reiterated on Monday night its intent to do what it takes to get the team to relocate to the city-owned ice arena.

Interim City Manager John C. Krol told council members that team owner Nicole E. Kirnan had proposed earlier in the day that the team have exclusive rights to the facility’s locker room and that the team would bring in a double-wide trailer for others to use as a locker room.

Mr. Krol said he wanted to make sure council members would be interested in such an arrangement before getting back to the owner.

Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham and Councilman Jeffrey M. Smith instructed Mr. Krol and the Parks and Recreation Department staff to continue their talks with the team. Both have said that getting the Privateers to play at the municipal arena is a priority and would be a major reason to complete a major upgrade of the facility.

“We’re just trying to get through this first season,” the mayor said.

The arrangement would have little impact on youth hockey and high school hockey teams and should not affect adult hockey leagues, Mr. Smith said.

For the team’s first two years, the Privateers played at the financially strapped Bonnie Castle Recreation Center near Alexandria Bay.

The team also is considering moving out of the region, but Ms. Kirnan has said that she hoped to stay in the north country. The team has approached officials in Manlius and Williamsport, Pa., about playing there, the mayor said.

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