Lakers ask for their banners to fly higher
Petes put theirs on a wall after the PMC ordered tributes moved
Banners may yet hang from the Memorial Centre rafters, just not where they were before.
While the PMC was undergoing floor renovations in the summer, PMC manager Jeremy Giles informed the Petes and Lakers they would no longer be able to hang their banners from the low beams in the rafters above the playing surface. Giles said the city was accepting a consultant’s recommendation to move the banners to improve lighting, sound and sight lines.
While the Petes opted to put their banners on the east side bulkhead above the visitor’s bench, the Lakers were in the middle of their playoffs and didn’t see it as a priority to decide on what to do.
Lakers chair Len Powers met with Giles last week to discuss options.
Among the ideas discussed was putting some banners on higher beams in the ceiling or potentially putting championship banners on the west bulkhead and eight banners honouring individuals in the rafters. Also discussed was moving individual banners into the front lobby.
Powers said arena staff will explore whether using the higher beams is possible without impacting sprinklers and other automated systems in the rafters.
“The banners in the rafters is not a closed subject right now,” said Powers.
“Whether or not it’s going to happen I can’t say either. We might even hang some banners in the rafters and see what they look like in this new environment and whether we take them higher into the rafters. They’re going to have the fire department come in to inspect because there are sprinklers in the ceiling. We’re really in the infancy of this.
“We talked over some different ideas and Jeremy is going back to city hall to talk to them about the ideas we’ve come up with and see where it goes from there,” said Powers. “With December being busy for everybody, we are going to meet again in January.”
Giles said he never told either team there was only one option.
“The original ask was to have a conversation,” said Giles. “There was never the implication of this is what we want to do with them. It was this is what we can no longer do with them. What should we do?”
Giles said it’s not clear yet if using higher beams in the rafters is possible.
“That has neither been confirmed or denied,” said Giles. “We’ve had initial conversations with ideas from both sides and we’re currently exploring the potential of some of those ideas.”
There is a strong faction in the lacrosse community which wants to keep the banners in the rafters, said Powers.
“It is a big, big change to take those out of the rafters with our heritage and passion for the game,” he said, “but, It is a city building, too. At least they are willing to sit down and talk to us which is a good thing.”
The lower beam is 45 feet above the floor and the second set of beams at 55 feet. The banners are 10 feet in length on average.
Like the Petes, Powers said the junior and senior Lakers are considering making new banners.
Giles said it will come down to what the Lakers want to do within parameters the arena can accommodate.
“We’re trying to find the solution which makes everybody the happiest,” said Giles.
“I think we’ll come up with a solution that pleases everybody,” said Powers. “At least that’s what we’re shooting for.”
The Peterborough Century 21 Lakers wave to fans as the 2018 Mann Cup banner at their home opener at the Memorial Centre on May 30.