THE YARDMEN ARENA called theQuinte Sports Center,was named after a group of CanadianNational Railwayworkers who spearheaded the drive to build a sports venue in the community,raisingmore than $3million to contribute to its construction.“Theycame upwith a strategy to run a lotterywith small prizes for local people,but the funds all went back into building theYardmen,”says Lyng.“Theyhad some grand plans,including an out- door pad,themain indoor pad,a curling rink,a swim- ming pool,ball diamonds,and a trackand field facility. Unfortunately theycouldn’t do anythingmore than just themain bowl and the outdoor rink,and theyopened it up in 1978.After a year of operation,theycouldn’t make a go of it,so theyhanded it over to themunici- pality to run it for them.” In the 1990s,a second rinkwas added to theYard- men,and in 2012,twomore rinks and three swimming pools were added to the complex,nowknown as the Quinte Sports&Wellness Centre,a 335,000-sq.-ft. facility,with four NHL-sized ice pads,one of which is in theYardmen; an aquatics center; amulti-use gymnasi- umspace; an indoor track; fitness studios; community and cultural spaces; a pro shop; and retail and food services.“So,we actuallyachievedwhat theYardmen wanted to do,originally,”says Lyng. In 2015,the Belleville Bulls were acquired bya newowner whomoved the team toHamilton and renamed them theHamilton Bulldogs.“Whenwe lost our OHLteam,the citywas inmourning,”Lyng re- counts.Luckily,for a hockey town like Belleville,suitors were soon lining up to take over theYardmenArena home ice,assuming the presence of an eager fan base. “Ten different teams came knocking at our door when theyheardwewerewithout a team,”he adds.The town finallysettled on the Binghamton Senators of the AmericanHockeyLeague,who said theywouldmove fromNewYorkand sign an eight-year lease,provided the citywouldmake substantial improvements to the Yardmen. Belleville agreed to renovate theArena at a cost of $20.5million.TheYardmen grewits seating capaci- ty from3217to 4400 and its ice rinkwas upgraded toNHLstandards.Other improvements included an expanded and renovated home teamdressing room,