The Newfoundland Growlers will not be hitting the ice in their home city for the foreseeable future.
St. John's Sports & Entertainment Ltd., a subsidiary of the city of St. John's, announced on Tuesday afternoon that they have suspended all home games pending the results of a third-party investigation into allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct.
In an official statement, SJSEL stated that Growlers parent company, Deacon Sports & Entertainment have had the rights listed in their lease for the Mile One Centre suspended, including, among others, being granted access to the premises.
St. John's Mayor and Chair of SJSEL, Danny Breen explained in the statement that, “Employees of SJSEL have brought forward allegations of disrespectful workplace conduct against staff at DSE that must be fully investigated,”
“Given the seriousness of the situation, we have no choice but to take this action. While we know this is disappointing to hockey fans, the health and wellbeing of our employees is our top priority.”
SJSEL has stated that they will not be disclosing the details of these allegations.
The Growlers have called the Mile One Centre home ever since the franchise was founded and installed as the ECHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2018. Indications as to whether the Growlers will continue to play out their scheduled home games at a neutral site, or where that site would be, have not been determined.
Notably, Mile One Centre was set to be re-named on the day of the Growlers' 2021-22 home opener on Nov. 5. Those plans will likely be postponed pending the result of the investigation.
Update: On Wednesday evening, the Growlers released a team statement, saying "DSE understands and acknowledges the importance of a safe and respectful workplace and does not tolerate harassment of any kind. DSE unequivocally denies the accusations brought forward by (SJSEL) and welcomes an independent investigation into the matter."