LONDON, ONT. -- For the past 15 months Budweiser Gardens has been mostly in the dark, with empty stands and concessions.

General Manager Brian Ohl says, “It’s been a really tough year financially.”

However it seems that’s about to change in the weeks and months ahead as Stars on Ice is booked as the first act in the fall, followed by junior hockey.

“Our Stars on Ice date for Oct. 17 (tickets) are on sale and it’s a full Canadian line-up so there’s no travelling back and forth between here and the states and we feel that we’re going to be back by then,” says Ohl.

“And then the Ontario Hockey League is saying that they’re starting in early October so there’s no schedule yet but they’re expected to be back on the ice.”

While logistics are still being worked out for a slow start in the fall, Budweiser Gardens is gearing up for a busy new year with a full slate of events.

“Talking to my colleagues in the states some of our buildings for shows have set record attendance because there is a demand,” says Ohl.

He says he been on the phone constantly with agents and promoters who want to book their acts adding, “I definitely know that as much as I can know that next spring, and 2022 is going to be full-on and we’re really excited about it.”