Brandon sports fans long jealous that Winnipeg teams have had licence plates to show their colours will soon have a chance to join the club.
The province announced Tuesday morning that the Brandon Wheat Kings will have a specialty licence plate all their own.
Justice Minister Andrew Swan, who is also the minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance, made it official on Tuesday during a press conference at the Canad Inns.
"The Brandon Wheat Kings are a team with a rich tradition and a rich history," Swan said. "Brandon loves the Wheat Kings, Westman loves the Wheat Kings, Manitoba loves the Wheat Kings."
"These plates are going to move faster than a Wheat Kings slapshot."
The plates will retail for $70, of which $30 will go toward the Brandon Humane Society.
"As an animal shelter, we rely solely on the generosity of the community and businesses in the community," society board president Darren Creighton said. "We’re very thankful to be the charity selected in this endeavour."
Brandon Humane Society shelter manager Tracy Munn said she’d like to use the money to save toward a new shelter to replace its current cramped quarters on 17th Street East.
The arrival of Wheaties plates has been about a year in the making, noted Kelly McCrimmon, the club’s governor, general manager and head coach.
As early as last March, McCrimmon revealed the Western Hockey League team was looking into getting a specialty plate of its own.
"We are honoured that out licence plates will be made available to our fans across the province," McCrimmon said during Tuesday’s announcement. "We look forward to seeing our licence plates on the streets and highways of our province."
Fans will be able to purchase their plates at any of the province’s 300 Autopac agents as of Monday, Feb. 24.
The Wheat Kings plates are the 11th specialty plate unveiled by the province, but the first that is Brandon-specific. Motorists are also able to show their support for the Winnipeg Jets, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (two plates), Winnipeg Goldeyes and Curl Manitoba.
There are also specialty plates for firefighters, veterans and for collector vehicles, as well as options for bilingual drivers and trailer plates that support Fish Futures.
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