Chance For Canucks Farm Team To Fill Empty AESC Seats Gone

By June 13, 2013Sports News
Empty seats at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre during an Abbotsford Heat home game

The Vancouver Sun reported today that the Canucks will be taking advantage of the deal offered by Utica, New York to the Calgary Flames to move their AHL affiliate to the hockey hungry town.

The Utica Observer Dispatch picked up the Sun’s story which was then picked up by the Abbotsford News.

The Abbotsford Times simply hasn’t reported yet reported the story.

Former mayor George Peary’s Deal, whereby the Flames and a group of local owners were guaranteed they wouldn’t be allowed to lose money for a decade – the Abbotsford taxpayer would lose the money for them – appears to have proved an insurmountable obstacle in the negotiations with the City of Abbotsford.

The Vancouver Cancucks had explored the possibility of moving their farm team to Abbotsford after ending their relationship with the Chicago Wolves and purchasing the Peoria Rivermen. At the same time, The Flames were being courted by a business group in Utica who were dangling the idea of a least some sort of financial guarantee.

Whether it was a good a deal as George Peary offered them or not was never revealed but it certainly doesn’t seem to have been enough to coax the club to move out of Abbotsford money-losing Abbotsford Entertainment Centre (AESC).

Since neither the Flames nor the local owners seemed prepared to leave the generous guarantee from Abbotsford taxpayers, the possibility of putting the Canucks farm team in Abbotsford, a deal which might have helped at least reduce the massive losses on the Abbotsford Heat, has disappeared.

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