Submitted. The City of Abbotsford today reported a series of important outcomes in the development of the Abbotsford Centre as a sustainable and prosperous community hub, not just for the city but for the entire Fraser Valley region.
With the six‐month anniversary of the introduction of the new strategic plan of action entitled “A New Game” coming up in mid‐October, the City announced the appointment of Andrew Nash as General Manager of the Abbotsford Centre. It also reported that 2014 has been the facility’s best year of concerts and special events to date and that the introduction of minor hockey and adult hockey programming at the five‐year‐old sports & entertainment venue has been warmly welcomed by the community.
“As promised in April, our focus has been on increasing community access and improving the operating agreements that are the keys to ensuring the Abbotsford Centre reaches its full potential and vision as a dynamic sports & entertainment hub,” said Mayor Bruce Banman, speaking on behalf of Abbotsford City Council at a news conference held today at the facility.
“We consider ourselves ahead of schedule on these fronts and with the appointment of someone with the arena management credentials and experience of our new General Manager Andrew Nash, we’re confident we are moving the Abbotsford Centre in the direction it was originally intended by the residents of the City,” said Mayor Banman.
The Mayor noted the focus on increased community access and programming as well as strengthened operations through new operating agreements will also set the stage for the right long‐term tenants at the Abbotsford Centre.
“Our strong line‐up of concerts and special events has not only been great for the community, it has resulted in very positive feedback from promoters and other leaders in the sports & entertainment industry,” said Mayor Banman. “The new blend of community programming and attractive concert entertainment will help us to identify and bring in the kinds of tenants best‐uited for the venue and our City. It’s a beautiful facility and we’re very confident about its
Since opening in 2009, the building served for five years as the home of the Abbotsford Heat ‐‐ the former American Hockey League affiliate of the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League. That tenancy arrangement was governed by a supply agreement struck in 2010 which proved unwieldy and costly for the City and its ratepayers and was terminated by Council last spring.
Mayor Banman noted that the City of Abbotsford is carrying out significant due diligence and prospecting for possible future tenants that could be natural fits with A New Game and its parameters, including community interest and alignment, strong partnership opportunities and revenue‐positive potential.
“As we indicated on April 15th earlier this year, we will be very clear and disciplined in the approach we take to new anchor tenants for the Abbotsford Centre in the future,” said Mayor Banman. “Our key considerations are with the taxpayers of Abbotsford and ensuring that we continue to focus on revenue positive solutions for this key community asset.”
The upcoming Alan Jackson concert (with One More Girl) scheduled for September 23rd, 2014, is only another example of what has been a banner year for music entertainment and special events at the Abbotsford Centre. For the first time in its five‐year history, the Abbotsford Centre is also now the home of Abbotsford Minor Hockey, Adult Recreational Hockey and has hosted World Cup Kabaddi matches.