According to a report by Diana C. Nearhos in the Glen Falls Post Star, the Ammerican Hockey league (AHL) has approved a “standard” three-year contract with an option for two additional years with the Calgary Flames to move the Abbotsford Heat to Glen Falls.
George Peary’s Deal saw Abbotsford taxpayers agree to a ten-year contract which provided a subsidy to the Flames preventing them from losing money. That deal cost Abbotsford taxpayers $7.2 million on top of the annual losses due to Global Spectrum’s contract which has been extended since the Heat announced their move.
Mayor Bruce Banman’s deal included paying the Flames an additional $5.5 million to stop costing taxpayers so much and leave town. Under the Municipal Charter municipalities are not allowed to subsidy private business or sign contracts committing taxpayer funds for more than five years.
No one at the City of Abbotsford has ever explained why the City chose not to negotiate a “standard” three-year AHL contract.[excerpt] The AHL Board of Governors approved the relocation of the Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate from Abbotsford, British Columbia, to Glens Falls on Monday, according to press releases from the team and league. The Flames’ affiliate will begin its tenure in Glens Falls next season, after the Adirondack Phantoms vacate the building for their new arena in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
The mayor, who had been tight-lipped until the announcement came, called it a “great day for Glens Falls and a great day for hockey fans.”
Diamond said the contract has been agreed upon and will be signed next week, when Flames officials will be in town to announce more details at a news conference.
“The Common Council will have to ratify it, but I don’t see a problem,” Diamond said. The next Common Council meeting is May 13.
Diamond said the contract would be three years in length with an option for two additional years. He said a three-season contract with an option of two more seasons is the standard contract terms for most AHL teams.