George Peary’s Deal Holding Up Canucks’ Deal

By Mike Archer. Even the local newspapers are beginning to print the rumours about the imminent hockey deal that will see the Vancouver Canucks, who just purchased the Peoria Rivermen from the St Louis Blues, move their new farm team to Abbotsford.

The rest of the deal being reported has the Calgary Flames moving their farm team – The Abbotsford Heat – to Utica New York (see below).

The Vancouver Sun is reporting this morning that the one stick in the spokes appears to be the sweetheart deal made by bureacrats and politicians in Abbotsford – George Peary’s Deal – that is making it difficult for the Canucks to put a deal together that would see the Canuck’s farm team move to Abbotsford.

According to Ed Willes of The Province, “The sticking point, potentially, is the Flames’ agreement with the city of Abbotsford. Under that deal, the Flames are guaranteed $5.7 million in revenue per season and the city is responsible for any shortfall. Over the first three years of the deal, the city shelled out $3.58 million.”

Put simply – why would the Calgary Flames move anywhere as long as the Abbotsford taxpayer is willing to guarantee they won’t lose money if they stay?

Ironic isn’t it?

The desperate deal we made because we had no business plan to make money on the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC) in order to ultimately prove the egos of those behind Plan A correct and show a profit on the AESC is the thing keeping us from being able to do so.

Thanks George …


Watch for another set of predictions
to come true 😉

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • DeceitinDrugs says:

    The “sticking point” is the fact that Ex-Mayor George Peary,
    ex-city manager,Frank Pizzuto and Economic Development Manager,
    Jay Teichrob along with Heat Owners, Lane Sweeting, Barry marsden,
    Fred Strumpski and Ron McNeil are all no stranger to City Hall.

    Lane Sweeting, Barry marsden served on various city committees
    with Mayor and Council for years, inc. Economic Development Commision,
    Abbotsford Airport Authority and/or Tourism Abbotsford, most notably
    with Councillor John Smith or Dave Loewen.

    Lane Sweeting served on Tourism Abbotsford Board of directors with
    Jay Teichrob and Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce,annual repres. Sweeting was the Finance chair on the Tourism Board
    and resigned in 2009, just before Abbotsford heat began to play in Abbotsford.

    Sweeting, Heat owner, was the Finance chair of the Abbotsford Airport
    Authority until 2011, all the while his team was receiving a subsidy
    from the taxpayer.

    And, it was the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, past presidents,
    Fionna Brett and Alvin Epp “vociferously supported” Plan A, a
    project brought forward by Bruce Beck, who served as the City liason
    to the Chamber of Commerce, Exec.,in 2006 and now is a director on
    the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.

    One could say, “birds of a feather,” that is the City did not negotiate a hockey deal with an outside group of owners, but,
    people, who were very closely connected with members at City Hall.

    As the saying, one should NOT mix business with pleasure and the
    city decided to enter into a hockey business venture with a group
    of people, who were closely associated with them, via City Hall for years.

    How did that happen. Well, it’s very simple, the City of Abbotsford
    did not have an anchor tenant, before opening the arena and to save
    face after touting the promises of profits, sought out the help of
    the Heat owners, who were willing to oblige.

    They came upon one big stumbling block, “travel expenses’ for the
    Abbotsford Heat and other teams in the AHL, since other teams would
    be required to travel to the western most city in the leaque.

    As, Mayor Peary stated, in 2009, “that is what we had to do to
    get hockey in Abbotsford.”

    Yes, the Calgary Flames conditions were that the expenses for the
    team, travel expenses, would be picked up by the City of Abbotsford and the City Council sense of obligation to the owners for their part in investing and thus, bringing a hockey anchor tenant to the arena
    led to a deal being inked guaranteeing $5.7 million in annual expenses,
    being paid by the city for the duration of a 10 Year contract.
    All was looking favourable, except, one problem! The City of Abbotsford did not realize the profits, which they were counting on, due to an inflated and irresponsible business plan and the
    hockey/arena has required a taxpayer funded subsidy ever since,
    despite the repeat “promises of profits.”

    This is the real sticking point….a council, who did not have
    the expertise to negotiate such a complex contract on behalf of
    the taxpayer and relied on city staff and select members/ex-members
    of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce to make the decisions, which may
    very well come back to haunt them!

    Having said that, however, the Calgary Flames have nothing to
    loose: their farm team’s expenses including travel costs are being covered by, the Abbotsford taxpayer.

    If the Flames move the Abbotsford Heat will have minimal travel
    expenses and thus, either way the Flames will come out on top with
    no extra expenses, whether they are in Abbotsford or Utica.

    This Mayor and Council can try to right the mistakes of the past,
    by, releasing the Flames and the Abbotsford Heat from this contract
    and even if, there is a cost attached, because once again, the taxpayer
    will be paying and perhaps, it is best to just cut our loses, instead
    of dragging this city further into debt, which will happen if ticket
    sales do not improve, thus, leaving the city without the funds to put
    into future maintenance and upgrades at the arena and continued hockey
    subsidies being paid out of city reserves.

Leave a Reply