Headline is correct: There was a deal on the table to bring the Canucks farm team to Abbotsford and we're only just…
Headline is correct: There was a deal on the table to bring the Canucks farm team to Abbotsford and we’re only just finding out about it.
Amongst other things at the Oct 11-2018 Mayoral debate at UFV there was a question about bringing hockey to Abbotsford. One candidate’s answer intrigued me as I was hearing it for the first time. I’d always been told that the Canucks didn’t actually have an interest in Abbotsford. They were quite happy with their arrangements for their farm team in New York State.
Tonight Henry Braun said that there was an offer (from the Canucks) to bring the Canucks to Abbotsford. The downside is the Canucks were seeking a revenue guarantee similar to the Flames sought with the Heat.
To meet the revenue expecations, the number Henry quoted was only $2.45M more than the Abbotsford Heat produced in their first year.
Let me be clear, I am NOT supporting or saying that the City of Abbotsford should go sign another revenue guarantee agreement with another hockey team and run the risk of losing millions of dollars. However, given that this is the CANUCKS farm team, the situation and the metrics are different.
So, how do I propose that this situation be handled?
I propose the City of Abbotsford re-engage negotiations with the Canucks/Acquilinis. Do it in full public view with transparency. If the City of Abbotsford can get a MOU(Memorandum of Understanding) signed that guarantees a certain revenue then they go market the product. Similar to Seattle & Vegas having season ticket sales when they got NHL expansion franchises. I think the City should then start a season ticket drive with ticketholders committing to 5 years so that there is no risk of a dropoff after year 1 or 2 if the novelty wears off. If there is the demand in the market(I believe there is) and enough season tickets are pre-sold with 5 year contracts(this is very common in sport) then the City should complete the agreement with the Canucks and thus would be born the Abbotsford Canucks!
In this type of scenario the risk to the City would be nil and it would be up to residents throughout the Fraser Valley to show (in advance) that they support the team.
I think Abbotsford missed a great opportunity. To put in perspective what we need, we need a game by game attendance of about 4,000, committed in advance to make this work. As a reference, the Montreal Canadiens and Maple Leafs each have their farm teams in their local drawing areas and in 2017-18 they each drew averages of 6,691 and 6,688 fans per game( http://www.hockeydb.com/nhl-attendance/att_graph_season.php…)
The Eric Nyvall for Mayor Campaign is today announcing the effort to bring the Canucks farm team to Abbotsford. Elect me as your Mayor and I’ll do exactly as mentioned above. No risk to taxpayers, and potentially an entertainment source which will properly utilize the Abbotsford Centre and remove the stigma of “no fun city”.
Let’s do this Abbotsford!!