Bulldogs seal deal with city

Port Alberni city council voted in favour of reducing the Alberni Valley Bulldogs operating expenses by 50 per cent for the next two years

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs got the break they needed from the city and now the rest is up to them.

Port Alberni city council voted in favour of a 50 per cent reduction in team operating fees for the next two years. The team originally asked for a 50 per cent reduction on their ice rental fee but the plan isn’t possible because of a community charter provision.

“People have been waiting for a vote of confidence from the city,” Bulldogs business manager Lucas Banton said. “This should be a great move forward.”

The team currently pays $4,300 per month in rental costs and $1,000 per game for playoffs.

The team owes the city a total of $63,500 in fixed and additional costs plus payments to the end of July.

The amount will remain on the city’s books as accounts receivable items.

Team officials committed to working out a repayment schedule with the city.

The Bulldogs are an asset to the community but business is business, Coun. Hira Chopra said. “They owe $50,000 to $60,000, that debt they have to pay,” he said. “When the good times come they will have to pay the full price.”

The move couldn’t have come at a better time, Banton said. Team sponsorship sales were sitting at 80 per cent in April but have since stalled.

A favourable vote would instill investor confidence and re-invigorate the campaign, he added.

The plan hinged on a deal between the Bulldogs and Alberni Clayoquot Regional District.

The deal would see Bulldogs receive a $25,000 grant from the ACRD and in return work it off by providing equivalent value in services such as assisting with a recycling initiative, as well as providing assistance with trail building, said Coun. Cindy Solda who is the city’s rep on the regional district board.

The plan is still being fleshed out and there’ll be more to report at the next meeting, she added.

If the Bulldogs got a break then why can’t other multiplex user groups, Solda asked. Parks and Recreation manager Scott Kenny said such a move would be “suicidal”.

Revenues from a rentals total approximately $450,000 year from all groups, Kenny said.

“If you said “OK, we’ll do it for other groups” then we’re looking for $225,000 reduction in revenue at Multiplex,” he said.  The move would create a domino effect at other facilities with other groups requesting similar deals. “There’s no way we can get that from cutting expenses,” Kenny said after the meeting.

Solda also asked what the team brings to the community, specifically to groups who aren’t getting a break.

Bulldogs assistant coach Adam Heyduk outlined several initiatives the team is involved with including spring hockey camps to school projects, and from hockey schools to donating food to the Bread of Life.

Banton estimated that the economic impact of the team in the Valley is in the $750,000 to $1 million range.

Solda also asked why the team can’t do a one-year deal instead and come back again next year if they need to.

Banton replied that from a business standpoint stability and certainty are the foundation for investor confidence and continued progress. “Breaking even this year is enough of a challenge as it is,” he said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

Port Alberni cyclist collides with passing car

Cyclist received minor injuries

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations receive grants to bring ancestors’ remains home

Grants are part of the Royal B.C. Museum’s new repatriation program

Get ready for a week of sunshine across Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures in the high teens all this week

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

Alberni’s McLean Mill Society looking for a new direction

Society held a public input meeting at historic site

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

North Island Midget Eagles bit by Alberni Valley Bulldogs, hammer Nanaimo Clippers

It was a bit of an up and down rollercoaster ride of a weekend for the North Island Midget Eagles.

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

Hack sends malicious emails from Alberni School District

Tofino and Ucluelet residents urged not to click on attachment.

B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

Province adds another $10 million to incentive fund

Most Read