The Charlottetown Islanders’ major junior hockey team is sticking around for at least the next four years.
Charlottetown city council voted 7-1 at its regular public monthly meeting recently to authorize the new contract.
Coun. Jason Coady was the lone councillor in opposition while Couns. Terry MacLeod and Eddie Rice were absent.
The new contract will see the city give the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League franchise $107,000 per year for each of the four years of the deal, the same deal that was on the table under the last contract.
A total of $40,000 will be paid on Sept. 1 of each year, beginning with the 2018-19 season, and $60,000 to be paid within 30 days of the end of each hockey season. The final payment will be made at the end of the 2021-22 season.
In exchange, the city gets 26 season tickets and a number of promotional tools such as two back-lit signs and a complimentary message from mayor and council in any team program or magazine. The city will also get its logo ‘Charlottetown . . . great things happen here’ on the ice at all times, on rink boards and on all big screens.
In addition, the city is getting an ad on the team calendar and on season tickets and will sponsor an award called the Mayor’s Annual Community Services Award.
And, in the event that ice time at Eastlink Centre is not available for the Islanders, such as for training camp in August, the city will provide an alternate ice surface in Charlottetown or compensate by granting the equivalent value of ice time outside the city, up to a maximum of $7,000.
“Council has stressed that we want to keep the team here,’’ said Coun. Bob Doiron, chairman of the economic development, tourism, arts and culture committees.
“We want to do whatever we can in supporting the team staying here. Council passed a package to keep them here for the next four years. We have them under contract to stay here. Hopefully, things will work out for us all.’’
There is a stipulation in the contract that if the team is sold for more than $3.5 million at any time during the duration of the contract that the hockey team will pay back half of the money it receives.
Coady said he voted against the contract because he hasn’t seen financial statements from the team.
“As an elected official . . . I would expect to see financial statements before we give out loans and/or grants to different organizations,’’ Coady said.
The length of the contract takes both parties up to the 2023 Canada Winter Games when the city is widely expected to have a new multi-purpose arena in place.
Meanwhile, Doiron said the city is planning to sit down with the National Basketball League of Canada’s Island Storm before too long to hammer out a deal there. The city’s contract with the Storm expires at the end of the season.