To: Bruce Banman <mayor@abbotsford.ca>, mgill <Mgill@abbotsford.ca>, bmacgregor <Bmacgregor@abbotsford.ca>, lbarkman <Lbarkman@abbotsford.ca>, pross <Pross@abbotsford.ca>, “Dave Loewen (Councillor)” <dfloewen@abbotsford.ca>, hbraun@abbotsford.ca, gmurray@abbotsford.ca, jgsmith@abbotsford.ca

Thanks to Abbotsford Today for the excerpt below:

“Only 3,781 people attended the game. Home games against the Comets usually provide the highest attendance for the heat since the Comets are the farm team for the Vancouver Canucks and Vancouverites comes out to watch them play. Comet games are usually the only games on which the Heat can be sadi to ‘make’ money from attendance.

They need roughly 3,400 people to break even and their average attendance so far this season has been 2,924, the second lowest in the league.”

Building the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, was from the beginning a very bad idea.

Municipal councils get too big for their britches when they foist their grandiose aspirations on the local citizenry. Certainly there were people in our city who fought, armed with research from other cities, showing the bad experiences of town councils who move beyond their mandate, a mandate to take care of the communal needs for water, sewer, police, roads, parks, pools, rinks,… civic buildings for LOCAL use.

Opponents tried to show how disastrous and risky such expenditures are, how they drain the public purse, and jack up taxes. But our council used OUR tax dollars to jam their glamour projects through. Public roads, public schools, public libraries and private media all became tools to assure a slim ‘Yes’ vote on the referendum question.

Pretty much everything council and staff told Abbotsford voters, is not the pretty picture they painted back then. I know because I sat in on most of the ‘information’ meetings.

Both the AESC, run by a US company, Global Spectrum, and the anchor hockey team, Abbotsford Heat, drain millions out of our city finances.

To date, when the question of what to do with the AESC white elephant is put to mayor or council, we’re told that we’re just plain stuck with the very lucrative contract our leaders signed on our behalf, (lucrative for Global Spectrum and the Flames/Heat private owners.)

A persistent theme was that money would roll in to our coffers by the end of year one, and then ….. the moon!….if only we would vote ‘Yes’. Well their dream is now our nightmare. But another promise was that this was to be OUR building, for the regular use of Abbotsfordians. Wrong again. Only on special occasions does this building ‘belong’ to us.

That can change. Inform Global Spectrum and the Calgary Flames/Heat that,.. if they will not show some honourable character and exit the unfair contracts that our ill-equipt leaders signed, then you are now served notice:…when these contracts expire at their 10 year mark, you are done. Goodbye!

Nice people sign contracts that benefit all signatories to the deal. You know this deal is lop-sided. You should re-negotiate a fair deal right now, but failing that faint hope, you’re out of here at the ten-year finish.

The Global Spectrum supply agreement / contract was signed in 2008 yet passed by Council in 2009 https://abbotsford.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=23110
See right to terminate clause 12.3 Page 20

AHL contract
http://electlynnperrin.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/abbotsford-city-and-ahl-heat-contract.pdf

Inform them. At the end of the agreement AESC will be thrown open to Abbotsford, – to the people who have borne the burden of the capital costs, the loans, the upkeep, the advertising. AESC will be rented out to all the local boys and girls and adults who can’t find ice time for their various club activities. The place will be rented out at set, fair rates for people who need large venues for their events. And it will not be rented out for lewd shows that violate standards of decency – already in place.

Yes it will be expensive to maintain the AESC, but likely nowhere close to the millions of $$$$$$$$ we’re paying to keep Global Spectrum and the Calgary Flames/Abbotsford Heat rolling in our dough now.

And council will have finally kept one of the pre-referendum promises to Abbotsford; the sports and entertainment centre belongs to us.

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