Monday, August 15, 2022

NHL’s Calgary Flames to pay $90,000 up front; City not on hook

By Gordon Woodworth,  Chronicle News Editor

The tentative American Hockey League deal between the City of Glens Falls and the NHL’s Calgary Flames includes a $90,000 up-front payment to the City in exchange for the rights to advertising and signage in the Civic Center, Mayor Jack Diamond told The Chronicle Tuesday.

“And the City is not guaranteeing any money to Calgary in this contract,” Mr. Diamond emphasized.

Last month, the City of Abbotsford in British Columbia, Canada, paid Calgary $5-million to get out of its deal with the Flames. Abbotsford officials said their guaranteed payments over the deal’s remaining five years would have far exceeded the $5-million they paid to escape it.

Pressed for details on the contract, Mr. Diamond said the City would receive 75% of the first $700,000 in concession sales, which he said is similar to its deal with the Adirondack Phantoms.

He said it costs the City $4,200 a game to operate the Civic Center, and he said Calgary will pay that amount for each game played. Part of the money will come from a $1.10 ticket surcharge on walk-up ticket purchases the day of games.

Calgary’s deal with Glens Falls will not be official until the Common Council approves it. Mayor Diamond said it will be on the agenda for the May 27 meeting.

The contract is for three years, with an  option for two more years,

The Mayor said Calgary officials suggested an incentive in the $90,000 advertising deal he tentatively agreed to. (The payment represents $30,000 a year for three years, but all paid to the city up-front.)

“The incentive is they can get $5,000 of that money back for each round of the Calder Cup playoffs that they win, up to $15,000,” Mayor Diamond said.

“I like the idea of incentivizing that part of the contract. We haven’t had an AHL playoff hockey game here since the Red Wings, and I’m willing to give and take.”

Mr. Diamond said if the new team does make the playoffs, the City would easily recoup the payback to Calgary in concession sales and sales tax revenue.

Mayor Diamond said he was waiting to hear from Calgary officials about the date of a press conference officially announcing Glens Falls new AHL team. He hoped the press conference might be this Friday.


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