No subsidy for pro hockey

James McLeod
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Provincial government says taxpayer subsidy for AHL not an option

Mile One Stadium in St. John’s. — Telegram file photo

Tourism and Culture Minister Terry French threw cold water on the hopes of hockey fans Wednesday, saying the provincial government will not subsidize an AHL team in the province.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, French said he is philosophically opposed to the idea of putting taxpayer dollars into a professional sports team.

“We’ve got to make a philosophical decision if this is the way we want to go and we decided that we wouldn’t go down that road,” French said.

Also click here to read Robin Short's column

The Telegram has reported a deal to move the Manitoba Moose is complete, contingent on an NHL team being relocated to Winnipeg.

But former premier Danny Williams, who is at the centre of the negotiations, said Tuesday such a deal may rest on some sort of provincial government support.

He said the hockey team would likely require some sort of travel subsidy, which would cost roughly $500,000.

Following French’s announcement, Williams was unavailable for  an interview, but in an email statement, he told The Telegram he’s “deeply disappointed.”

 See WILLIAMS, page C1

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He indicated the Moose would now likely be moved somewhere other than St. John’s.

“This represented the last best chance to bring the AHL back to St. John’s and it unfortunate that another city will reap the benefits that we could have seen in our own province,” Williams said.

The request for provincial support didn’t come from Williams himself; since he’s only six months retired from politics, that would have represented a conflict of interest.

Instead the proposal came from St. John’s Sports and Entertainment (SJSE) which owns and operates the Mile One Centre.

Coun. Danny Breen, the City Council’s representative on the SJSE board, said he was disappointed the province didn’t come through, but at least the decision came quickly.

“This thing is unfolding pretty quickly, so we would have needed an answer fairly quick,” Breen said. “Sometimes, you know, it’s like pulling off a Band-aid.”

“We’ve got to make a philosophical decision if this is the way we want to go and we decided that we wouldn’t go down that road." Terry French

Breen said the AHL team would have an economic impact on the city of roughly $10 million, based on salaries for players and support staff, along with other increased economic activity.

Williams said the taxes alone would have offset the subsidy that was being asked for.

“I can’t understand how they would not appreciate the tremendous economic spin-offs associated with an AHL franchise in the province,” he said.

“Tax revenue alone would more than offset the City's subsidy request, not to mention the added economic bonus of employment opportunities, tourism benefits and business for the downtown core.”

If the Manitoba Moose were brought to town, they would remain the property of Mark Chipman, and Manitoba-based True North Sports and Entertainment.

Williams has said that while he acted as a sort-of matchmaker in bringing the deal together, he would not have an ownership role in the team.

It is unclear whether the lack of a provincial subsidy will kill the deal.

Breen said until he’s told the deal is dead, he’ll keep looking for a way to make it work.

One group who is enthusiastically behind the AHL deal was the hospitality industry.

Restaurant and hotel business from out of town hockey fans would coincide with the tourism off-season, bolstering the revenue for many St. John’s businesses.

“We do think it would be very good for the economy, you know, in terms of guest rooms, food and beverage and all the other kinds of expenditures that players and officials and people coming into the city, you know, will spend,” said Cathy Duke, CEO of Destination St. John’s.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale has declined repeated requests from reporters to comment on the AHL situation.

Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: Manitoba Moose, NHL, SJSE board True North Sports

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Recent comments

  • Roedy Green
    February 24, 2012 - 02:56

    Public money should not be spent on professional sports and sports arenas for the following reasons: Only a small proportion of the population uses the facilities. Pro sports are rolling in money. There are many other things more deserving of subsidy. The poor who cannot afford tickets end up susidising the rich who can. It is a frill. We should not be spending on frills when necessities go begging. Pro sports should be compensating cities for the cost of the riots their trigger, not the reverse.

  • Josepph McGrath
    May 26, 2011 - 19:14

    There's a concept in economics called "consumer surplus". Consumer surplus is a huge, huge part of everyone's quality of life, even though we take it for granted. We all have our personal favorite products, one way or another. Maybe you can't live without your internet service, or the chicken wings at your favorite restaurant or your morning coffee at the city drive through coffee vendor. Imagine if those products no longer existed???If you look around, most of the things around you are things that you're glad you bought and would buy again. Now, the fact that a product has a lot of value to a lot of consumers, like a lot of hockey lovers, doesn't mean that it needs to be provided by government. If a product is in demand, someone will provide it at a profit. Let AHL hockey live off the fat of its own business revenues and not my hard paid tax dollar or a provincial subsidy of big tax bucks. Grrrrrrr.

  • beyondtheoverpass
    May 26, 2011 - 18:42

    500,000 for Republic of Doyle? Money well spent its a good show and on the CBC so it NEEDS help. Where would a AHL team benefit? Not much further than the overpass (oh come on you know it will only be a matter of time before CBS and paradise get swallowed up in the "great" town that is Sin John's. Everyone will whine and complain like a greedy 4 year old wanting the team but not supporting it when it comes here the leafs were not supported the Fog Devils were certainly NOT supported. Dannys disappointed cause Dunderdale is not the type of person to be manipulated by anyone. Speaking of Danny why in the name of the green earth did he NOT toss up the money? 500K is a pittance for him. Guess what that 500K is being used to construct a bigger health care center somewhere in the province. If that is not worth the money then I can see NL is becoming one greed driven cess pool...well east of Whitbourne anyway

  • Tommy Boy
    May 26, 2011 - 18:16

    No doubt if this finds a way to get through, Dunderdorf will be down to the first game in September clad in a minx jacket with a smile on her face saying how great this is for the province. And then in October, we'll throw her to the curb and make way for Snook as Premier. Can't be any worse.

  • Kevin
    May 26, 2011 - 16:13

    Way to go Terry! Let whoever wants hockey tp pony up to the table and spend their money. It's hard enough for us poor buggers trying to put food on the table as it is, Danny if you are retired stay out of poltics, if you don't like Dunderdales actions, the Liberals are looking for a leader

  • Former French supporter
    May 26, 2011 - 15:23

    News Release......Tourism, Culture and Recreation April 19, 2011 •$1.5 million for season three of Republic of Doyle. An additional $1.5 million has also been allocated in 2012-13 for season three. This equity investment will bring the total commitment to Republic of Doyle to $7.5 million Oh well I guess by Leo throwing a few complementary tickets Terrys way, he gets to mention Unicorn Promotions on his Facebook page. Can't wait for October to come, you'll see the wrath of voters then.

    • garry
      May 27, 2011 - 05:38

      the govt. and the unions are really hurting the province from attracting more bussiness from comming to the province.danny is probally kicking himself is the butt for appointing blunderdale for premier.i bet if there are free tickets to be had her and french will be the first in line.

    • John
      May 27, 2011 - 07:08

      Kathy Dunderdale make me sick, i cannot believe this is what she is like , no votePC in the next election

  • Ron
    May 26, 2011 - 14:07

    Lets subsidize Convergys but not AHL hockey. Makes sense to me!

  • Bobby
    May 26, 2011 - 14:07

    It's only $500,000 people! This would have been made back in no time from payroll taxes and other economic spinoffs. The city of St. John's and surrounding areas contribute 90% of the revenues to this province and to not support this hockey team is a shame. Can I remind people that this government just spent $25 million building a new ferry for St. Brendans which has a population of 130 people...?

    • W McLean
      May 26, 2011 - 20:10

      90%? Really? 90%? That's not what the provincial government's own figures say. Where do your figures come from? (I can hazard a guess, but the moderator won't let me type that word.)

    • W McLean
      May 26, 2011 - 20:12

      If it pays for itself, why should the taxpayer subsidize it?

  • mary
    May 26, 2011 - 13:15

    Good call, I don't want my tax dollars supporting a professional sports team. There are much better things to put the money into, let the professional sports teams make it on their own. Cripes, cut back the outrageous salaries and no subsidy would be needed.

  • Derrick
    May 26, 2011 - 13:10

    Yes but French will be the first one there to drop the puck with his family in tow when the time comes!

  • Jack
    May 26, 2011 - 12:56

    Since financial issues are a Premier and Finance Minister responsibility, Terry French should not have a right to make a decision whether or not to support semi-professional minor Hockey teams. That decision should be left to Tom Marshall as he is responsible for the province's financial matters and/or Kathy Dunderdale. Do what you're paid to do, Mr. French, and don't make decisions regarding financial matters.

  • Ryan Fancey
    May 26, 2011 - 12:35

    Wow, what a brutal move by a premier who wants to stay in power. With hockey such a common ground for so many people throughout the province, hopefully they keep this in mind when we head to the voting booth again. Bye Kathy

  • Hobbie
    May 26, 2011 - 12:10

    Looks like some more Dundernomics at work here. Don't subsidize anything that pays for itself, just invest in ventures where there is no return, has high risk, and of course involves at least millions or preferably billions of dollars. I'm no hockey fan but I know a stupid decision when I see one, and there goes my vote.

  • hockeyfan
    May 26, 2011 - 11:54

    People are so uninformed.... The $500,000 that is shelled out by the NFLD & Lab GOV'T would be made back easily in payroll taxes.... Look at the payroll of the team and look at the payroll taxes that will result in it. $500,000 is soo tiny of an investment. The benefits for the ROI would be tremendous on this subsidy. I don't hear anyone complaining about the Rooms or tv shows such as Republic of Doyle that the Government is sinking their money into. We deserve this team! and if we don't get it... I will have a protest on confederation hill.

  • Steve
    May 26, 2011 - 11:35

    I did some rough calculations - There are approx 6000 seats at Mile One X 40 Home Games = 240,000 seat sales. Which would mean an increase of $2.10 per ticket sold. If they are that convinced it is going to work why should tax payers of the province subsidize professional hockey? This is nothing more than a cash grab!

    • Jack
      May 26, 2011 - 13:28

      Steve hit the nail on the head... Let those who want professional hockey pay for it! I want my tax dollar used to reduce wait times at HSC. Not propping up a team the DW is probably going to buy in a year or two!

  • Will
    May 26, 2011 - 11:30

    A shot across the bow for Dunderdale and the rest of the townie PC's. If they get any further from Danny they'll probaly end up beside him come October.

  • Bob
    May 26, 2011 - 11:17

    How ironic that yesterday, Ms. Jones, on behalf of the official opposition, came out against a subsidy, because it was a waste of taxpayers money, when this weekend, the Liberal Red will meet at their convention to crown her as their grand leader again. Tell me that that won't be a waste of money, will ya! Tens of thousands spent on a big drunk, not even a cheap one! Talk about hipocrits! And yes, where is the current Premier, her silence is deafening! We will lose our chance here boys, and won't get another one! She's gone bye, she's gone!

  • Bob
    May 26, 2011 - 10:21

    I am a resident of St. John's who is now subsidizing Mile One. I don't have a ny problem with a further increase in my taxes by some $5.00 per year to bring a higher quality of hockey to our city. I would be really upset though if my seat cost the same as the person that lives outside of St. John's to come watch hockey. Whatever happens at Mile One always attracts plenty of folks from outside St. John's. Yes we do get the lions share of the benefits with the increased restaurant and bar sales, the increase in hotel room sales, the increase in sales at our local shops but you can't tell me that all the workers at Mile One or the bars and restaurants and shops are all from St. John's. These people help contribute to the communities around the St. John's area. By doing this we are helping all communities all over the province as the provincial government does not have to help these nearby communities as much and allows some provincial money to go to the communities located outside the metro area. Come on people lobby your local MHA to let them know it is alright for them to subsidize the hockey team by up to $500,000. it is only a dollar out of your pocket and it will be refunded many times over in the coming years. Then I won't be as upset by subsidizing Mile One near as much and I would welcome all residents of NL to come watch a good game of hockey or even a good concert. Mile One is located in St. John's but it is a provincially used structure.

    • niceone
      May 26, 2011 - 11:53

      Very well said, hope everyone does write their MHA, I wrote a letter to Terry French this morning. Hopefully the MHA's and city folks read these comments too.

    • Ryan
      May 26, 2011 - 12:06

      I like it. Everyone tell as many people as possible to email your MHA and explain why this decision is so stupid, while the Republic of Doyle lands 3 million. I'm not even opposed to the RoD receiving a subsidy, I just think 500k is little to ask for a province as hockey starved as we are.

    • Ryan Fancey
      May 26, 2011 - 12:33

      Wow, what a brutal move by a premier who wants to stay in power. With hockey such a common ground for so many people throughout the province, hopefully they keep this in mind when we head to the voting booth again. Bye Kathy

  • Paul
    May 26, 2011 - 10:19

    Include it in the price of tickets and leave government out of it !

    • Don
      May 26, 2011 - 10:47

      If it means adding $5.00 to a ticket then go with it. If I want pro hockey here I'm not about to quibble about an extra $5.00 for a ticket.

    • Steve
      May 26, 2011 - 11:19

      A novel idea but you have to remember, the cheapskate residents of St. John's are the same cheapskate residents who whined that St. John's Fogdevil tickets cost $15.00 each.....can you imagine them spending $20.00???? You would have a better chance predicting the rapture (October 21st) than expecting the cheapest residents in the country shell out five extra dollars.

  • Paul
    May 26, 2011 - 10:19

    Include it in the price of tickets and leave government out of it !

  • David
    May 26, 2011 - 10:02

    If some people are for the subsidy and some against,why not have the city residents vote on it. After all the people are the government

  • timmy
    May 26, 2011 - 09:57

    To AL Cooper - so my tax dollars should go to you so you can live where there is no prosperity? If you can't fund your own community then move. A perfect example of Newfoundlanders being 'owed' something.

  • don
    May 26, 2011 - 09:28

    Goverment beware:: If the team does not come to st.john's, regardless of the reason' the Dunderdale goverment will always be looked on as the reason why we never had a team. The decision not to participate BY THE PEOPLE ie goverment, has got to be the quickest decision this tribe has ever made.Don't tell me it wasnt an anti Danny decision. My oh my , hopefully someday the full story of " the get Danny" will come out.

    • ARod
      May 26, 2011 - 11:57

      I really hope that government reads your comment, very well said. I know my vote will change if the team doesn't come here!

  • Marty
    May 26, 2011 - 09:22

    If they only need a measly $500K, maybe a few of the vocal supporters would like to band together and cough it up. I agree that govt shouldn't be involved in this. Enough taxpayers money has been sunk into failed attempts over the years to bring hockey to St. John's as well as money spent propping up Mile One. There are many more important areas where $500K is needed in this province......

    • JT
      May 26, 2011 - 12:45

      So AROD, your going to change your vote if the PC's don't subsidize your sports fetish. So who will you vote for? Yvonne Jones is on record as being against subsidizing a pro hockey team, which I guess means you won't be voting PC or Liberal. You can try voting NDP, but I bet you dollars to donuts that Lorraine ain't interested in subsidizing a pro team either. I guess you won't be voting at all eh.

  • Jean
    May 26, 2011 - 09:06

    Why is the Premier not commenting? Is she out of province??? We are kept behind by our own government...Just cut back on needless travel expenses..problem sovled..Good luck Mr.Williams and Mr. Breen with your quest. It's good to see people trying to improve our province..

  • Robb
    May 26, 2011 - 09:01

    Go figure.......I mean why provide entertainment in the big city??.....I am sick of walking around Quidi Vidi for something to do.........and why would the govt want to spur economic activity in the city...??....that would only mean the middle class might have something to do. Well, I don't want my tax dollars paying for bums on welfare....but no, tax dollars are OK for that, but don't do anything for us taxpayers. This is something that should be looked at as mismanagement of our tax dollars.....If I were working for a big corporation, I would be responsible to make sure that all capital is put to best investment of 500K is nothing compared to the economic spinoff of a professional team (so I am told)....but hey, keep the people down.....and for all you naysayers, you must be lonely people...staying at home with nothing to do, watching Oprah or OWN and getting fat.

    • mary
      May 26, 2011 - 13:30

      ROBB, you poor thing, all you can find to do in St. John's is walk around Quidi Vidi and it is all the fault of those terrible people on welfare. Suggestion for you, pick up a copy of The Scope, it is free and can be found in many outlets around the city. I get mine at Sobey's and it is often found in downtown cafes, shouldn't be hard to find. Use this freebie to help you find many things to do, including free things, other than walking around the lake and blaming those who rely on social assistance.

  • Al Cooper
    May 26, 2011 - 09:00

    If the people of the city of St. John's want an AHL team, why don't the taypayers of St John's pay for it. There will be no benefit to other towns and communities In Newfoundland who could used goverment funding just to survive let alone prosper. Let the municipal goverment of St. John's bolster the burden and reap the benefits if it's such a great deal.

  • jim
    May 26, 2011 - 08:55

    People seem to miss the point. We would be using the very money we taxed from them - that does not exist now - to bring this team. We spend a ton annually to promote tourism and culture and HOPE this money pays off. This would pay for itself, costing us nothing - with benefits of job creation and something for all of us to enjoy. We wouldn't be GIVING them anything, we just wouldn't be taking the tax money as we would be interested in the other benefits. Glendale is paying 25 million a year to keep the coyotes in Phoenix because there is so much economic benefit to the economy that outweighs the subsidy. We are too dumb to realize that. Oh and did I mention we already subsidize a stadium to the tune of 1.25 MILLION dollars?? It would be nice if a tenant there could help us recoup our losses.

  • Wishy
    May 26, 2011 - 08:45

    The only way a long term tenant for mile one makes sense with close to a forty game home schedule is if the parking situation is improved with regards to Mile One...We built a beautiful building but forgot it needs adequate parking...At Least Memorial Stadium had it's own parking lot...It's time for the city to build one or two new parking garages downtown, one near Mile One. Then a long term tenant would make more sense..Parking has been a cconstant problem ever since the move from Memorial Stadium..

    • Telling it like it
      May 26, 2011 - 11:25

      STOP...ENOUGH WITH THE PARKING!!!!! Rexall Place in Edmonton seats close to 16,000 peope and does it offer parking for 16,000 people???? NO!!!!! Mile One offered Park and Ride.....the oppurtunity to not have to circle around St. John's and find a parking spot, but nope, it's people like YOU who feel that as a St. John's resident you need to take your car to everything errand and event you attend. Grow up and take the park and ride, every civilized city with a world class facility offers that. The Fog Devils offered that.....$2 return fare from various locations to take you to the game....but no, it's better to drive around Harbour Drive and the Murray Premises to find a parking spot.

  • Mike
    May 26, 2011 - 08:39

    We have Hockeyville 20 minutes from downtown St Johns, yet we have no real hockey here. It is like we are telling any quality options for our empty arena that we want it to stay empty. Shocking and sad

    • AL
      May 26, 2011 - 18:38

      St. john's had the Fog Devils, and the group at stjohn's entertainment did everything they could to make sure it did not work. Remember theFog Devils had private ownership too. The Q is good enough for Halifax, moncton and st john. The seadogs are now playing for the Memorial Cup on the weekend. I have no confidence in the SJSE.

  • Tommy
    May 26, 2011 - 08:35

    Dunderdale is a joke. Show your face for once. Like him or hate him, Danny was in the public eye whether it was good or bad. ABC for me in October.

  • dave
    May 26, 2011 - 08:32

    Danny=give them a good scare and threaten to return to politics. l'am not a p.c. but i sure was a supporter of yours. Better still, why not yourself and Dean head up the liberal party for the upcoming election. Remember folks, people,generally , vote for the party leader and not for the other dunderheads who are running.

  • can't win
    May 26, 2011 - 08:31

    I have one question. Think of how many people would be up in arms if the provincial government were to provide this money for the AHL team? Every organization in the province would be crying foul!! In this case you cannot win!! I too would love to see the hockey team come to town. But if they cannot survive without the $500,000 from our government, maybe its a no brainer. I am just thinking that if the government had decided to back the AHL team, you would have the openlines blocked with people saying where that money should have gone. Ie...we have long hospital wait lists, roads not fit to drive over, new schools needed, etc. Again you cannot win. I think the government made the best logical decision. PS...the AHL team will never survive unless they do something with the parking situation in the downtown. There is just nowhere to park down there!!

  • Don
    May 26, 2011 - 08:31

    They wont be getting my vote in fall. Stupid idiots. The amt. of money this will bring to provence is far more than half mill. yr. This is looking more like a hissy fit betwenn Government and Mr Williams. Lets get a ABC COMPAIGN GOING NOW.. DUMMIES.

  • Graham
    May 26, 2011 - 08:29

    I wonder if Danny is sulking again and trying to find a way to blame big bad Quebec for all this. Great decision by our Premier to stay as far away as possible from anything involving Danny Williams and our tax dollars.

  • wayne
    May 26, 2011 - 08:23

    Thank heavens for some common sense in government for a change.

  • fred
    May 26, 2011 - 08:21

    too bad she couldn't call it a make work project with no benefits to everyone, or she would be all over it.

  • Hockeytown
    May 26, 2011 - 08:19

    Everyone likes to say St. John's is a "hockey town." I don't agree. I was a Leafs season ticket holder, and the building was rarely full. The Fog Devils drew less fans. The attendance for the Telus Cup was not great. Sure, we will pack Mile One for the Herder, but is there a real desire for other hockey? I am not sure there is. Therefore, why should the taxpayers fund it? Where is the analysis of whether it could work based on a sold out rink? That is the better question.

  • tim
    May 26, 2011 - 08:17

    poor old Starr. If it would not cost us anything and we could all enjoy a game and the kids could have something to get behind, locally, then I would argue it would add tremendously to the province.

  • Mount Pearl Man
    May 26, 2011 - 08:16

    I don't understand this decision, 500,000 is not alot of money per year for the type of return we will get back. The government throws money at all sorts of other ventures, as others have said in order to attract a team here because of our location some sort of subsidy maybe required. If not Mile One will site empty most of the year like it does now, 1.2 million a year to host 4 or 5 concerts. We can't sink ever cent we have into healthcare and social housing or the government would be broke, we have to foster some business in this province.

  • Newfoundland Proud
    May 26, 2011 - 08:11

    Dunderdale is nowhere to be seen again AND she leaves French to make a philosophical decision...this province is in trouble!!!!!

  • joe
    May 26, 2011 - 08:10

    haha that is only like $1/ yr from each Newfoundlander. Wonder how much they will waste in travel and food costs in cabinet?

  • Mike
    May 26, 2011 - 08:06

    French didn't even show up when his own riding won Hockeyville. I would be surprised if a majority of people didn't want us to get a team back - at least to try it and see if we could make it work for a year. I guess culturally we have too much to do in the city?? At least we will get an Imax I guess and further populate the poor old Avalon Mall. Shrewd.

  • pete
    May 26, 2011 - 08:02

    hahaha typical Newfoundland - kill it before it even gets here! We give tax breaks and subsidies all over the place but not a sports team? We haven't even looked at the numbers yet! hahaha people on here are right - we are pathetic.

  • Grant
    May 26, 2011 - 08:01

    Get off your butt Premier dunderdale and make this happen. The economic spin off's for the city and the provicne will be worth millions. Who in their right mind would not invest $500,000 for the potential to make millions, bring more people to our beutiful province, gain more exposure across North America, get a true sports team that people can take their familys to for years to come. This is another reason why Kathy dunderdale is NOT the right person for the job. She does nto have the vision. If she did she would realize that you have to pay to play, we live in a remote part of the world, we will have to subsidize any type of sports team, thats just the way it is. The people want this, listen to the people not your cronies who know nothing about business and focus on the negative. Bring DANNY back for heavens sake, this is the 2nd time you have struck out in a couple of months, this is ridiculous, get some vision for ou and your team, the people want pro hockey, junior wont cut it, spend the money to make the money, its just the way it is.

  • Starr
    May 26, 2011 - 08:00

    Good decision. A hockey team should be a venture that would put money into the economy, not drain it out.

    May 26, 2011 - 07:46

    GO CAPS GO!!!

  • Jim
    May 26, 2011 - 07:39

    I was never a big fan of Danny - but he never ever hid like Dunderdale does. She is a joke. As for the hockey - if the taxes would offset the subsidy and we are not on the hook (we already subsidize Mile One) then what is the problem?? We are now officially back to having a politician running the province and not a business man.

  • SomeShocking
    May 26, 2011 - 07:36

    Wow....this is unbelievable....the money made by from tourism, local business, payroll taxes, etc etc woudl far offset the subsidy but they still won't do it??? The province would make money! Local companies from not only St. John's but the surrounding area would reap the benefits! This is a shocking that it could come down to a drop in the bucket subsidy that the province would get back anyway. Read the remarks that Mr. Williams made, if it came from someone else I might pass it off but, he knows what he's talking about and for him to say that he is "deeply disappointed.” and that " taxes alone would have offset the subsidy that was being asked for." “I can’t understand how they would not appreciate the tremendous economic spin-offs associated with an AHL franchise in the province,” All I can say is SHOCKING, PC's lost my vote in the next election!

  • hockeyfan
    May 26, 2011 - 07:34

    Newfoundland Government is truly pathetic... We put money into financial waste such as the rooms but not AHL hockey.... Just disappointing rei