Williams hopping mad with Mile One

Robin
Robin Short
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Big scheduling conflict looms if IceCaps-Stars reach Calder Cup final

Wilkes Barre/Scranton, Pa.—The St. John’s IceCaps haven’t yet won anything, but if the team is to take the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference crown, it could encounter a big scheduling conflict at Mile One Centre should the Calder Cup championship opponent be the Texas Stars.

Danny Williams

The thoughts of it has IceCaps CEO and president Danny Williams hopping mad. And he’s ready to drop the gloves.

“It’s not a lack of respect,” Williams said Wednesday night here in northeastern Pennsylvania, after the IceCaps beat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 5-0 to take a 2-1 lead in the conference final.

“We’re not looking for respect from Mile One. It’s stupidity. We’re a good tenant, doing a good job, and we have proven results.

“We’re in a 30-team league down to a final four. We could get to a final two. You would at least expect a level of the utmost cooperation from that particular facility.

“All we get is pushback.”

The problem is should the IceCaps and Stars – Texas beat the Toronto Marlies 3-2 Wednesday night for a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference final – meet in the Calder Cup final, the Stars would have home ice advantage meaning the first two games of the series would start outside Austin, Tex., likely Saturday, Sunday or Monday, June 6-8.

And therein lies the problem (no issue if the Marlies win, as the IceCaps would have home ice).

Mile One has the Canadian Anaesthesiologists Society annual meeting/trade show booked for Friday, June 13 to Monday, June 16. Not only are the IceCaps shut out on those dates, but also the Thursday and perhaps even the Wednesday prior to the event.

“You would like to think we would get games in Wednesday and Thursday, but we’re told absolutely not Thursday because they need to set up. Well, you would think they could find some way around that.

“Now we’re being told Wednesday might not be available. We could conceivably finish up on Monday in Texas and not be able to play in our own rink until the following Monday.”

What particularly riles Williams is the fact the IceCaps are a major tenant at Mile One – playing 38 regular season games, not including pre-season and playoffs – paying over $1 million dollars in rental fees, and bringing in between $3 million and $4 million revenue to the building, “as a direct result of our involvement. People don’t realize the centre gets 80 per cent of the gross revenues down there. And not to mention we’re the foundation for an enormous amount of spinoff downtown.

“And we can’t even get an accommodation for the Calder Cup final?

“Whatever their commitments might and might not be, if they could only shift or move or accommodate or cooperate, that’s all we’re asking.

“And I’m telling you right now, all we’re getting is stonewalled at this point in time.”

Williams likens the IceCaps to a loyal customer, but suggests there is anything but a solid, working partnership between the hockey team and the rink.

“Pushback seems to be the way it is at Mile One,” he said. “There were problems with the St. John’s Fog Devils (of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) before with Mile One, and I’m told the big part of their failure was they had difficulty finding accommodation and dealing with Mile One.

“Sure, we got a scoreclock, and sure, they finally straightened out the ice (the IceCaps and parent Winnipeg Jets had major issue with the Mile One ice surface last season), but our dealings with Mile One have not been great, that’s the nicest way I can put it.”

Williams wonders unless the meeting/trade show requires a 6,000-8,000-seat auditorium for a presentation or series of speeches, why couldn’t it be moved to The Glacier in Mount Pearl or Torbay’s Jack Byrne Arena?

“They are first-class arenas,” he said.

“We are a good customer, we have good results, we’re selling out every night. As a result of that, Mile One should be happy to accommodate us.

“Maybe at some point in the very near future they might wake up and come to their senses, but for us to be in this position, where we could be advancing to a Calder Cup final, and possibly be shut out of our rink for a whole week, that’s utterly ridiculous.” 

rshort@thetelegram.com

Organizations: IceCaps, Texas Stars, American Hockey League Toronto Marlies 3 Canadian Anaesthesiologists Society Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Winnipeg Jets

Geographic location: Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Pa., Texas Northeastern Pennsylvania Austin, Tex. Mount Pearl

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • ralph
    June 01, 2014 - 15:25

    ahhhh danny boy , move the whole shebang to halifax

  • JHB
    May 31, 2014 - 22:06

    Danny my boy even the rich have problems. I'm sure most of us outside the overpass couldn't care less about the ICECAPS. WE are more concerned about feeding our selves, stay warm and where we're going to get the money to pay for our medications. Sleep on that one.

  • Gordo123
    May 31, 2014 - 08:08

    I am missing something . Why is this on Mile One? The Ice Caps knew the schedule well in advance. They may not have known they would get this far in the playoffs but they certainly could have booked or contracted and paid for the option to have the rights to the building. They chose not to. And what did Mile One do? As good businessmen they went out looking for opportunities to rent their building. That is what they are in the business of doing. How is the fact that someone doesn't make a reservation or plan accordingly give them the right to now kick out and completely alter the plans of another event? This is childish. A deal is a deal. Learn from this Danny. If you want the concession you are now seeking plan and pay for it as oppose to making it some political issue or worse, someone else's fault. Suck it up buttercup!

  • jammers5
    May 30, 2014 - 14:00

    These idiots at Mile One wouldn't make their way out of a wet paper bag. They don't own the hockey team and they are still sooky about that. Mile One is a great arena but don't have sense to see the pig picture. The IceCaps are the anchor tenant - make it LOOK LIKE you are trying to accommodate them for crying out loud!

  • darby
    May 30, 2014 - 10:53

    I don't think intimidation and belittling is going to work this time. (Somebody give me a flag!) Surely a 'professional' organization would have looked into this scenario long before now! I think we know where the accountability lies and it is not with Mile One (this time).

  • Marshall Art
    May 30, 2014 - 08:50

    The IceCaps could be shut out from playing the finals at Mile One because of a scheduled annual trade show ? A trade show ??? Mile One has been sold out, 6,000+ fans, since day one, the envy of other AHL venues. The big brains at Mile One and whoever else is involved, need to give their heads a shake and remember what side their bread is buttered on.

  • Wayne P
    May 30, 2014 - 07:05

    During the Habs-Bruins playoff series there was a 5 day delay between games due to previously contracted events at TD Garden in Boston. Danny, you need to look at the big picture, not just your piece of it.

  • Laurie Blackwood Pike [Grandpa Pike]
    May 30, 2014 - 06:55

    I've got to go with Danny on this one. Where else in the world would a sports facility bet against their home team by booking other events before the season is over? Who owns Mile One? Would someone shake 'em awake, please?

  • Brian Rogers
    May 30, 2014 - 04:08

    People Seriously Think about how much Good Will this team has brought to our region. Think about the gallant effort of these Young Men who have come to our Wonderful City and Province and have battled to make us all proud . This awesome group Loves playing here and most of them as Canadians , Americans or Europeans believe in the leadership group led by Glenn Stanford and Danny Williams and consider themselves Family. People, you are no longer dredges, BELIEVE in your Home Province,RESPECT what WE are, get over the Pettiness and Be LOUD and PROUD and remember that the rest of the Country is well Aware of who we are here in the middle of the North Atlantic. FINALLY. Work together, stop the Bitterness and Stand Together. Danny is not whining,he put on the Map,whether You like it or not. And finally,if you really are a Newfoudlander or Labradorian, have Your Say and have enough Instestinal Fortitude to come out from behind your hideous comments and Sign Your Name. If not find a job and help this Province move on. The IceCaps are and so should You. Respectively, a Bluenoser turned Newfoudlander who married a Doll from Goose Bay, Brian Rogers. GO ICECAPS !!

  • Common Sense
    May 29, 2014 - 22:31

    Too bad for the team. When someone has booked a venue and hundreds or thousands of people have booked flights and hotels. to attend this venue for the specific dates in question, you expect the venue to just cancel their event, or the event to cancel for you? And how is it anyone's fault? Stop whining!

    • HockeyFanNL
      May 30, 2014 - 07:27

      The Bruins also share their building with another major tenant. The IceCaps don't. Your major tenant is your bread and butter. Time for Mile One to get over themselves

  • AH
    May 29, 2014 - 21:19

    Are we really naive enough to think that this just came up and in that instant it hit the media. Im sure there were conversations between all parties and both the Anaesthesiologists and Mile One management were unwilling to make other arrangements or even consider it to accommodate the possible games. This seems like a last resort move to me to gain public favour and i hope it works because postponing the finals in your home rink would send the message to all major players that mile one is not he place to bring a hockey team. It is challenging enough geographically and economically though travel subsidies to keep a team here even when they are playing great hockey. We shouldn't even be in this situation, If this doesn't work out the management at mile one should be fired. Any rental agreement in a venue like this should have a conditional clause for such a situation. We should even know this is going on. Insane

  • Dominic House
    May 29, 2014 - 20:45

    Bite your tongue Danny. Try to make it work this time but make plans to build your own stadium or buy Mile One.

  • Corporate Psycho
    May 29, 2014 - 20:13

    How much will this cost the taxpayers?

  • Danny is right
    May 29, 2014 - 19:39

    Danny is right! Idiots run Mile One, and there seems to be a few idiots here as well. People getting peeved because it is Danny that is upset, and he should be. I hope he builds heis own rink in Galloway. Mile One should have never been built where it is anyway! Who the heck ever heard of a sports complex that seats 6000 with no parking?? Only in St. John's.

  • 55Cares
    May 29, 2014 - 19:16

    The taxpayers paid the total cost to build this arena which was named Mile One. Are taxpayers still providing this big white elephant with money to operate even though they have an anchor tenant? Did Danny Breen negotiate the deal with his buddy Danny for the use of Mile One? Just imagine with all the taxpayers money gone into this the council allowed a private individual to own the name. What a complete mess. Is this a matter of private enterprise, once again, bleeding the taxpayers?

  • Julie
    May 29, 2014 - 16:42

    Who really care about Mr Williams being hopping mad, Not me, Do he think we have to be holding to him, for leaving us with a bag of hammers. And he was the leader of the pack. Mr Williams your running out of air. Yes sir I should be thanking you from the bottom of my heart, To see how many people pay out good money to watch the ice cap. and some of them leaving their wife at home, with out food on the table. So they can say, Boys did you see the game last night. Taking my money and putting its in your pocket. Sir this is the other side of hockey, No one talks about, Man should feed his family first, wouldn't you agree Mr Williams, survey that.

    • Lothar
      May 30, 2014 - 08:13

      Hey Julie, by the sound of it you should be getting rid of that husband of yours

  • bill
    May 29, 2014 - 15:47

    .they could play in Hamilton and pack in 20,000 hockey starved nfld ex pats .......no problemo..

  • Helen
    May 29, 2014 - 15:15

    I'm proud of our IceCaps, if they need the stadium, give it to them.... make it happen....they deserve it! Go IceCaps go

  • Taxpayer and owner of Mile One
    May 29, 2014 - 14:57

    Danny is hopping mad. In other news, the sun came up this morning, is expected to set this evening. He should build his own rink if he wants total access whenever he needs it instead of whining because a facility built with public money won't cater to his every need.

  • Black Ink
    May 29, 2014 - 14:48

    Danny needs to be talking directly with the Canadian Anaesthesiologists Society, and not the brain-dead people running Mile One. A bribe of $$$, a few tickets for the Owners Suite and a shuttle service to one of the other rinks, might accomplish what we require. If we do make the Calder Finals, and we do not use Mile On,e you might as well turn off the lights and lock the doors downtown, cuz if I were looking to relocate my AHL team here, I would be thinking second thoughts. Such short-sited thinking from City Hall.

    • Burned bridges
      May 29, 2014 - 16:43

      Yeah, Danny is REALLY popular amongst the medical profession lol. I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation1!

  • Bobby Boy
    May 29, 2014 - 14:18

    Should build his own stadium b'y!

  • Most Competent Woman I Ever Worked With
    May 29, 2014 - 13:33

    The blame for this oversight lies with the IceCaps management team, all of whom are accountable to Williams from The Governor of the team to the logistics organizers.

    • Lenny
      May 29, 2014 - 15:40

      How can the blame be placed on the IceCaps management team???? Explain.

  • terry sears
    May 29, 2014 - 13:14

    Do you really expect anything less from the idiots at City Hall / Mile One?

  • Ole Sport
    May 29, 2014 - 13:08

    He can get an unelected private civilian put in as Premier of a province in Canada but he can't the ice time for his hobby. Don't worry though, there's enough Tories on City Council to look after this. All we have to do is look around and the decisions being made there. Then we wonder why people call us newfi's.

  • Mike C
    May 29, 2014 - 12:47

    This is a prime example of why NL as a whole will never have anything. Everyone off the avalon are so quick to jump down the throat and bad mouth anything that brings publicity to the capital city. Love him or hate him, Danny Williams has done a lot of good for the city. He faught to a professional hockey team here. Ask any bar/resturant in the downtown area how much their business increases when there are games there on odd nights such as tuesdays and wednesdays. I can only hope that in dannyville theres a new area with parking and a quality sound team to make going to a concert enjoyable. Excluding the parking at mile one, the sound of live shows are just terrible

  • JackieLogans
    May 29, 2014 - 12:46

    Give 'em hell, Danny. (Now, if you'd only come back as Premier, all would be well on the Old Rock! Wishing you good health.)

  • Laughable
    May 29, 2014 - 12:17

    Now this is very funny, Man is looking for favoritism, Give me a break. Mile one was books five years ago. Mr Williams if this was REVERSE, would you change your booking concerning the other party. Your answer would be NO. so please go away.

  • Chris
    May 29, 2014 - 12:03

    Doesn't the team already have plans to move to Thunder Bay for the 2015 season?

    • Jeff
      May 29, 2014 - 14:35

      What in the name of god does that have to do with this article?? You realize he is talking about the 2014 Calder Cup right?? Man all these people in this comment section on the "I Hate Danny" bandwagon sure know how to sound like an idiot. I do not beleive the move is finalized, but if I were the Jets owner, i'd cetainly move my farm team to a place that has a rink to play in..... Especially in the GD final series. Love or hate Danny, he's the #1 reason we have an AHL team. That in turn has generated millions of dollars at Mile One, fueled the bank accounts of the bars and restaurants downtown, created numurous jobs at Mile One and downtown, and gave the city, especially the young kids something to be proud of. Man you people need to crawl under your rock and stay there. He's absolutley right in being furious. You think the Habs would play in Quebec City because a Beer Expo or some crap... SHUT UP!!!

    • Chris
      May 30, 2014 - 06:42

      Actually, the move to Thunder Bay might have a LOT to do with the article. If the team has given notice that they have one foot out the door, are they in any position to ask for a favor? Or does Mr. Williams mean: "Mile One should be happy to accommodate us." ... until we abandon this town as fast as we can!

  • Mike
    May 29, 2014 - 11:44

    put your money where your mouth is. if you want full control over Mile One scheduling, buy it!

  • Christopher
    May 29, 2014 - 11:38

    What Mr. Williams should do is give the 2 finger salute to Mile One and build his own arena in Glencrest and ensure that it is large enough to sustain class A concerts and such, thus eating at Mile One's bottom line!

    • Yo mama
      June 04, 2014 - 06:49

      Best comment/idea on here, Mile one would end up a much needed parking garage.

  • scottie65
    May 29, 2014 - 11:35

    If i'm the WBS Penguins reading this article i'm using it as motivation to win the series! Seriously though, why would you publicly raise this issue when you've still got a lot of hockey to play? It just plays into the opposition's gameplan and then becomes a non-issue anyways.

  • Priscilla
    May 29, 2014 - 11:24

    Wow - how sad for dear Danny! Then again, this is the kind of treatment (and worse) the Fog Devils got from Mile One and, PERHAPS, some of the reasons that they couldn't make a go of it here...but, of course, EVERYTHING matters more when it is Danny Williams complaining!!! Or does it/should it????

  • LarLa
    May 29, 2014 - 10:54

    Conferences are sometimes booked years in advance. This is an annual event but it doesn't happen in Newfoundland every year. Conferences bring in tons of money to the city every year (hotel rooms, food, transportation, etc). As soon as ICE CAPS management knew the schedule for the season arrangements should have been made with Mile One for those dates to be blacked out for other bookings. Mile One management aren't mind readers. And frankly I'm sick of Danny Williams thinking he knows how to run everything.

    • Christopher Chafe
      May 29, 2014 - 12:39

      You are forgetting one thing though. This it not part of the season schedule.......There is no way possible to have known last September what the playoff schedule was going to be.

  • Good Point
    May 29, 2014 - 10:53

    This is bad business practices for Mile One. They are first and foremost a hockey rink and should not book anything that would conflict with the regular and especially playoff season.

  • Mr. Brat
    May 29, 2014 - 10:38

    Why no response from the Canadian Anaesthesiologists Society ? Who is the organizer or leader of the local chapter who can respond to this? Would love to hear their views on this attitude of Mr. Williams.

  • Boo hoo
    May 29, 2014 - 09:41

    Nothing more disgusting than a spiteful, sooky billionaire bully not getting his way.

  • Danny Should Buy Mile One
    May 29, 2014 - 09:30

    Mr. Williams should buy Mile One. Although it is not like him to buy a money losing venture. Coupled with the fact he won't have a hockey team for the 2015-2016 season, maybe that proposition looks less attractive for him.

    • SAM
      May 29, 2014 - 10:57

      How soon to forget! !! Danny Williams gave Mileone their FIRST million just to name the place!!! Then a business commitee (St.John's),after losing its first major tentent, changed the name on the building to Mileone Center from Mileone Stadium? Danny Williams helped Big Time to bring in a MAJOR TENTENT! (To a Major Building with NO parking, I might add.) Millions of $ in spin offs.....Small nonproft organizations getting needed financial help. You can bring in all the trade shows you want for a week, however getting a new business (of any kind) to set up in St. John's) is another thing..

    • John
      May 29, 2014 - 15:05

      Yes and remember that King Danny would only purchase the naming rights for the building. If the government was going to build Mile One, why should a private developer do it. This is another problem with NL, that a mainland friend once pointed out Way, way too many politicians, civil servants, boards ;'commissions., development agencies (free public money to waste) Please a marketplace free of CONTINUOUS political involvement. I sense those at Confederation Building are starting to get the message with the refusal of more public funds for fish plants but we have a long way to go.

  • SAM
    May 29, 2014 - 09:27

    If Mileone Busniess Committee ( or whatever they call themselves), don't start thinking and planning outside the "BOX". If they don't wake up and realize they have to negotiate sometimes in the "GREY" area. If they don't stop giving the impression that St. John's is "CLOSED" . Mileone won't be the only "WHITE ELEPHANT" in the room. ( There could be another one currently under construction across the street from Mileone.)

  • John Q Public
    May 29, 2014 - 09:18

    And so it continues! The me, me, me, attitude of this guy is fast becoming a provincial embarrassment. If you don't kiss this guys ass he gets in front of a camera and or a microphone and throws a kindergarten tantrum. Good for Mile One...... they give a commitment to a client and they honor it! That is what all prospective clients of Mile One should expect and its good that the managers of that facility have the good business sense and ethic to honor commitments. Danny!!!! Go build your own rink!

  • Jay
    May 29, 2014 - 08:52

    Putting hatred for and jealousy of Danny Williams aside, people may want to realize that this is hardly the first complaint against Mile One. There are a number of bands who will not play here anymore, and there are a number of other events who will not book here anymore. It seems that the administrators at Mile One have a "take it or leave it" attitude which won't serve them will in the long run. Danny Williams is not the problem here.

    • Jeannie
      May 29, 2014 - 11:45

      Right on Jay...finally someone with an educated comment.

  • Ruth Doyon
    May 29, 2014 - 08:16

    You know the old saying! Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Well mile one you just might need to remember that when the chips are down and they will be. Where are the citizens of St.John's? Speak up for Gods sake ! It affects your city in more ways than one!

  • dave
    May 29, 2014 - 08:07

    That's it by Danny can't win'em all. Stop expecting this province to keep bending to whatever you want.

    • Jeff
      May 29, 2014 - 08:41

      What an dumb thing to say... You think Danny is expecting someone to "bend" for him?? He wants his/our AHL hockey team to be able to play in the CALDER CUP FINAL on their home ice. Utterly stupid -whatyou just said

    • Bayman
      May 29, 2014 - 10:28

      Dave, The province doesn't stop at the Avalon peninsula. The province is more than St. John's. Perhaps you should go back to school and retake your geography.

  • D. Maria Paul
    May 29, 2014 - 08:01

    The only time this guy seems to surface anymore is when his wallet is being challengd. With all the political controversial fall out from his rein there's not been a word. Stop belly aching and take responsibility for what is yet another screwup. It's not all about you.

  • gb
    May 29, 2014 - 07:55

    Mr. Williams deserves a pat on the back. Money talks in this world and he is bringing millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars to Mile One. While I think Ice Caps management dropped the ball vis a vis all possible ice time outcomes should have been in a contract..I think Mile One management should be more professional also.

  • JRM
    May 29, 2014 - 07:51

    Behold, the exit strategy for AHL hockey in NL.

    • Bill
      May 30, 2014 - 13:17

      Lo and behold, someone who sees through the fog. Our fault because we don't bow to the high and mighty. We do business with people who line these things up properly! Your organization dropped the ball Danny. Don't use it as an "I tried but was the only one doing any work" That gets old real quick.

  • Cat
    May 29, 2014 - 07:37

    Of all people and as a business man Mr. Williams you must know that these events are booked years in advance and a business such as Mile One cannot sit around wondering if there might be hockey playoffs on such and such a date several years down the road. As well, its a fairly safe bet that the Conference portion is at the Delta and its ridiculous to think that people attending such an event would travel to Torbay or Mt Pearl for the trade show portion. This is how people sell their products and how Exhibitors and Organizers make money. You know that Mr. Williams, its just business.

    • tyler
      May 29, 2014 - 09:45

      Lol its an ANNUAL event, they dont book it years in advance, and if it wasnt for the money generated by the ice caps and spin offs from them then guess what THERE WOULDNT BE A MILE ONE, and he is askin for any kind of option to work it out and mile one is just sayin no, Danny got a right to be pissed

  • bureacrat
    May 29, 2014 - 07:29

    Rememeber - these Mile One people have ikely never had a job outside of government so they don't find it easy to think outside the box. Danny is right on this one.

  • Icecaps fault
    May 29, 2014 - 07:08

    Wouldn't be the obligation of the Icecaps to tentatively book Mile One once the 20113-14 season schedule was announced last Summer? The stadium cannot block out paying business for the team that might not make the playoffs, but the Icecaps could have arranged a tentative contract, maybe with financial pernalties if the team had to cancel the booking due to elimination from the playoff rounds.. The Icecaps are an anchor event at Mile One, but they alone do not generate enough revenue to make the facility viable and conventions are good sources of revenue too. In closing, it reads like someone in the Icecaps management dropped the ball on this one.

  • Steve
    May 29, 2014 - 07:08

    Ice Caps fans wouldn't appreciate it, but move the games to the Pepsi Center in Corner Brook if Mile One does not help.

  • David Wilson
    May 29, 2014 - 07:04

    Booooo hoooooo Danny. You can't always get your way. Looks good on ya.

  • geoff
    May 29, 2014 - 07:02

    why dont you take your team to Mount Pearl for the games ? or better yet build yourself a rink at Dannyville. stop whinin.

  • guy incognito
    May 29, 2014 - 06:56

    Uh oh...King Danny has his drawers in a knot again. He must be upset that he can't pull the strings of Mile One like he can the strings of the Tory party.

    • blair
      May 29, 2014 - 19:49

      Gee Danny. That's terrible that mile one won't cancel their previous booking for you. They must not realize who they are dealing with. Perhaps they have a flag on the building somewhere that you can lower. That'll show 'em!