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City of St. John's signs Mile One lease agreement

Coun. Sandy Hickman speaks Monday at the St. John’s city council meeting.
Coun. Sandy Hickman speaks Monday at the St. John’s city council meeting. - Juanita Mercer

Growlers and Edge to take over suite level food services, could possibly rename building

The city and St. John’s Sports and Entertainment (SJSEL) have signed a lease agreement for Mile One Centre with the owners of the St. John’s Edge and the Newfoundland Growlers.

The lease is up on June 30, 2019.

At the Monday evening council meeting, Coun. Sandy Hickman acknowledged the lease agreement comes partway into the hockey season, but it simply took that long to work out the details.

“We had a lot of work to do to come to terms with a new operation,” he said.

“And in terms of the Growlers, a new team, and also the fact that they are working together with the Edge on a lot of operational aspects … it took a little extra time to get done.”

Hickman said they’ll see how things go over the winter and will negotiate again for the future “long before the end of June.”

He acknowledged there’s been some interest in possibly selling the building, but said “for now” they’re “delighted” to have this lease agreement in place.

Attendance for the St. John's Edge's two playoffs games at Mile One Centre over the weekend was the highest so far in the NBL Canada playoffs. — St. John's Edge photo/Jeff Parsons
A St. John's Edge playoff game at Mile One Centre. — St. John's Edge photo/Jeff Parsons

The newly signed lease agreement means Mile One has 60 guaranteed nights of entertainment – possibly upward of 80 games if the seasons go well.

Mayor Danny Breen called it “huge” and all-around “great news.”

The joint lease means together the teams will pay $500,000 to the city for advertising, as well as $4,500 per game.

The new ribbon board going up at Mile One is being paid for by the team owners, but an addendum to the lease agreement states the teams could potentially recoup those costs by selling the naming rights of Mile One Centre – essentially, there’s a chance the building could be renamed as a result of this lease agreement.

Other changes coming into play with the agreement involve food and beverage services. The teams will take over restaurant and catering services at the suite level of Mile One, and pay eight per cent of gross revenue from restaurant sales to SJSEL on all events during the lease.

The management of the building, however, is still being negotiated.

“We’re still in those discussions, but what we did is we signed a lease for the first year just so that we had a lease in place. Then, over the next year, we’ll be working on that to see if we can reach an agreement,” said Breen.

Twitter: @juanitamercer_

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