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LETTER: Make Mile One work or let it go

Mile One Centre in St. John's. — File photo
Mile One Centre in St. John’s. — Telegram file photo

What is it about the City of St. John’s Mile One “will we sell or hold on?” dilemma that we are not being told?

St. John’s has an asset called Mile One stadium that was built as much to attract new business opportunities to the city as to provide a venue for sports and entertainment events for the enjoyment of anyone willing to buy a ticket. That, and as a showcase to attract people to live in and around the city because, well, because it is there, and there will be sports and entertainment events for people to attend. Except, while there have been sports teams and successful sports franchises, entertainment events have been few and far between and capital city taxpayers have had to subsidize Mile One operations to the tune of millions of dollars annually since it was built.

What I do not get is why the city won’t tell us why they want to hold on to an asset that is a perennial millstone. Is there some opportunity on the horizon that is going to change that? If there is, get it out there and let’s move forward. If not, it’s incumbent on our city council to get on with making a decision on the opportunity that’s before them.


What I do not get is why the city won’t tell us why they want to hold on to an asset that is a perennial millstone.


Mile One Centre is not going anywhere regardless of who owns or runs it. It will be where it is until it falls or is knocked down to make way for something else. What is desperately needed is an operator willing to take the business risk and invest the resources needed to make it viable. Is that the City of St. John’s or is it someone else? To date, the city has invested the cost to build the place, 20 years of operating subsidies and has provided nothing, not a shred of evidence, to make anyone believe that further taxpayer subsidies will not be needed going forward.

The opportunity, as reported, is to sell Mile One to an owner/operator who is prepared to invest millions on capital upgrades and guarantee the city will not have to subsidize operating cost going forward, while fulfilling its original purpose. Sounds like something that should be given careful and expeditious consideration.

Rolly Card,

St. John’s

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