Former Premier Danny Williams says that the AHL is coming to St. John’s:
“From my perspective we have tentative bilateral agreements. One with True North, and the second is with the city under the auspices of St. John’s Sports and Entertainment.”
Both agreements are only tentative, and subject to approval. Without a subsidy from the province, the subsidy that Williams said was essential to the deal, travel funds will be found elsewhere.
“It’s going to have to come on the revenue side of the equation,” said Williams, “From ticket prices and corporate sponsorships. When the application was rejected (which was actually the city’s application) we just felt this was too good an opportunity to let go, and we just went at it with a vengeance and said, OK, let’s rework the numbers and lets just see what we can do.”
“This was probably our last shot at an AHL franchise and we went at it hard and we had good discussion over the last couple of days and worked out an agreement and I’m just delighted we’ve pulled it off.”
Williams said that they don’t have any numbers yet, but that ticket prices may be announced as early as next week.
According to St. John’s City Councillor Danny Breen (also a representative for St. John’s Sports and Entertainment) the agreement was made without having to change the existing policy:
“We were able to make the lease agreement work within the framework we had,” he said, “which is that there be no risk to the city and that we work within the existing subsidy.”