Monday, September 16, 2019 - 12:30 PM

Council Update on Lease Negotiations with Sports Teams

The City of St. John's and St. John's Sports and Entertainment Ltd. (SJSEL) would like to provide an update on the current offer to the Edge and the Growlers.

SJSEL has negotiated in good faith with both the Edge and the Growlers to achieve a long-term lease agreement. There have been many inaccuracies in the public as to the various positions of the parties. We understand that Mr. MacDonald has announced a press conference for Tuesday, Sept. 17, and this has caused much speculation as to the future of the Growlers in the city. City Council wishes to inform the public of its position in advance of this news conference.  

It is important that the public know the Growler’s position is that they take over control of food and beverage revenue, which would increase the SJSEL subsidy by in excess of half a million dollars.

What follows is a summary of key lease terms of sports teams at Mile One for the past number of seasons. We have also included our current offer for the upcoming season.
 

  Ice Caps
(2016 - 2017)
Edge
(2017 – 2018)
Edge/Growlers
(2018 – 2019)
Edge Growlers (present offer 5-year agreement)
Rent per Game Night $7,700 $5,700 $4,500 $2,000
Food & Beverage 
Team Share
20% Beer/Beverage 30%
Food 20%
30% 30%
City Share of Corporate Sponsorships (Teams receive the balance) City received $277,000
 
City received
$500,000
 
City received $500,000
 
City receives $500,000
 

 
The City has presented in its most current offer to the teams a reduction in nightly rent of over 50%, from the previous year. This results in an increase in the City’s subsidy to SJSEL between $140,000 to $190,000, depending on the number of games played. This significant reduction in the rent demonstrates the City’s commitment to retain the teams. 

The Growlers response to this most recent offer was to call a media conference. We are still having discussions with the Edge. 

Council understands the many benefits of having sports teams which provide entertainment opportunities and community spirit for residents and the region, and economic benefits to the downtown during game nights. The goal is to keep anchor sports team tenants at Mile One at a fair and reasonable cost to the teams and to the taxpayers. We encourage the Growlers to reply to our last offer, return to discussions and work with us to reach an agreement.