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Thread: Abbotsford Heat leave city with $12M in losses

  1. #1

    Post Abbotsford Heat leave city with $12M in losses

    The City of Abbotsford has paid the owners of the Abbotsford Heat another $5.5 million to end the Calgary Flames' farm team's contract with the city, capping off years of financial losses for the city.

    Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman joined CEO of the Calgary Flames, Ken King, and president of Abbotsford Heat, Ryan Walter, at the announcement on Tuesday morning.

    Banman said in total the contract with the team has cost the city more than $12 million since 2010, when then-mayor George Peary signed a ten-year deal with the Heat to guarantee $5.7 million a year in revenue.

    The Heat has had a tough time filling the city-owned 7,000-seat Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre and faced major hurdles winning fans, including a lack of local interest as most AHL franchises are located in the east and the team's affiliation with the Calgary Flames, a rival of the Vancouver Canucks.

    With the team pulling in around 2,000 fewer fans per game than the minor hockey league average, taxpayers in Abbotsford have covered $7.2 million in losses in five years, plus the costs associated with owning and running the stadium.

    Calgary Flames CEO Ken King said it is not yet clear where the team will go, but confirmed rumours that Glens Falls, N.Y., is one option under consideration.

    Banman said the arena will be renamed the Abbotsford Centre, and there are no plans yet for a new AHL team.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    wow -- talk about missing the boat Canuckleheads - seriously Utica? While this was in the works? Hopefully you move that team to Abbotsford before next season. I heard the Heat had a sweet deal in Abbotsford. I suspect a Canucks farm team would do a great deal better in the city.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Lower Mainland


    I feel the same dondo but one has to know the true financial aspects of having a team in Abbotsford. I may be wrong but I heard they would have to compensate opposing teams air and hotels as they are out of the grid for the league. It is my belief that Calgary left as a result of not being able to break even with a sweetheart deal from the city. Yes I think that the Canucks would have taken the deal last year had they known about it...but Calgary wasn't going to offer them that info. !!! To get out of Utica now will be a huge $$$ in a contract breach.

  4. #4


    From the get go, I said ANY other team would have likely have been able to make it work (Tampa, or Detroit, or even Boston), but not a direct hated rival of the Canucks...whos fans are possibly the most fickle out there.

    On top of that, I said that Abbotsford was pissed that Chilliwack dared to get a WHL franchise and they had to "one up us" because Abbotsford always has to be bigger, and better than anything the 'wack has.

    I may not like our Mayor...but at least I can say that the Mayor and his/her clones didn't screw us out of MILLIONS of dollars....and left to pay for an empty building with no major tenant afterwards.

    As I always say...its penis envy and no matter where you look...someone always has a bigger one that you.

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