New lease deal proposal for Goldeyes could be tough
WINNIPEG -- A new lease deal proposal between the Winnipeg Goldeyes and the city is having a tough time getting around the bases at City Hall.
The city's property and development committee was the first step in the process and a majority of councillors on the committee are skeptical about the proposal and there's no guarantee the Goldeyes will sign off on the agreement.
The current lease has the Goldeyes paying one dollar a year for rent which is in place until 2023 but the new 15-year proposal would see the team pay between $75,000 and $95,000 a year.
"We need black and white. There's no room for grey in these types of situations," said Sam Katz, the owner of the Goldeyes.
"For this moment in history, it's a good trade," said Brian Mayes, councillor for St. Vital.
As part of the proposed deal, there would be tax breaks for the team. There would be $43,000 annually for municipal taxes and more than $300,000 in entertainment taxes until 2029.
"If the sport is not being played, there is no entertainment tax. So I think to say it's a loss of revenue or subsidy is flawed," said Katz.
In a three to one vote, the committee voted down the proposal in its current form and a motion to obtain more financial information from the team, which included parking and sign revenue, was unsuccessful in a tie vote.
"This came before me on October 28, I was the lone member to vote against it. I will be doing that again," said Sherri Rollins, councillor for Fort Rouge and East Fort Garry.
There is no guarantee the Goldeyes will sign off on the proposal and Katz said the team prefers a 25-year lease and assurance that the tax breaks would continue beyond 2029.
"There's a 15-year scenario, we need the 25. We need to know what it is. We can't make long term commitments," said Katz.