The Strathcona Regional District board has signed off on a new agreement with the Campbell River Storm which gives the hockey club exclusive use of parts of Strathcona Gardens.
The agreement, which the board approved last week, is a renewal of a contract drawn up between the two parties in 2013.
The original agreement took nearly a year to reach and provides the Storm with a combination of exclusive and non-exclusive uses at the Gardens.
The contract gives the Storm exclusive office space and shared use of the Fitness Studio, Pinecrest Room, Dogwood Room, VIP North Room and common areas.
During the regular season, the Storm dressing room will be largely exclusively used by the hockey club unless the Storm gives its consent to allow use by another party.
Director Andy Adams said the agreement gathers several elements into one complete package and is among the best on Vancouver Island.
“Staff have done a tremendous job not only in the re-negotiation of this agreement but in establishing the agreement three years ago,” Adams said. “It took an awful lot of hard work and negotiation, with the understanding that we were looking to provide the most competitive rate on the Island for Junior B hockey.
“We did extensive research of what the rates were on the Island and staff were very diligent to ensure we’re not crossing the line in providing any subsidy whatsoever,” he added.
But Area D Director Brenda Leigh questioned the fairness of the contact and opposed the agreement.
“There was discussion at the Strathcona Gardens Commission about this and I brought up the fact that we’re raising the admission fees for the general public by three per cent per year but this licence agreement does not provide for the same amount of increase,” Leigh said. “It is a two year agreement and it is a private company, so I will be voting against the recommendation.”
The rest of the board, however, voted in favour of the agreement which requires the Storm to pay a monthly licence fee of $2,750 – the same amount it paid under the previous contract.
The agreement also gives specific advertising and signage rights for the Storm, allowing for: 45 advertisements along the dasher boards of Rod Brind’Amour Arena, 12 ads on the wall above the player benches, 16 ads and one centre logo on the ice surface, as well as 36 advertisements on the stairs of Rod Brind’Amour Arena.
The agreement also stipulates that the regional district agrees to buy 10 Storm tickets per game, including playoffs, to give to Campbell River Minor Hockey for distribution.
The new contract is effective as of July 1, 2015 and is good until June 30, 2017, with an option to renew for a third year.