Mayor sup­ports city chip­ping in $150K for ‘once in a life­time’ out­door NHL game

PressReader - LStep Channel - Mayor sup­ports city chip­ping in $150K for ‘once in a life­time’ out­door NHL game
For Mayor Michael Fougere, the Her­itage Clas­sic is well worth a $150,000 in­vest­ment from the City of Regina.Fougere sup­ports a pro­posal set to come to coun­cil’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee on Wednes­day. It calls for the city to pro­vide $100,000 in cash and $50,000 worth of ser­vices to­ward the NHL game sched­uled for Mo­saic Sta­dium on Oct. 26.“This is why we built the sta­dium — for these kinds of events, to bring our com­mu­nity to­gether,” Fougere said. “I have no doubt this will sell out. I have no doubt this will be a tremen­dous suc­cess.”The pro­posal first came to a pri­vate ses­sion of ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee in Sep­tem­ber. Evraz Place is seek­ing fi­nan­cial sup­port from the city, but also from the Regina Ho­tel As­so­ci­a­tion and Tourism Saskatchewan. Fougere said the wide range of part­ners will make it a team ef­fort.“This is a com­mu­nity re­sponse to a once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity,” he said.“It’s go­ing to be a na­tional and in­ter­na­tional show­cas­ing of our city.”Ac­cord­ing to an ad­min­is­tra­tion re­port, the eco­nomic im­pact of the event is es­ti­mated at be­tween $15 mil­lion and $18 mil­lion. That comes partly from an ex­pected 3,500 to 6,000 ho­tel room nights, but Fougere said the city can also count on a boost to restau­rant vis­its and other spend­ing.Fougere said the city’s in-kind ser­vice con­tri­bu­tions would likely in­clude tran­sit ser­vice to the game. He said coun­cil­lors will have to pin­point the source of fund­ing for the $100,000 fi­nan­cial grant. He said it will likely come from re­serves.How­ever, the idea hasn’t yet locked down unan­i­mous sup­port around the coun­cil ta­ble.Coun. An­drew Stevens — who ad­mits he’s “not re­ally a mega-event guy” — said he still has some ques­tions.Stevens said he’d be more en­thu­si­as­tic about long-term im­pact than “flash in the pan use.”His pref­er­ence is for the win­ter sports sur­face to be built at Mo­saic Sta­dium to last well be­yond game day. He said he’s not yet clear on whether that will be the case.He fur­ther noted many of the city’s re­serves are low. He said coun­cil should think hard be­fore dip­ping into them fur­ther, say­ing the Gen­eral Fund Re­serve is not sup­posed to be a “trust fund.”In his view, the city should push the prov­ince for a ho­tel tax to help fund ma­jor events without bur­den­ing prop­erty tax­pay­ers. But Stevens ac­knowl­edged that a $100,000 cash in­jec­tion isn’t ex­actly “oner­ous.”He agreed with the mayor that the part­ner­ships are en­cour­ag­ing, and noted the event could well be an op­por­tu­nity to “tell Regina’s story.”The game will be broad­cast on Sport­snet and NBC tele­vi­sion.The pro­posal will go to a full meet­ing of Regina city coun­cil af­ter head­ing through ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee on Wednes­day.If it passes as is, the con­tri­bu­tion would hinge on a few con­di­tions: Notably, the prov­ince and the com­mu­nity would have to come through with sup­port to­talling $700,000.

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