Five-year agreement signed between DFFH and Warriors
It was a celebratory kind of morning as representatives of the City of Moose Jaw’s Downtown Facility and Field House (DFFH) board and the Moose Jaw Warriors signed a new fiveyear agreement at Mosaic Place Thursday.
“It takes two to tango and I’m sure they’ll have an opinion, but we’ve had several meetings with the Warriors and I believe we have a really good relationship going. We’re on a friendly basis,” said Coun. Brian Swanson, chair of the DFFH board. “We both have a clear understanding that there can’t be one party succeeding and the other not.”
Alan Miller, general manager of the Moose Jaw Warriors, said the groups had a good understanding of financial viabilities and the future of the building and hockey club.
“There was a real good sense of working together to put a deal together that worked for both parties. The process was excellent from our perspective,” Miller said.
The Warriors had to consider all aspects of their operation when signing the agreement.
“When you look at putting together a long-term lease which is an important piece of business for both parties, you can’t really react and make decisions based on one, two or three years in terms of your success,” Miller said. “You have to be cognizant of the bigger picture, you have to be cognizant of what you’re expenses are and what you can generate in revenue.”
The GM said a number of the Warriors’ concerns were addressed early on with no issues at this point in time.
“We went into negotiations understanding that we felt comfortable with the lease we had. We knew there was going be some give and take,” said Miller. “We know there was going to be some tweaking.”
He said the club has liabilities, such as scholarship funds that extend over a million dollars to approximately 60 players, that they want to protect when they plan their future and look at the operational finances. Those factors were discussed in previous meetings.
It helps that the team was able to shake off their losing ways and flourish as a top contender in the Western Hockey League.
“I think that’s true about anything in life. You have to go through tough times to appreciate good times,” said Swanson. “It certainly helps that the Warriors are winning this year. It makes things a lot easier for everybody.”
The Warriors left the Moose Jaw Civic Centre, known as the Crushed Can, in 2011. Moving into Mosaic Place helped the organization tremendously.
“This building was a game-changer for this franchise,” Miller said. “It went from a small-market team in the older building, which had a lot of history and a lot of character but was probably, in the bigger picture, going to make it difficult to sustain this franchise here in Moose Jaw.”
Playing in the arena has helped the organization recruit and retain new players. It also enabled the team to attract more fans, which in turn generates more revenue from ticket sales, souvenirs and concessions.
“We’ve invested a lot in our club and a lot in our players and we have the amenities that are in the best interest for our players and are in the best interest of the development of our players,” he said.
Alan Miller, general manager of the Moose Jaw Warriors said moving to Mosiac Place was a game changer for the franchise.