The company that manages and operates the South Okanagan Events Centre on behalf of the City of Penticton has reached a lease agreement with its main tenant: the Penticton Vees Junior A Hockey Club.
The new two-season deal, which will see the BCHL franchise assume more control and risk surrounding the team’s marketing and ticket sales, is being described by all parties involved as far superior to the previous contract. Under that deal the city paid the team up to $675,000 a year to play at the SOEC no matter how much revenue was generated from their games.
Global Spectrum general manager Dean Clarke said depending on how attendance goes, the new arrangement, over its two-season term, has the potential to save the city about $200,000 compared to the old scenario.
However, because he had already accounted for some of those savings in Global Spectrum’s 2011 budget in anticipation of the new deal, Clark said the savings will have a mitigated impact on whether he hits this year’s budget targets or not.
Clarke said the new deal, which has yet to be signed, is more of a traditional lease agreement than its predecessor.
“They will now be driving the vision for a lot of the services that we have provided for them in the past, like marketing,” Clarke explained. “However, there will be some highbred points to the deal because we will still be providing some of our staff to help them put on their events.
“Essentially they will have a sales team and a marketing team, but to put on the calibre of event that has been put on in the past requires more of a staff and so there will be some synergies between us under the new lease.”
Clarke said it is the lease structure that should have been in place from the beginning.
“I am definitely excited that we have come to this agreement,” he said, thanking the Vees management for working to get the contract done. “This deal puts the control and vision back into the capable hands of the community-based local Vees ownership, which I think for Junior A hockey is essential.”
Coun. Mike Pearce, who chairs the city committee which oversees Global Spectrum’s management of the SOEC and other city-owned facilities, said he also prefers the new deal’s structure to that of the one established under the previous council because now both the risks and rewards of putting on the games will be shared with the Vees.
“You have to get them more involved so if they increase business they get rewarded,” Pearce said.