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06-28-2012, 09:05 PM
  #248
Hugh Mann*
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New Westminster, BC
Country: Greenland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htpwn View Post
The arena will be 100% publicly owned and then leased to Roustan and Bratty's group. The lease payments, among other financing tools, will be used by the town to pay down the arena debt.



All cost overruns will be covered by Roustan and Bratty, not the town.



The Council has done a 'good' job keeping the issue behind closed doors as much as possible, which is regrettable. For a project like this, public consultation should have been a pivotal part of the process.
Thanks for clearing that up. The fact that it will be publicly owned makes it (very slightly) easier to swallow. They're still spending massive amounts of public funds on something that's of no economic value to the community (the idea that sports arenas and teams provide real economic benefits is a myth), but at least the resulting product will be owned by the community. It means that the community will at least have something physical to show for their expenditures instead of having to deal with simply handing buckets of cash to a private business enterprise.

I can see that you're right about the idea of a hard cap on the town's contribution, though I'm extremely skeptical that this means anything at all. I'm sure that, in the event of overruns, the town and the business consortium's lawyers will find some kind of creative way around the portion of the agreement that relieves the town of any obligation to cover overruns. Though, the articles I'm reading make it sound like the town can consent to providing additional funding, but that they are not obligated to do so. Can you shed some light on that?

I still want to know why a billionaire and his private business partners need public funds to make this happen. They clearly have the money needed to build their own arena completely independent of public financing, so why don't they? Do they believe that, in the absence of public funding, a major arena in Markham won't be profitable in the long term? I suspect that the town's eagerness (11-2 vote) to go ahead with the project is just the result of politicians and others eager to attach their name to a big, visible, impressive project, regardless of the costs and benefits.

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