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AIG – First The Team, then the Abbotsford Centre – Aquilini’s, the Canucks Owner, Wants to Manage Arena

Abbotsford – The Vancouver Cancucks have aquired the AHL green light to move their farm team, the Utica Comets, to the Abbotsford Centre.

Over the past few months, there were rumours that AIG Aquilini Investment Group , who owns both the NHL and AHL tam, wanted to buy the Abbotsford Centre.

There won’t be a purchase, but according to BCBid, an agreement between the City of Abbotsford and the AIG group to manage the barn is in the works. It’s Five years at $750,000 a year. That should calm the fears of taxpayers who were stiffed by the previous deal with the NHL Calgary Flames when the Abby Heat left town with over $5M tax dollars as a buyout payment.

From the BCBid website – https://www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca/open.dll/welcome?language=En then go to Browse for Bid Opportunities or Bid Results

May 6, 2021

File: 1220-2021-2601

Notice of Intent to Award a Contract

Notice is hereby given by the City of Abbotsford of its intent to award a Facility Operation and Management Agreement to AIG Acquisitions Inc. or a permitted assignee (” Proposed Operator”) in respect of the City of Abbotsford’s facility known as the Abbotsford Centre, situated on City-owned property located at 33800 King Road, Abbotsford, BC. The effective date of the proposed contract is January 1, 2022.

The initial term of the proposed contract is 5 years with three further renewal term options. The contract contemplates a fixed price annual management fee of $750,000 subject to inflationary indexing, in exchange for which the Proposed Operator is responsible for managing and operating the Abbotsford Centre as a multi-purpose entertainment and sports facility to serve as a community facility and for a wide range of other sporting events, trade shows, cultural and entertainment events. The management fee is inclusive of all operating costs but excludes the City’s responsibility for capital maintenance and repair. The contract further includes revenue sharing opportunities for the City based on the number and type of event tickets sold.

The City chose to solicit an offer for the agreement from the Proposed Operator exclusively given its unique experience and ability to leverage operational synergies within the Canucks Sports and Entertainment franchise and the Proposed Operator’s desire to relocate its American Hockey League (AHL) development team to the Abbotsford Centre as an anchor tenant beginning in the 2021-2022 AHL season, without which the fixed price management fee with responsibility for operating costs would not be viable.

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