RE: The TELUS Cup

Justin
Justin Crann
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Mosaic Place board will reply to Hockey Canada letter

The Mosaic Place board of directors wants to mend fences with Hockey Canada, but is unsure how.

After a letter from the national organization admonishing the downtown facility went public several weeks ago — and days before any of them had seen it — members of the board were caught flat-footed and "a little surprised," said Kurt Saladana, the board's chair.

"We're concerned about the issues they have raised. We're also a little mystified by some of it. All of the costs were negotiated up front — there were no hidden or surprise costs," he said.

In the letter (PDF), Jeff Beck, manager of events and properties for Hockey Canada, cited "facility costs and facility cost overruns" as "the primary reason for (the) disappointing result" of the event — namely, that the TELUS Cup broke even and would leave "no financial legacy for the community for youth programming."

According to the letter, "if facility costs had been kept at the $90,000 level promised during the event awarding process, it would have led to a great local story."

In a June 4 interview with the Times-Herald, Beck blamed "additional costs throughout the course of the planning of the event" for the final bill.

However, Saladana said there were few variables that were not negotiated and that those totalled far less than the difference Hockey Canada claimed in the letter.

Among those variables were "a cost for building a platform for TSN that came in at a few hundred dollars," some damage caused by a hockey player in an accident totalling "less than $100," and a bill totalling "about $1,000" for an electrician, he said.

"The only other variable cost was for security. That was based on attendance at the games," added Saladana. "I think it came under the budget they forecast."

One additional cost the letter does not explicitly cite — and that wasn't a part of negotiations during the initial awarding process — was the cost to rent the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre for the entire TELUS Cup week, including as a cabaret.

"The cabaret was a negotiated add-on," said Saladana. "They wanted to run it with the hope of generating more revenue. They came to us, negotiated the cost, and they were happy to pay it.

"We provided the facility and we gave them the costs for the facility … They agreed to pay everything," he added. "It's a little bit mystifying why this came up after the fact. If you have complaints about the cost of something, usually that comes up during the negotiations, not afterward."

In the letter, Beck declared that "future bids received from the City of Moose Jaw hosted at Mosaic Place will not be considered for Hockey Canada, or Saskatchewan Hockey Association championships."

However, the board decided Tuesday night it will extend an olive branch to Hockey Canada in an attempt to resolve the issue.

"We're going to reach out to Hockey Canada and invite them to come and meet with us," said Saladana. "We want to keep working with Hockey Canada and intend to do so."

But when it comes to financials, "I'm not sure what kind of reconciliation they would expect," he added.

"They have to understand that we're a hands-off facility that is still funded by the city … we can't take a loss, otherwise we have to go to the city and the taxpayers end up funding it," Saladana said.

"We as the board, and Scott Clark as the general manager, don't have the authority — legal or moral — to go out and spend the taxpayers' money that way."

Find Justin Crann on Twitter.

Organizations: Hockey Canada, TELUS, Place board Times-Herald Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre Saskatchewan Hockey Association

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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  • sn
    June 25, 2014 - 12:34

    The deal was $90,000. If someone at the Mosiac messed up on their end, too bad. A deal is a deal.