Miscommunication, poor attendance set stage for argument
Mosaic Place and Hockey Canada have resolved the argument that stemmed from the Telus Cup.
At its regular meeting, the Downtown Facility and Field House (DFFH) Board — the body that oversees Mosaic Place and YaraCentre — released to the public a strongly-worded response letter to Hockey Canada's earlier correspondence, which reflected the latter organization's disappointment in the event's financial outcome.
In their letter, dated July 10, DFFH Board Chair Kurt Saladana wrote that the poor outcome was the result of "what would appear to be, low spectator attendance.
"I agree that it would have been great if the event had generated a surplus … however, if the only way this could have occurred was through greater community subsidization, it could not be considered a profit," he added.
Saladana also addressed Hockey Canada's threats to blacklist Moose Jaw and discourage other sports governing bodies from bringing their events to the Friendly City.
"I would think that this type of threat would make it difficult to find other communities willing to work with your organization," he wrote. "We would have difficulty recommending this type of event to prospective communities, our message being that Hockey Canada's demands are unrealistic."
On Wednesday, Saladana spoke further about the events that unfolded after the letter was submitted to Hockey Canada.
"They responded with a phone call … after speaking with them, I think a lot of (the disagreement) was due to miscommunication and not even any real attempts at discussion between Hockey Canada and the (Mosaic Place) board or management up front," he said.
Saladana added that Hockey Canada's disappointment stemmed from its approach to organizing events such as the Telus Cup largely through third parties.
"My understanding is that they are very proactive in dealing with local organizations about the bid and where the Telus Cup is going to go, but after that, they seem to be very hands-off," he explained. "All they see is the end product. I think they need to be more involved throughout."
While Mosaic Place and the Telus Cup Host Committee "were pretty happy," Saladana added, "Hockey Canada is used to a different price model."
In the end, he said, it would have been better if Hockey Canada had come forward with their expectations from the beginning.
"If they had come in and told us they were looking to make a certain profit … I don't know if we would ever have hit the number they wanted, and maybe they would have gone someplace else," said Saladana. "If we had more insight from the beginning about what they were actually looking for, that would have helped."
He added that he was confident the two organizations would be able to mend fences.
"I fully expect we will see another Hockey Canada event happening here, some time in the future," said Saladana. "Next time around, we will make sure everyone is happy with the numbers up front."
Hockey Canada's Jeff Beck was contacted for comment, but he declined.
"We have had private discussions with Mosaic Place," he said. "We have nothing to add at this point."
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