Tbnewswatch Local News
Sunday July 5 2015
10:47 PM EDT
2014-01-21 at 16:39

Meet the key players of the Thunder Bay Live consortium

By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

Tuesday’s surprise announcement that the city has chosen an event centre partner to move forward with caught Thunder Bay and hockey fans from coast to coast off guard.

Led by former NHL coach Gary Green, the group includes some pretty heavy hitters in the sports and entertainment business in Canada.

Here’s a quick peek at the major players:

Gary Green: In November 1979, at the tender age of 26, Green took over the head coaching duties with the Washington Capitals, becoming the youngest coach in NHL history. He spent parts of three seasons behind the Caps bench, then spent the next two decades covering hockey for Hockey Night in Canada and TSN. For the past 20-plus years he’s been a senior director of Stadium Consultants International and BBB Architects, a company that’s designed facilities such as Vancouver’s Rogers Arena and Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.

Global Spectrum Facility Management: The company managers London, Ont.’s Budweiser Gardens and more than 120 other public-assembly facilities around the world, drawing more than 20 million spectators to more than 15,000 events in 2013. Other arenas include the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre in British Columbia, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, and the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz., home of the Anthony LeBlanc-led Phoenix Coyotes.

Stadium Consultants International: Wholly owned by BBB Architects, the company’s website says it specializes in the “financial and physical planning, development and implementation of sports, recreational, leisure and entertainment facilities.”  Projects they’ve worked on include Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, Kingston, Ont.’s K-Rock Centre and London’s Budweiser Gardens.

True North Sports and Entertainment:  Founded by then Manitoba Moose co-owner Mark Chipman, the company led the charge in 2011 to return NHL hockey to Winnipeg, buying the Atlanta Thrashers and relocating to the MTS Centre. The company is now owned by Chipman and billionaire David Thomson. True North also owns the AHL’s St. John’s Ice Caps, which operates as the Jets chief minor league affiliate.  Chipman has expressed interest at moving their affiliation to a new event centre in Thunder Bay, should the city go ahead with its $106.1-million plan.

Lakehead University: Founded in 1965, the school brought back varsity hockey in 2001 and quickly became a powerhouse in the CIS, earning berths in four national championships, twice as host. The Thunderwolves are also one of the most wildly popular teams in the country, regularly drawing more than 2,000 fans to Fort William Gardens. They’ve agreed to become a secondary tenant at the new event centre.

PCL Constructors Canada Inc.: Led by Dave Filipchuk (western Canada) and Jim Dougan (eastern Canada), PCL says it prides itself as a “building company for larger projects, such as airports, sports facilities and office towers.”  Major projects include the Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America in Minneapolis, Winnipeg’s MTS Centre and the revitalization of Vancouver’s B.C. Place.

BBB Architects Toronto Inc.: Design firm has developed facilities around the world, including Lybid Plaza in Kiev, Ukraine, the refurbishment of Maple Leaf Gardens for Ryerson University, Rogers Centre in Vancouver and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

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Watchful says:
With all these fine "big wigs" coming on board, why should the government pay for anything? If the people want this, then those sponsors and the citizens of Thunder Bay should be footing the whole bill. No one will mind the increase in taxes,just ask skyhigh ,he says we'll will be more than willing to pay no matter what the cost. After all this will put us on the map as a huge cultural city
1/25/2014 1:06:53 AM
Common cents says:
Why is there do much censorship on this site?????

and this subject?????
1/23/2014 6:11:29 PM
The Beaver..... says:
Waite till the Hammer comes down and the money has to be put on the table there wont be many of these fine people left.
Its great and easy for me to enjoy your
landscaping as long as you don't ask me
to help you pay for it.
1/23/2014 8:40:47 AM
Joey88 says:
Why are you guys so eager to live in the past or to stay stagnant?? Go to a large city and see how they operate, and what they have
1/22/2014 2:00:50 PM
working_man says:
@ "The Badger Mountain Hermit" and "unheard",
Do you actually know that this group is not providing anything at all or are your comments just more innuendo and fear mongering???
1/22/2014 12:40:44 PM
bttnk says:
But what does this group of experience and successful businessmen know? It's not as if they have decades of experience in city planning, architectual design, professional sports franchise build, etc. We really should be listening to the vocal minority of 50 somethings in Thunder Bay, they have all the answers and all the experience. Note the sarcasm........
1/22/2014 10:46:59 AM
fastball says:
Noted....and seconded.
1/22/2014 3:26:12 PM
humnchuck says:
But when I went to those Fort William Redskins football games on the field behind McKellar Park School in 1960 it was just fine! Everybody went! Why should we ever change?

This looks like a very solid group of professionals. Looking forward to seeing how the proposal works out. I'd be very interested in season tickets to AHL hockey.

1/22/2014 6:11:22 PM
unknowncronik says:
unsure why the city didn't build the new arena on 1/2 the centennial golf course property & keep 9 holes open to make it really different from the rest of the arenas in Canada.
It could have had numerous activities offered all in one place, not just an indoor arena!! it would have been an amazing place!

the confined space @ the marina will be its own downfall anyways.

were so different than other towns as we have an abundance of beautiful land @ our disposal if needed but decide to go with the norm just like every other town...

1/22/2014 8:57:16 AM
unheard says:
ya good pick, who doesn't want a partner that is not willing to contribute to the cost of building. How many kick backs coming out of this deal ?
1/22/2014 7:34:35 AM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Why can't these beggars in silk suits come up with the cash to build this Elephant Centre of Hockey Excellence all by themselves? If it's such a great money-making opportunity, you'd think they wouldn't hesitate, right? Get ready to get robbed again folks, here in Little Montreal.
1/22/2014 6:16:33 AM
Rbosch says:
The credentials of this consortium are impressive. They present an impressive resume and with two tenants on board, to solidify usage dates, it should be a good sell to the Fedsand Provs. Now, if the city can get its 1/3 in place, that will furter the logical steps. Good luck with the process folks and please ignore the ignorant remarks that are sure to come along.
1/21/2014 9:20:15 PM
bluejaysfan says:
This is very exciting news for the community.
1/21/2014 9:11:50 PM
keiths31 says:
Seems like the city did good and took the time and did the research. These aren't fly-by-night operators here. Looking good for the city...
1/21/2014 8:09:30 PM
advocate says:
Companies like this do not invest into bad potential.

If these guys see the great potential, it is time for others to see it too.
1/21/2014 7:54:22 PM
Dan Dan says:
This is great news, and potentially a great day for this city!
1/21/2014 7:36:48 PM
sky high says:
What a star-studded stellar lineup!!! Both levels of governments are going to be chomping at the bit to get this done!
1/21/2014 5:56:49 PM
Eastender says:
Exactly how much money will they be investing?
1/21/2014 10:54:38 PM
TBDR says:
my guess it it'll be in the 8 figure range...
1/22/2014 8:04:01 AM
sky high says:
I'm not sure but a reasonable man is going to assume quite a lot. Those people have some money. We couldn't have found a better bunch to come in and help us get this thing done. Who'd have thought True North!
1/22/2014 8:06:28 AM
Eastender says:
Guessing is a parlour game. Yes they are probably a reasonably good bunch at a picnic, but this is business, and only hard written down figures will suffice. This isn't a party or a picnic, its business. Again, Just what amount are they willing to invest?
1/24/2014 7:53:44 PM
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