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Tbnewswatch Local News
Monday May 25 2015
5:26 PM EDT
2014-04-14 at 13:53

Winnipeg Jets launch survey focused on potential AHL support in city

Photo supplied
By Leith Dunick,

The Winnipeg Jets are gauging support for an American Hockey League team in Thunder Bay through a voluntary online survey.

The NHL team is asking a number of questions related to the possible relocation of the St. John’s IceCaps from Newfoundland to Northern Ontario, where they would become the primary tenant in a proposed $100-million event centre being discussed in Thunder Bay.

The Survey Monkey questionnaire asks participants their potential ticket-buying frequency for an AHL team in Thunder Bay as well and their current level of  interest in both the Lakehead Thunderwolves and Junior A Thunder Bay North Stars.

Jets spokesman Scott Brown said the True North Sports and Entertainment-sponsored survey is part of the team’s due-diligence process.

Earlier this year the Jets agreed to partner with Thunder Bay Live, the group the city signed a letter of intent with to run the 5,700-seat facility.

Council has yet to approve construction the event centre, and is expected to entertain a Phase 3 study in June, which includes preliminary designs, a business plan and cost estimates.

City officials last week said they’d like to see construction begin as early as next spring.

“It’s a basic step in gauging an understanding of the market, it’s interest in the different levels of hockey that they currently have in Thunder Bay and their potential interest if there was an American Hockey League team in terms of number of games of attendance, price point and other factors like that,” Brown said.

The survey will run until the beginning of May.

Brown said the Jets are looking to maximize the response from residents of Thunder Bay.

“We don’t have a specific expectation or plateau in terms of making a decision, but we do hope to hear from a lot of people which would help us make a more accurate decision and assessment of the interest of the market in the American Hockey League and the market’s ability to support the American Hockey League,” Brown said.

“And I think that’s an important assessment for everybody involved. You never want to make a commitment to a city and then not have it be as successful as everyone wanted it to be.”

Michael Smith, the cities facilities manager, said he's not concerned about the timing of the survey, calling it a normal part of the process. 

"They've always said that they would do their own market research on the market here in Thunder Bay," Smith said. "We're not surprised at all to see that they've gone out to do their own independent survey. In fact, we expected that." 

The Jets survey is one of two Survey Monkey event centre-related polls being conducted at this time. Lakehead University students are also seeking public input on the appetite for an event center, which would likely be built using mainly taxpayer dollars at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.

Neither survey purports to be scientific in nature. LU professor Mike Yuan has acknowledged his students are aware some people have accessed the poll multiple times, adding where possible those results will be wiped out.

Notes: Archtiect Chris O'Reilly estimated designs for the proposed facility are about seven to eight per cent complete. 



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habliker says:
As someone who actually was a season ticket holder to the "IceCraps" as you would like to (disrespectfully) refer to them as. I can tell you that my 2 seats were just over $2000 for the season. My seats were not the best in the house, 14 rows up and on an end to be precise. But very reasonable, there were - I believe - 1 category of seats above mine and 2 below so prices do range a bit.
In terms of a subsidy Mile One Centre does receive an operating subsidy from the city of St. John's - it has been decreasing and was at approx. 250,000 - 300,000 the last year I was there (2011-2012).
4/15/2014 7:24:22 PM
Wolfie says:
Thank you for providing first hand information of the situation there.
4/16/2014 7:18:08 AM
tbayvoter says:
Abbotsford just lost their AHL team.... Gee that won't or couldn't happen here could it? Would it?.... Just food for thought...
4/15/2014 7:11:42 PM
bttnk says:

One could conclude that we will pay prices similar to what is currently being paid by the Winnipeg Jets affiliate.

See you at the game!
4/15/2014 2:28:32 PM
KendallJaye says:
I don't care how much tickets are, and those do look grossly expensive, but these bandits will not be getting our money, so you'll not be seeing my family there, and I haven't spoken to anyone that feels differently. True North or the Waterfront Committee or Thunder Bay or whoever is pushing this sure isn't going about this in a way that'll have the community falling in love with this team, whatever they're called. They're not even here yet and people already can't wait for them to leave. So sad.
4/15/2014 5:25:46 PM
bttnk says:
You are in the minority. They'll have my family signed up for seasons tickets on the very first day of sales.
4/16/2014 8:45:34 AM
KCDirtNorth says:
He's in the minority? So over 50,000 are going to pay well over $1000 a year for season tickets? Pardon me while I clean up spit coffee here. Unbelievable.
4/16/2014 9:35:19 AM
Pandora says:
this is interesting ...we'll be breaking ground for the Arena 2015 ...the tickets for a 2017-18 season will be a min. range of $30- $50 plus .
4/16/2014 9:10:21 AM
karcat says:
Just a note, not sure if its still the same as it was , but to have an ahl franchise here, the rule was that any team that comes to a site has to have 10,000 seats guaranteed to qualify, I may be wrong on this , ok ty
just my opinion that I know from before..
4/15/2014 12:18:04 PM
tonytiger says:
I think you're thinking of the fact that the Winnipeg Jets needed to sell that many season tickets guaranteed for 5 years to be able to qualify for an NHL relocation. The only guarantee in the AHL is that no matter how much support you give your team, it will cost you millions, then, it will move. Just ask the St Johns Icecraps as they supported their team in a new arena fabulously and lost them to us, and so on, and so forth.
4/15/2014 1:29:47 PM
Wolfie says:
Do we really need to call them the "Icecraps"?

How old are you, Tony?
4/15/2014 1:43:21 PM
JYDog says:
They are a dead entity, so what does it matter what anyone calls them? We are robbing from one community to give to another, so maybe they should be called the St. John's Hockey-team-stolen-in-the-night-from-a-community-that-was-gullible-enough-to-build-a-new-arena-thinking-they'd-have-a-team-to-support-long-term-but-were-sorely-mistaken-ice-caps. Would that suit your fickle sensibilities Wolfay?
4/15/2014 2:10:59 PM
S Duncan says:
If a team needs subsidies from the taxpayers not only for the venue to play in, but to fund the ticket sale shortfalls...

...then that name is very fitting.
4/15/2014 2:14:41 PM
Wolfie says:
So now you're an expert on hockey and arenas in St. John's too?

Please tell me more about their subsidies and ticket sale shortfalls.
4/15/2014 3:17:17 PM
JYDog says:
Actually Wolfie, the tickets for this season of the St. Johns Icecraps is $32-$42 so $50 including taxes and fees for tickets a new arena in a prime seating location isn't as outlandish as it'd seam, so I stand by what I said, no matter what the Jets put out in their joke survey. It'll cost a bundle, and it'll be up the the market to see how they decide to spend their hard earned and very limited resources. If we can't draw 2000 regularly to see the Wolves, why would we suddenly pay three times mere for twice the number of games, and still support the wolves. It simply does not add up.
4/15/2014 11:00:53 AM
bttnk says:
Actually JYDog you are incorrect. Season tickets to the IceCaps, the current Winnipeg Jets affiliate are $18-$28 per seat for the season. That is $684-$1064 per seat for a season ticket.

4/15/2014 2:08:10 PM
sinjo says:
JYDog you obviously did not complete the survey. They asked what you were willing to pay for tickets and the range maxed out at $25 or more so if you want seats behind the bench then maybe they'll be more but the avg seat won't be. Sports teams make more money off the concessions & beer than they do off the seasons tickets unless you account for the corporate boxes.
4/15/2014 10:43:05 AM
JYDog says:
I actually did the survey, and wasn't blinded by the language. They did not say $25 will be the top ticket price, they asked you, would you pay more than $25. $25 OR MORE..... what do you think that means? MORE THAN 25 DOLLARS is what it means, and if you knew anything about the AHL yes you can get cheap seats in the corners at the back, but the rest are usually mid level to premium, and you pay accordingly, meaning MORE than $25, especially when you get into season tickets, because you're not going to pay a lot for terrible seats, in fact, most in this city will not pay a lot for any seat, as you'll soon see.
4/15/2014 11:12:34 AM
youngintbay says:
Cant`t wait to start going to the multiplex to watch some good hockey. Hopefully we getsome good concerts there. It`ll be nice after a game and concert to go downtown for a drink and some apps after at some of the restuarants and bars. Lets see what else we can get in this city. just remember people change is good. And you have to spend money to make money.
4/15/2014 9:30:10 AM
S Duncan says:
except this doesn't make any money.

it consumes $1.3 million each and every year. That's not including the construction costs and the interest will we have to pay to service the debt.

it doesn't include the additional costs of relocating a bus terminal, nor even plan for it.

it doesn't include the supposed loss of returns we will receive on the "invested" renew Thunder Bay funds OR the interest we are paying on that borrowed money, OR the money we have to borrow to make up for the shortcomings being ignored by our city to put the welfare dome at the top of their priority sheet.

Funny how everybody seems to forget how the waterfront is already broke and unfinished too.
4/15/2014 9:40:51 AM
JYDog says:
Yeah youngintbay, I can't agree more. What a great idea. I wish they had a waiting list now for season tickets. Let's see, $50 per ticket, conservative estimate, times 45 games, a few preseason, plus hopefully a couple in the playoffs, times 5 tickets for the family, yep, that's about $12,000 per season. I can see people lining up already at the door ready to fork over $150,000 a decade to watch minor league hockey. Are you for real? Obviously not.
4/15/2014 10:11:56 AM
Wolfie says:
Haha, $50 for AHL. "Conservative estimate". Right.

Did you do the survey? Their tiers capped out at "$25 and up". If they were considering going much higher than that, they would have had more high tiers and less low tiers so they could stratify the data more.

$20-$30 is more likely.
4/15/2014 10:39:06 AM
S Duncan says:
how can a tier "cap out" at $25 AND UP??

you keep undermining your own comments at every turn.
4/15/2014 10:53:23 AM
Wolfie says:
$25 and up was the highest tier. Therefore, that is where they capped their options. That was the highest option "$25 and up". Get it now?

Obviously that means that option refers to any price above $25. But if you were doing a survey as a business and wanted to know the most that you could get away with charging people, and were planning on charging well above $25, wouldn't you stratify things a bit more in that range? If you were considering charging $40 or $45, wouldn't you want more detail on if people are willing to pay that?
4/15/2014 12:51:25 PM
tonytiger says:
You honestly think they posted that surveymonkey survey to acquire legitimate information? If so, we really are inviting amateurs into our community. & No, they wouldn't mention the highest possible price, as that'd inspire sticker shock, so no, put the idea that it'd be lower priced out there, and yes line up the suckers eager to bite, then the reality hits them. The same thing happens every time someone logs into ticketmaster then realize they are paying 40% more than they thought they would which is one reason they aren't mentioning the price, just leaving fools to dicker about the fine details while they ready themselves to rake in free cashola.
4/15/2014 1:43:19 PM
Wolfie says:
"You honestly think they posted that surveymonkey survey to acquire legitimate information?"

Yes, I do. But I suppose it could be the first step in an evil plan to plunder Thunder Bay taxpayers for years to come.
4/15/2014 3:24:18 PM
tonytiger says:
Um, even using your suspect math Wolfie, that's still $8000-$9000 per year for a family of 5 to go to all the games. Ask the people of this city honestly how many would pay that, and you might be surprised at the answer. We can't fill the gardens at $12 per ticket 20 times a year, why would we still do that, plus 40 more games at $30+? Give your head a shake.
4/15/2014 10:53:35 AM
Decide says:
Can't fill the Gardens because sitting in those seats is like sitting in coach on an airplane. Your knees touch the seat in front.

Because there are maybe 3-4 washrooms....great waiting in line forever to use em.

Because there is so little there in the form of concession stands...2, maybe 3?

To say the Gardens is fine is like saying roads from the 1800's are fine...they still get you there!

It is a thrill to go to a new, modern arena, I have been to them numerous times. That will bring people in. It isn't a thrill going to the Gardens.

Finally, being able to project it as an absolute failure like a certain "traditional" person here does, means that person must be able to see into the future, and should be rich as that person can project all future winners!
4/15/2014 5:16:09 PM
S Duncan says:
Another comment that undermines itself.

"You cant fill the gardens because sitting in those seats is like sitting in coach on an airplane"

Yet somehow in my crystal ball I see hundreds of thousands of people everyday flying coach and zooming all over the planet. They cram these planes full and the average length of a flight is probably somewhere right around the same as a hockey game.

So, all those people manage to makeout just fine, but the spoiled children in Thunder Bay need special considerations?

As for food, that's good, that way the concessions don't interfere with the restaurant business that people flock to.. or don't they?

Seems if the welfare dome has concessions, restaurants, and serves alcohol it will be in direct competition with those restaurants and bars that are crying for government welfare?

So, if the Gardens isn't fine, then what will be done with all those airplanes?

As for it being a failure, the studys already show it as one and say its dead in 20 years!
4/15/2014 7:57:09 PM
JYDog says:
Also, there are 15 teams in the AHL with tickets over $40 per, and that's before ticketmaster fees push them over $50. So yeah, it is what it is, and if you want good seats, it'll be $50 plus, and much more if you want front row, but the average family of four will not be able to go to a game at the welfare dome for less than $150 before parking or food is factored in. So I'm not Duncan, but I am starting to see the logic of his new name for this hockey rink.
4/15/2014 11:07:20 AM
bttnk says:
Glad to see the Winnipeg Jets ownership group doing their due diligence in anticipation of a spring 2015 start to construction of the Event Centre in the Waterfront Entertainment District.

I'll be one of the first in line to purchase season tickets for my family of 5.
4/15/2014 9:25:39 AM
tonytiger says:
Won't that be like $2500 per season ticket. So you're going to pay $2500 X's 5 for your family to go to minor league hockey. I feel so sorry for your family that you put this much emphasis on a child's game played by bloated manchildren.
4/15/2014 10:16:47 AM
bttnk says:
@tonytiger - And I feel sorry for you, sitting behind a computer judging someone elses family and what they like to do for entertainment.

In the mean time, let me help you with your math. Season tickets to the current Winnipeg Jets AHL affiliate cost between $18-$28 / ticket or between $684 and $1064 / seat for a seasons pass. Surely your were smart enough to realize that tickets to minor league hockey aren't over $65 a piece? Am I giving you too much credit?
4/15/2014 1:19:19 PM
tonytiger says:
Even using your lowball math, how many families of 5 are willing to subsidize the welfare dome to the tune of $5500+tax per year for their families to go see minor calibre hockey, not including food and beverages and parking as was stated above will far exceed even those costs? Hmmmm? How many are that gullible to pay that much for so little? Thousands? Think again.
4/15/2014 1:38:50 PM
bttnk says:
tony - I can see math isn't your thing, so I am going to help you out some more. This isn't low-ball math, these are the current costs for seasons tickets to see the AHL affiliate that we are currently discussing. Process that?

Now, at the current prices, the range would be between $3,420 - $5,320 for a family of 5 to get seasons tickets. I think you would be surprised at how many people would pay an average of $850 to watch one of the best professional hockey leagues in the world.
4/15/2014 2:15:47 PM
bttnk says:
$850 for seasons tickets that is.
4/15/2014 2:21:24 PM
tonytiger says:
If it's such a winning venture, then why isn't private enterprise footing the bill for this suspicious undertaking? Why are the tax payers paying copious millions for a guaranteed loser? If you guys want an arena so bad, start a buy a brick campaign. $1000 a brick, you millionaires that want to spend tens of thousands a year on tickets will surely be able to afford $1000 per brick to help the cause. Let's see, 106 million, divided by $1000 per brick, hey, that's 106,000 bricks. The same number of people we have in the city. Awesome. So just convince every single citizen that they have to pay $1000 for this, and you get your new arena. See, I'm not so bad at math after all. :D
4/15/2014 2:31:41 PM
Lykarock says:
Does anyone realize that by the end of the year the City will owe 184 million dollars ?
Now we will be asked to borrow or leverage or deplete the Renew Thunder Bay fund for the Event Center. We will be paying for this until we die. The hospital went almost 100 million over budget and someone still seems to think they can build this for under 100M. lol. This planning sounds much like the waterfront where they had to borrow over 5 million from phase two to pay off phase one. here we go again. .. Now they decided they don't need to build additional parking spots. hmm. try to park for dinner downtown sometime. The businesses crowing to build this will also suffer when the folks going to an "event" will take all of the dinner spots too. next we can build a mono-rail...
4/15/2014 6:40:25 AM
Jack Frost says:
S Duncan for Mayor in 2014 !!
4/15/2014 3:03:06 AM
fastball says:
Yes, because why should Rob Ford hog ALL the headlines?
4/15/2014 1:20:19 PM
S Duncan says:
Thunder Bay is adicted to welfare. They expect everyone to just give them everything and the voters often share the mentality of American Idol voters.

This city isnt ready for a tough man that says "NO" alot.

It will have to plunge into near bankruptsy first, but it gets closer every time Commisso and Hobbs and most of council keep pushing their agendas.

We are headed for failure with a population that wants to vote for its own entitlements. You can pull back on the stick all you want but its going to take a miracle not to rash into the mountain.
4/15/2014 4:59:49 PM
rocketship says:
The fix was in right from the get go.

They will have this arena, and it will be in the downtown north ward....end of story.

....and we will pay for it.
4/15/2014 1:32:13 AM
fastball says:
Yes, because that's been the vision of the last few city administrations - the South Side as the administrative side of the city, and the North Side as the entertainment side. It's part of a multi-generational re-visioning of the city.
And we'd pay for matter where it went.
4/15/2014 10:56:16 AM
Dan Dan says:
Seriously, can we please have a cap on the maximum number of comments per person per article? There are a number of people who seem to do nothing in life but post repeatedly on the events centre topic.

We get it - You're against it. You're wrong, you're in the minority, and you've had your say. Move on.
4/14/2014 10:38:33 PM
S Duncan says:
You cant put a cap on discussion because that makes it not discussion at all.

The only reason you don't like my comments is they hit home. They shoot holes in the pro welfare dome hyperbole every time.

Your request to shut down discussion is very telling and embarrassing to everyone in a free country across the globe.

If you do not like my position, counter it. Prove it wrong. Go right ahead, I'm all for it too.

but to whine that too much is being said against your precious welfare dome?

that's bottom of the barrel. Congratulations on arriving there.
4/15/2014 7:52:20 AM
S Duncan says:
why do you read the discussion/comments section if you don't like comments?

We get it, you can't counter facts or make a valid point. Just because you cant handle reality doesn't mean the rest of us can't.
4/15/2014 8:08:37 AM
JYDog says:
Actually Dan Dan, those for this white elephant are in the minority, and a vote would've shown that, and that's exactly why we didn't have it. Those against it are being honest, and every comment for this arena reeks of propaganda, and yes, the 25 regular commenters, are really 7 people with multiple id's. Yes, those against the center must have more than one ID too, but to suggest that the pro side is any different is a gross misrepresentation.
4/15/2014 8:14:53 AM
I hate to say it gang but the gardens is done. It would be nice to keep, maybe have a dog show or a circus in it but that's it. The place is old it has a history to it but time marches on. A kennel show is all its good for.
4/14/2014 10:04:41 PM
analyst1 says:
The Gardens will not last "100 years" but it is good for a while. It is an old arena but it really is not that bad a place too watch hockey. However, a new arena - sorry, I meant "event centre" would be a significant upgrade but I don't see how we can afford it. It would need a major tenant and that means an AHL team that would pay rent. The sucess of that team will be tied to season ticket sales plus solid walk-up ticket sales. The waterfront location will not be good for the hockey team. Yes, the young concert-goers will gladly park and walk a few blocks to see a show once every couple of months in decent weather. The hockey team will not be so fortunate from December-February when they have 3-5 games in a row on a homestand.They need 4000 people per game. The lack of parking will kill the team. Downtown PA is cold, UNSAFE (and don't deny it), and a lot of the street parking will be an uphill walk after the games. I'll do it on July 1 but not 20+ times in the middle of winter. Sorry.
4/14/2014 9:39:12 PM
Wolfie says:
"UNSAFE (and don't deny it)"

I've seen this brought up a couple of times now, and it really surprises me. I go the restaurants down there a few times every month, and have never, ever had an incident or issue to my car, wife, or myself, nor have I seen anyone else have an issue. I feel perfectly safe when in that area.

To me, it seems like comments like yours are fear-mongering, but I realize that my statistical sample is very small. Can you point me towards an article or similar about a random violent crime occurring down there in the last couple of years where the victim and offender weren't known to each other?
4/15/2014 9:58:14 AM
tbaycat says:
Wolfie…… “analyst1” may be exaggerating it a little about the downtown being “unsafe” but your statement that it is perhaps all “fear mongering” is incorrect also. Do you not remember the elderly woman who was mugged outside the casino? It was not a case where the victim and the offender knew each other.

I have heard of a few instances of vandalism to vehicles downtown. They usually do not get reported in the press though. From what I understand this type of thing usually happens when the vehicle is parked in a more secluded location. I myself do not feel afraid when I visit the downtown in the evening, but then again, I’m usually not alone and keep to the more populated areas.
4/15/2014 2:35:31 PM
Wolfie says:
"I myself do not feel afraid when I visit the downtown in the evening, but then again, I’m usually not alone and keep to the more populated areas."

Thanks for replying. That's a fair point. I think the increase in foot traffic down there from the events centre would only help things in this regard.
4/15/2014 4:15:30 PM
S Duncan says:
I can remember a very high profile event that reached national news less than 100m from the proposed welfare dome.

It turned out to be an embarrassment to Thunder Bay.
4/15/2014 4:39:09 PM
ring of fire dude says:
Sorry Wolfie , Mac Donalds and Taco Time drive thru doesn't count as a night out on the town .
4/15/2014 5:07:04 PM
Wolfie says:
Umm... good one?
4/16/2014 7:23:33 AM
Richy says:
I doubt very much the Gardens could last another couple of years. Even if they put it up for sale they would have to give it away. I'am sure it would be condemned.
4/14/2014 8:12:14 PM
tonytiger says:
Why are you dead-set on maligning the Gardens Richy? It's an interesting ploy, but nothing more than that. The city's own report said that the Gardens had several decades of life left, and only required minimal maintenance, a few screws loose, there like here. I just attended a game at the gardens and it was perfect for what it was, and yes, the seats were even comfortable, they were just put in by the Sens when they had their farm team here in the 90's, it's not like they still have wooden benches, but regardless, it was a perfect place to watch a hockey game, as it's A "Hockey Rink". I didn't watch the game thinking, oh god, this place is going to fall down, I was watching the game on the ice. People don't go to a hockey game to stare at the walls. You obviously misunderstand the purpose behind spectator sports.
4/15/2014 8:51:52 AM
ThunderBayFullOfCrime says:
I filled out the survey and answered truthfully, even though I'm not "all for" the new arena idea & the high taxes. I'm a huge hockey fan and I would go see games, that's as honest as I can get. If they come, I will purchase tickets.
4/14/2014 7:27:25 PM
tex_mex-fry says:
Go Jets Go!
4/14/2014 6:38:24 PM
S Duncan says:
far away.
4/14/2014 9:35:02 PM
Richy says:
If you don't think we haven't poured money into the gardens S Duncan, than you have no idea what's going on. Do a little research and find out. That place is on it's last legs.
4/14/2014 6:35:26 PM
S Duncan says:

Its had a new roof, and the walls are solid concrete..

That building will be around for another 100 years easily.

Could it use upgrades? sure, what building couldn't? But some new seats and what else is there to upgrade? Electrical is easy enough, the ice plant is in great shape!

so what is on its last legs? You just think because its old its no good, but the facts distinctly show otherwise.

Do a little research yourself.
4/14/2014 6:48:37 PM
fastball says:
It's not a nice place to watch a game, nor a nice place to play one.
The plumbing and washrooms are terrible, the dressing rooms are an embarrassment - especially the visitors' dressing room. The hallways are narrow and dark, and full of chokepoints for the public. The electrics are ancient, and there's no modern facilities in the press box. There's barely a tiny snack bar....etc, etc etc.
Yes, the car you traded in when you bought a new one was still technically "running" - but it was reaching the end of the road and it going to start costing you more and more money, year after year. Maybe you kept it as a beater, or a car for the kids...but at some point soon, it's going to the scrapyard.
Same deal with the Gardens.
4/14/2014 8:17:54 PM
ring of fire dude says:
From the description you give of the Gardens , the same can be said of some of the "Entertainment venues" around the proposed events center .
4/14/2014 11:25:50 PM
Unspoken says:
Duncan I hope this place gets built, so I can go to hockey games and concerts, and curling events and you can continue to sit behind your computer complaining about everything.
4/15/2014 8:33:06 AM
S Duncan says:
Yes, "spite" is a very important line of every successful business plan.

Isn't it?
4/15/2014 9:18:17 AM
fastball says:
As much as sarcasm, ceaseless repetition, sensationalist fear-mongering and idle speculation is to a discussion.
4/15/2014 11:38:45 AM
S Duncan says:
Yes, your comments are full of those and so much worse.

...but I still read them.

and enjoy shooting metaphoric holes in them.
4/15/2014 12:18:39 PM
Enquirer says:
The problem is, guys like that talk a huge game and are experts on every topic known to man (professional driver, professional mechanic, well versed in critical appraisal and survey methods, etc. etc.), but when push comes to shove that entire facade crumbles.

He of course will continue to call it "the welfare dome" and boycott it for a while...but act he absolutely loves comes to town. He is so conflicted. Maintain his stance? But that means missing out on this act that is here for one night only! Begrudgingly, he'll go; even though I am sure he will reply saying "I'll go to the grave never having stepped foot in the welfare dome!!!111111"

It is the same as most people on here who criticize the police; they are the first to point the finger at them, but can dial 911 for help like no one else's business.
4/15/2014 9:54:32 AM
S Duncan says:
the problem is people like you cannot counter the argument with anything but emotion and lies to support your position.

so, you resort to trying to insult the person.

so you're another bottom feeder huh?
4/15/2014 10:26:22 AM
Enquirer says:
Allow me to take a page out of your book (re: Leith telling you to be nice): What is an insult to you is just observation to me.

"S Duncan", there is no emotion in my post, merely observation of people of supposedly similar attitudes of your own.

I am not sure how posting an observation/prediction makes me a bottom feeder, but in calling me a bottom feeder, I suppose that makes you one too, as your criteria for being one is insulting a person, which you just did.

Did not think that one through very much, did you?
4/15/2014 1:29:36 PM
S Duncan says:
What's stopping you from doing any of that now?

You can go to games, concerts and curling events in the FW Gardens. Or you can travel to all the special events elsewhere that you wish to.

Nobody is stopping you.

but you're here instead complaining about everything?

hmmm. you must have another agenda?
4/15/2014 9:59:28 AM
reese says:
Can we afford the extra police protection that is required for hockey hoodlums
Lets not make the same mistake the residents of Glendale did .Their debt is well over 550 million for the Coyotes
Investigate before you act the financial statements are available to the public online
4/14/2014 6:34:38 PM
CM Punk says:
The money saved for this "mistake" was pegged at $30 million and now down to $22.5 and maybe even less now.
It also seems that since the design is being made and shovel ready according to Smith by spring 2015, this events centre is going forward without fed and prov monies.

So guess what citizens of Thunder Bay?
We as taxpayers are going to be paying for this.
Another epic fail as I am sure cost over runs a;a regional hospital come to mind once this is completed.

Get ready to post your over priced home for sale so some fool can buy it and build a nice grand home out of the city limits.
Its the way to go.
4/14/2014 6:29:11 PM
S Duncan says:
The phase 2 feasibility study already has provisions for the city to pay $50 million of it.

They are already counting on the feds telling them to go jump in the lake, but thinking the province will just give them more handouts.

The best thing would be to see a new provincial government come into play and shoot this nonsense down.

Id be all for the welfare dome if it was being funded with 100% private dollars. Then we could even stop calling it a welfare dome too.

Until then, its just a carefully crafted scheme to steal money from the citizens of Thunder Bay, brought to you by a city management that seems to have a sick fetish for it.
4/14/2014 6:35:59 PM
S Duncan says:
What's going to happen is we will be way too deep into this and the funding will magically dry up.

and we will get stuck having to pay the whole shootin match.

The city already knows this and that's why they are in such a rush to get it started. They know once we start we cant stop it.

and the fact that our city is doing this is quite disturbing.
4/14/2014 6:57:09 PM
tbay87 says:
Who's "we"? I haven't seen anyone else calling it a "welfare dome", probably because:
a.) it's a bit of a stretch to call publicly run municipal facilities welfare (I guess if it helps, you can also talk about welfare roads, welfare sewers, welfare parks, welfare snowplows, welfare FireFighthers, welfare police, etc.)
b.) it's not a dome ...
c.) the term isn't funny, clever, or persuasive

You've made a lot of very valid arguments against the arena, but the constant use of the Frank Luntz style language (minus his cleverness and subtlety) isn't helping the case and is more likely to back up the "cane-shakers" argument than anything else.
4/14/2014 9:25:22 PM
S Duncan says:
If you don't like the term "welfare dome" then change it.

Use private money and resources to fund it, and I wont call it that.

but as long as the pro-welfare dome people keep insisting that the taxpayers of this city, province and country subsidize the initial and continuous operating costs, I will refer to it as such.

seem fair?
4/15/2014 7:55:55 AM
Wolfie says:
Thank you. Great post.

It's like he coined it thinking it would catch on, but here we are months later and he's still the only one using it.
4/15/2014 8:45:02 AM
newsocks says:
S Duncan, stop trying to make "Welfare Dome" happen! It's not going to happen!
4/15/2014 1:13:20 PM
S Duncan says:
The welfare dome will not hapen, but the name already has.
4/15/2014 4:29:55 PM
Kam River says:
Winnipeg Jets are playing us for a suckers, they will pocket the money and then after they kill the Thunder Wolfs move on to another city.
They know this council will give them every last penny they ask for to that they come to they can get their legacy project.
YOu an I and our grand children will be stuck paying the bill.
We had the Twins and many many other good teams. The area does not have the population.
4/14/2014 6:12:33 PM
Watchful says:
So I completed the survey and answered all question honestly. After doing the survey, I went to see what their arena is showing and how much, because I know we are building an events centre, not just a hockey rink. I picked a show I would love to see and low and behold the "cheap seats" are no where to be found. But I could go see Rod Stewart and Santana for $300.00. So my question will be, how much will our tickets run on average so that we all can enjoy the entertainment, or will this be for a select few only.

I am not being sarcastic, because as I have said numerous times, this is already a done deal. What I do want to know is will the average person in the city be able to go to the events centre and enjoy it or will this be only for the Elite Young Professionals.
4/14/2014 5:23:03 PM
tonytiger says:
Everyone brags about the fact that Elton John went to Duluth in their under 10,000 seat arena, but few will mention tickets started at $300. I will NEVER support this event center no matter who comes here, or what team plays in it, I'd much rather travel far away and spend my money in an arena that doesn't have such a foul odor about it.
4/14/2014 5:34:29 PM
fastball says:
I'm pretty sure the ticket prices for the concerts are set by THEM (artist/company/tour promoter) rather than us. Not sure if Rod Stewart tickets are appreciably cheaper in a similarly-sized (or bigger) venue than ours.
Like everything else, it all depends on what you can afford, and what you decide is a priority.
4/14/2014 5:39:40 PM
S Duncan says:
If we cant afford to go see the acts, then how can we afford to finance the welfare dome in the first place?

If tickets are $300 to see some weirdo like Elton john, what do the citizens get for paying for the venue?

will we get in for free to hockey games?
will we get in for free to see Elton john?
will we get in for free to see some band like Heart?

what do we get for paying for this? we get the honour of paying $1.3 million every year on top of our EXISTING TAXES.

..and its a good thing, that moves the city forward huh?
4/14/2014 6:40:16 PM
Hopper says:
Elton John is no weirder than Ozzy Osborne.
4/15/2014 11:59:42 AM
S Duncan says:
Theyre both people from a foreign country, are you some sort of xenophobe?

who cares whose weirder? theyre both weird.

what does your comment have to do with the welfare dome, or the jets survey thst this story pertains to?
4/15/2014 2:07:46 PM
S Duncan says:
Well if the discussion is gone to music now, allow me to comment that ties into this...

Ozzy never played in Soo, but Elton John did, hmmm.

Anyway this whole thing reminds me of a song/story on 2112 from Rush. The whole first side of the albumn is a story that takes place in the near future. In this new world the all knowing "priests of the temples of syrinx" have supreme control over the citizens. They know whats good for everybody and the individual does not.

The priests have stifled people from making their own personal choices. When presented with an individuals opinion and expression (musical) They claim its nothing new and they shout down "don't annoy us further, we have our work to do!"

The priests have created a civilization where they've "taken care of everything, the words you hear, the songs you sing, and the pictures that give pleasure to your eyes."

It reminds me of how we're being forced to pay for hockey.

and Rush played in the OLD soo arena.

4/15/2014 4:09:46 PM
James Gang says:
"Forget about your silly whim. Its doesn't fit the plan!!!"

4/15/2014 6:46:06 PM
fastball says:
Join us in the real world, would you?
Name me a SINGLE place where people get into concerts/games/events for free because the facility got built with a portion of local taxpayer money? Anyone? Bueller?
And "weirdo's like Elton John?" Seriously??
Elton hasn't worn weird glasses or electric suits since 1980. Exactly how OLD are you?
But good luck getting into places for free in your world, ok?
4/15/2014 3:24:55 PM
S Duncan says:
Well the reason we wont get in for free is because we are paying for the construction and the operational losses every year.

even if they opened the doors, it still wouldnt be free.

I can name hundreds of privately owned and operated venues though.

and Elton's weirdness went much further than his glasses.
4/15/2014 4:26:19 PM
fastball says:
Name one civic event centre in this population size that was privately owned and built.
Name one venue that hosts a OHL, WHL, AHL, NHL, MLB, NBA, or NFL (hell, insert all the alphabet here) that plays in a privately owned and privately built venue. But let's keep it apples to apples, shall we??
Even the Markham arena, which was touted as "Privately Funded" was a shell game. Fifty percent of the funding was from the city...just not from tax roles.
4/15/2014 8:23:51 PM
Wolfie says:
Why stop at one? He's got hundreds!
4/16/2014 9:54:04 AM
Thook says:
I hope an AHL team can work here but I fear it will be a short tenure. I would hate to see a pro team come here and take fans from the thunderwolves only to pack up and leave after a few years. My worst fear is having this big new rink and no hockey to watch in it because LU folds and the AHL team moves to a new city ( which happens often in that league) the flyers were killed by the pro team we had and jr hockey in Thunder Bay has never been the same. Luckily we now have the thunderwolves. Lets hope if the AHL comes its a permanent residency and not a big mistake.
4/14/2014 5:10:23 PM
S Duncan says:
If our trustworthy city management agrees to give the hockey team more of our money when the place fails to fill up (as it will) the hockey team will stay, they're going to get paid whether people show up or not.

and its all out of OUR pockets.
4/14/2014 5:23:15 PM
tbay87 says:
Bingo. I think it's virtually guaranteed the team will lose money (unless it gets a really nice subsidy from the city to run the arena or something). Maybe the Jets are okay with losing a bit to be close to their farm team, but I can't imagine them stomaching it for long.

Over the long run, Thunder Bay is simply too small to support the second best hockey league in North America. It's unfortunate that travel time prevents an OHL team in Thunder Bay, which is really the right sort of league for the city. CIS hockey is great, but you don't have the future NHLers, rivalries, and fanfare that you do in the much more popular OHL.

I hope the city doesn't get starstruck with the prospects of an AHL team and forget that league allows teams to move or fold very easily; and once the Thunderwolves are gone they may not come back.
4/14/2014 9:35:47 PM
truthseeker says:
The Winnipeg Jets are looking for the exact same deal or a better deal than the Calgary flames signed with abbotsford. They'll be here for 10 years. The jets aren't going to abandon 144 consecutive ahl hockey sellouts in St. John's to come to one of the worst hockey markets in north America unless they have the same deal the Calgary flames received. That deal is the standard among owners.

The Jets are holding all the right cards couple that with thunder bays new event center desperate for an anchor tenant. LU is no anchor tenant .They'll resort back to playing out of a bingo hall like they used to in their norwesters days. Like ring of fire dude posted get ready for a sweetheart deal for Chipman and the Jets. 10 years of misery for the taxpayers of thunder bay.
4/15/2014 8:13:35 AM
Wolfie says:
"The Winnipeg Jets are looking for the exact same deal or a better deal than the Calgary flames signed with abbotsford."

Quite the opposite, in fact. Abbotsford has walked away from that deal, it was so bad. After the bad press that is getting, I can't see any city, especially a Canadian one, agreeing to a similar arrangement with an AHL team again.
4/15/2014 4:24:01 PM
tbaycat says:
Wolfie…. I sure love how you cherry pick information. You say that “Abbotsford has WALKED away from the deal it was so bad”. Nice simplistic statement. Easy, peasy. Just walked away. You forgot to mention that Abbotsford had to agree to pay more than $5 million to end its agreement with the franchise. Could you perhaps provide PROOF that our own naïve city council has not signed or are planning to sign the exact kind of agreement with the Winnipeg Jets?
4/15/2014 5:44:14 PM
Wolfie says:
"Could you perhaps provide PROOF that our own naïve city council has not signed or are planning to sign the exact kind of agreement with the Winnipeg Jets?"

Could you provide proof that they have?

Admittedly, we're all just speculating at this point.
4/16/2014 7:21:56 AM
ibrando says:
S Duncan, the AHL team will only play in the welfare dome with a similar deal like Abbottsford offered their AHL franchise. A guaranteed income agreement. When attendance number don't reach lets say 4000 per game the city taxpayer is on the hook to make up any lost revenue. How is that for being screwed?
4/15/2014 7:38:41 PM
S Duncan says:
its ridiculous.

and its one of those inconvenient realities that when you bring it up, they start hurling the personal insults because they have nothing to counter that argument.

How can a team have any pride if they are welfare recipients?
4/15/2014 9:13:48 PM
Event Centre Fan says:
Hey, can you email me a copy of the documentation proving there's a backroom deal going on here? Because without it, it looks to me like you're just making stuff up. Fear mongering, perhaps? Some might call it lying. Given the situation in Abbotsford, I highly doubt the City of Thunder Bay is going to enter into any type of guaranteed income deal with True North Sports and Entertainment to bring an AHL team to the city. But in typical naysayer fashion, don't let the truth get in the way of your agenda.
4/15/2014 10:12:01 PM
tbaycat says:
Event Centre Fan ….. Can YOU please provide ME with documentation that proves that the city has NOT signed or are planning to sign the exact kind of agreement with the Winnipeg Jets? We the “naysayers” have been there, done that. We’ve watched the “trust us” propaganda machine spin its tales before. How about YOU provide US with some facts for a change? The people who are worried about what this event center is going to cost us in the long run have posted MANY, MANY links to articles that say this is a bad idea. Your side NEVER provides ANY facts. All your side can come up with is put downs and insults.
4/16/2014 3:01:22 AM
S Duncan says:
Will do that. We're still waiting to get our hands on the ones they signed with Horizon wind though.
4/16/2014 9:16:28 AM
dynamiter says:
Will somebody please define what an "Event center" is. Everybody keeps throwing that term around without really defining it. The recent article about how great the Sault's event center is, is a prime example. That hockey rink ( and it is really only a hockey rink) has a few side rooms attached to the building that cannot host more than 120 people at a meeting. So if the Sault "event center" is supposed to attract things such as conferences, it wont cut it ( and I have attended conferences in both Tbay and the Sault and it was not hosted by Essar. So what is the difference between what is proposed here and what the Sault actually built. Because if all that they are going to build down at the harbour is a glorified rink, then this is the wrong location as nobody is going to freeze their butt walking to a hockey rink without the parkade.
4/14/2014 5:09:04 PM
Richy says:
Beware of doing nothing. The longer you wait the more you have nothing. The Gardens is obsolete, we have poured enough money into that place. Lets move forward.
4/14/2014 4:48:09 PM
S Duncan says:
If we poured enough money into the gardens, why isn't it for sale?

You see, as long as we own it, we have to pay for it. So unless it gets shut down and put for sale like Municipal Golf Course, its going to cost money.

luckily it costs a whole lot less than the new proposed welfare dome.

4/14/2014 5:14:36 PM
sky high says:
We can no longer support the welfare Gardens. It is obsolete and needs to be either sold or torn down. We have to build the Events Centre and we have to do it quickly. The welfare Gardens is history
4/14/2014 6:32:05 PM
S Duncan says:
Why is it obsolete? All the data from the engineers and studies show the exact opposite?

what is wrong with the gardens? You cant even fill it up with your little hockey games, and you want more?

The welfare dome and welfare gardens should both be gone.
4/14/2014 6:44:03 PM
grs says:
Lol, they put a 'comments' section in the survey.

I can see it now, filled to the brim with comments from our 'mayor in waiting' and 'save the FWG' crew about how the event centre is unaffordable and will cause all the flowers in Thunder bay to wilt. Even though the survey has nothing to do with the event centre.
4/14/2014 4:46:11 PM
ring of fire dude says:

"Earlier this year the Jets agreed to partner with Thunder Bay Live, the group the city signed a letter of intent with to run the 5,700-seat facility. So who exactly is the secret middleman known as "ThunderBay Live" ? And what kind of letter of intent was $igned and what is the City promi$ing them in return for managing and operating the Event Center . I smell a secret sweetheart deal brewing here .

4/14/2014 4:36:32 PM
Wolfie says:
Oh c'mon. Reading the related article on this very same website is just way too much work.
4/14/2014 5:01:08 PM
ring of fire dude says:
And I thought bringing the Winnipeg farm team here was a done deal .
4/14/2014 4:26:59 PM
mercy mercy me says:
"Beware of Greeks bearing gifts"
4/14/2014 4:07:34 PM
Arch Stanton says:
"Archtiect Chris O'Reilly estimated designs for the proposed facility are about seven to eight per cent complete."

So that $106m estimate really is PIE-IN-THE-SKY!!!
4/14/2014 4:02:56 PM
sd says:
The link is in the article, click on either the hyperlinked Survey Monkey or questionnaire.

I want an event centre, but please for the sake of reducing potential arguments, and skewing the data let's all just fill it out one time. We are not children. And let's all admit like it does in the article that this survey and all others conducted to date are NOT scientific so perhaps we can forego all the senseless childish arguing over this simple fact.
4/14/2014 3:41:53 PM
S Duncan says:
its a little too late to ask people to stop acting like children.

that's why we're this deep into this. People started acting like children and demanded the tax payers money be used to pay for their welfare entertainment.
4/14/2014 5:25:08 PM
sky high says:
And the premiere event can be NEGATIVE NANCY BOBBLEHEAD NIGHT.
4/14/2014 3:26:52 PM
lappeboy says:
Link to survey?
4/14/2014 3:19:31 PM
sky high says:
Are you kidding me? Hockey players are Thunder Bay's biggest export, and import too when you consider the fact that a Robins tournament brings in hundreds of young players and thousands of people when you factor in their families. To not build the Events Centre is akin to municipalicide. Lets go Thunder Bay, drop that puck! Bring on the AHL
4/14/2014 2:53:49 PM
S Duncan says:
If hockey players are our biggest export, that says an awful lot about the economic status of Thunder Bay, doesn't it?

and if they are all being exported, why do we need a new welfare dome?
4/14/2014 5:27:57 PM
KendallJaye says:
Our biggest export? Are you daft? How many NHLers in the last 25 years played their hockey locally? No, they went down south to play throughout their entire developmental phase and then were rightly selected. They did not play here, except for the rarest of instances. Every small city in Northwestern Ontario and Minnesota and everywhere for that matter has a tournament similar to the Robins tournament here, so every city everywhere is similarly blessed with the occasional influx of young athletes, so your point is terribly moot sky high.
4/15/2014 5:53:34 PM
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