Hockey all the time

They have a deal.

City council on Tuesday approved in principle a 10-year lease renewal for the Okanagan Hockey Group’s office and training facilities at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The group’s current lease expires Dec. 31.

“Since 2009, certainly the Okanagan Hockey Group has been a quality tenant with the city and they’re also a major business within the community,” said city finance manager Jim Bauer as he walked council through terms of the proposed deal.

The lease, if signed, would see the OHG pay $134,250 in the first year of the deal – identical to its cost this year – with increases for inflation in subsequent years. The group also pays for ice time and about $12,000 per year in property taxes.

Bauer said the lease price was agreed to after a market assessment, and noted the OHG’s economic impact in the city, which was estimated at $19 million for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

“They’re certainly bringing a lot of additional benefits to the community,” he said.

The agreement also specifies the minimum amount of ice time third-party arena operator Spectra will offer OHG annually, and sets out terms of an advertising revenue sharing agreement.

Coun. Judy Sentes raised concern that the guarantee of ice time could elbow out other user groups, such as lacrosse team.

“Hopefully others aren’t hardshipped,” she said.

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit recused himself from the meeting during the discussion because his video production company does work for OHG.

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