Final Heat supply fee payment hit $2.7 million

Total fees reached almost $8 million over five-year period

Abbotsford Heat

Abbotsford Heat

The payout to the Abbotsford Heat hockey team continued to grow in its final year, costing taxpayers almost $2.7 million for the 2013/14 season.

The final season’s supply fee payment was $2,683,040 – the highest in the five years of the deal, which was severed last spring after five years of a 10-year agreement.

The supply fee was part of an agreement between the American Hockey League affiliate of the Calgary Flames and the city to ensure the team a break-even annual budget of $5.7 million.

Over the first four years of the deal, taxpayers covered a total of $5.24 million in financial shortfalls, bringing total supply fee costs to just under $8 million.

The payment in the inaugural 2009-10 season was $450,000, rising in the next two seasons to $1.37 million and $1.76 million respectively.

In the 2012-13 season, that dropped slightly to $1.66 million.

Last April, the city paid $5.5 million to terminate the remaining five years of the 10-year supply fee agreement signed in 2009.

At that time, it was predicted that the team would incur about $11 million in deficits over the final five years of the deal, to be covered by the city.

Paying out the contract would save about half that amount.

The contract severance also brought in a new plan for the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, which was renamed the Abbotsford Centre.

The city is still pursuing a new anchor tenant for the building.