The Abbotsford Centre is not doomed forever.
The Heat was not the right fit for Abbotsford, but that does not mean the arena will never be cost-effective. For starters, there have been many concerts that have drawn large crowds, with some even selling out (Toby Mac, Florida Georgia Line).
The citizens of Abbotsford are willing to go to the Abbotsford Centre, but only under the right circumstances. A proactive approach would be to get a temporary hockey tenant until the Utica Comets’ lease ends.
When available, the Canucks would move the Comets to Abbotsford in a heartbeat. In the meantime, there are a plethora of local leagues that have teams that would be ecstatic to play at the 7,000-seat, top-of-the-line centre.
For this next year, however, the focus should be exclusively on broadening the market for shows and concerts. With a clean slate for the year, Abbotsford should try and attract as many headlining shows as possible. This will not only raise appeal for potential ticket-buyers, but also for potential performers. I am confident I represent a majority of Abbotsford when I say that I will not give up on the arena this quickly.