LETTER: Taxpayers should not fund a tenant

Sport teams are not owned by cities but by wealthy individuals

Re: Abbotsford dropped the ball, May 7 edition.

I have read the letter by Grant Schettler and he seems to believe that the citizens of Abbotsford should have supported the Abbotsford Heat, and he has obviously been taken in by the belief that we needed a major tenant for the Abbotsford Entertainment and Recreation Centre even if, as taxpayers, we had to fund that tenant.

That thinking is clearly flawed.

The facts are the Heat or any other hockey or sport team is not owned by the city but by  wealthy people both in Canada and the United States. Such sport is business, and the emphasis is on business. As such, the taxpayer should never be called upon to finance them.

City council obviously would not make such large grants to any other business and the decision to do so in this occasion was clearly flawed. We have the facility, and if some sport business or any other business wish to rent the facility, they should be required to pay for same. That is the situation with other events with the centre and there is absolutely no valid reason for sport franchises to be exempt from that policy.

Abbotsford council definitely dropped the ball when they entered into the agreement with the Calgary Flames and I am fully confident the owners of the Calgary Flames were well aware they struck gold and are obviously quite happy to have left Abbotsford with well over 10 million taxpayer dollars in their pocket.

Frank Wirrell

Abbotsford