The Abbotsford News has learned that Canucks Sports and Entertainment has taken more steps in the process to upgrade aspects of the Abbotsford Centre.
Speculation about the potential improvements to the facility began last month after Vancouver Canucks president Jim Rutherford stated at a year-end media availability that plans were in the works for the AC.
“We’re going to do some things in Abbotsford,” Rutherford said on May 3. “Unfortunately, there’s not as many things we can do there because you need to blow too many walls out and what not. But we are going to refresh their dressing room and make it a little bit better.”
A City of Abbotsford spokesperson shared that CSE has engaged professional consultants to review renovation upgrades for the AC’s dressing room and production capabilities to support all events in the building. CSE controls and books events for the building so upgrading production for concerts and other non-Canucks events would be beneficial.
“As the facility’s landlord, the city looks forward to reviewing any proposals we may receive as a result of this process and will work together with Canucks Sports & Entertainment to address the facility’s needs while protecting the interests of city taxpayers,” said Aletta Vanderheyden, communications and public relations manager for the city.
As per the Canucks contract with the city, any capital maintenance or repair would be the responsibility of the city. The contract also states that the AC must meet AHL standards, which the arena already does. The current dressing rooms are AHL standard, but it’s believed they have not received any significant upgrades since the facility was completed in 2009.
Revenue sharing between the city and the Canucks did not come into effect for 2021-22 because the attendance threshold of 5,000 was not met. If the Canucks average 5,000 tickets sold per regular season game revenue sharing is unlocked. The team averaged 4,292 in 2021-22, but the city believes if COVID-19 restrictions are not a factor that the 5,000 threshold will be reached.