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City of Abbotsford, Canucks decline to reveal revenue-sharing formula

By averaging 5,000 fans per game, the City will receive some sort of revenue from the Canucks
The revenue-sharing formula for the Abbotsford Canucks and the City of Abbotsford will not be made public. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

With the Abbotsford Canucks averaging more than 5,000 tickets sold per game this season, as per the contract with the City of Abbotsford, revenue sharing is likely to occur.

The contract, signed in 2021, states the city will benefit from enhanced financial gains by sharing in the profits if there is an average of 5,000 tickets sold per regular-season game.

What those enhanced financial gains specifically consist of hasn’t been shared by either party.

RELATED: City of Abbotsford, Canucks finalize partnership agreement

The News contacted both the City of Abbotsford and the Canucks to inquire about the revenue-sharing formula and received the following details:

“While the city will benefit financially by sharing in the profits once average regular-season ticket sales cross the 5,000-per-game threshold, the details of the revenue-sharing formula could reasonably be expected to reveal confidential business information and harm the competitive position of a third party and therefore we aren’t able to disclose that information,” a spokesperson stated.

RELATED: City of Abbotsford unlikely to receive revenue sharing from Canucks this season

Revenue sharing was not available last year, as the team did not average 5,000 tickets sold per game.

The City of Abbotsford also had a revenue-sharing deal with the Abbotsford Heat – a previous American Hockey League tenant at the Abbotford Centre – and it was made public in 2010. According to that contract, 60 per cent of all profits went to the team and 40 per cent went to Global Spectrum (who acted as an agent for the city).

The Heat failed to make a profit during the team’s tenure in Abbotsford, which lasted until 2014.

RELATED: Abbotsford Canucks average attendance up 16 per cent so far this season

The News also asked the city about potential naming rights deals for the Abbotsford Centre, but they revealed that the Canucks have not come forward with any related deals or offers.

“As with other sponsorship and advertising at the Abbotsford Centre, the city expects that the Abbotsford Canucks will be best placed to identify and negotiate possible naming-rights agreements,” the spokesperson said. “The city has not yet been asked by the Abbotsford Canucks to approve any naming-rights proposals for the Abbotsford Centre.”

A naming-rights deal is a form of advertising where a corporation or other group purchases the right to name a building for a defined period. These deals are an additional way for teams and building owners to create revenue.

The Abbotsford Canucks and the Tucson Roadrunners are the lone teams in the AHL without a sponsorship on their home arenas. The Canucks had the ability to sell those rights starting on Jan. 1, 2022 when they officially took over management of the building.

Examples of naming-rights deals include Rogers Arena in Vancouver and Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The Toronto deal was the most lucrative in stadium naming-rights history, with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and the Bank of Nova Scotia signing a 20-year, $800 million deal in 2017.

AHL arena naming-rights deals are significantly lower, but could still be considered a consistent income stream.

For example, the Syrcause Crunch signed an 11-year, $2.7 million deal with Upstate Medical University in 2019. Also in 2019, Toyota signed a 10-year agreement to put its name on the Ontario Reign’s AHL arena. That deal is said to be $1.2 million to $1.3 million annually.

Last year the Coachella Valley Firebirds signed a 10-year deal with Acrisure that is believed to surpass $5 million annually. It’s understood to be the richest naming rights deal ever for a minor league sports facility.

RELATED: Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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