Thunder Bay – Partnership…I Buy…You Use…You Make Money. Sounds Good To Me.

Two hockey teams may anchor Thunder Bay event centre - Thunder B
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Thunder Bay is a very attractive market with real economic development opportunities and we are pleased to be a part of the ongoing transformation of the city.”  Gary Green, Thunder Bay Live

Not a very attractive market with real economic development opportunities enough for the consortium to simply build their own facility in Thunder Bay using their own money? The consortium partners then can go crazy and keep all that arena money themselves without having to share all those profits with the City of Thunder Bay.  No? Apparently the Thunder Bay economy is not THAT attractive to our private sector partners. Not invest their own cash kind of  attractive. What makes the Thunder Bay market really attractive with real economic development opportunities is $106 million in public cash.  That is what is attracting the private sector. Its the money.  Its always the money.  No money, no love from the consortium.

The partner, known as Thunder Bay LIVE!, is a consortium of Global Spectrum Facility Management, Stadium Consultants International, the Lakehead University Thunderwolves hockey club, PCL Constructors Canada Inc., BBB Architects Toronto Inc. and True North Sports and Entertainment. The group is headed by former NHL coach Gary Green.

Global Spectrum Facility Management is the Ticketmaster of arena management.  They control…I mean manage a large number of areas in Canada, the US and the world…. and they don’t work for free.

Of course, the City of Thunder Bay will get some money somewhere along the line   Maybe.  A couple of dozen more minimum wage jobs for the city as well.

Hooray! All that for only one small easy payment of $106 million!!!

Update: I am beginning to think that the $106 million figure is out of reach by our local government.  I can’t see the other levels of government ponying up $30 million apiece in this economy.  Canada and Ontario are bleeding jobs and jobs pay taxes.

My guess is that , if this project goes ahead, the final cost will come in at somewhere between $50 million to $60 million with the City of Thunder Bay’s share comprising the majority if not all of that number.  Still a sizable amount of money,  even for a city that spends money like a drunken sailor.  That’s my prediction.

Will our partners still want to be part that?  I guess we will find out.

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