The Wildcats will play at the Coliseum for the next three years. They also have the option of moving into a new stadium planned for downtown Moncton. ((Courtesy of Rogers Sportsnet))

Moncton city council unanimously passed a three-year contract and a 15-year memorandum of understanding with the Moncton Wildcats on Monday night.

Last month, a conflict developed between franchise owner Robert Irving and the city.

Irving said he was having trouble reaching a deal, while the city manager said the team was costing taxpayers $175,000 a year.

However, Mayor George LeBlanc said on Tuesday that the new agreement had settled any past disputes.

"An agreement with the Wildcats and the memorandum of understanding were approved by council last evening, so the document is presently being signed by the parties and we expect that we'd have it soon."

LeBlanc said the city has also addressed another sticking point in negotiations — the issue of double booking at the Moncton Coliseum during the playoffs.

In years past, the hockey club was forced to host games out of town if the facility was already booked during the playoffs.

"First of all, we've agreed that we will not take on new acts that will be conflicting with potential playoff dates and there's a provision of compensation for [the] Wildcats if there are undue conflicts under the present schedule," he said.

Under the new deal, the city will cover any extra costs the Wildcats and their opponents incur if the Coliseum is not available.

However, team owner Robert Irving hopes it won't come to that.


Moncton Wildcats owner Robert Irving is pleased an agreement has been reached to keep the hockey team in the Moncton Coliseum. ((CBC))

"I think the city, you know, has to understand that we'll be playing playoffs every year," Irving said.

"That's our intent, that's our focus, and have to manage the Coliseum accordingly."

Irving said under the new agreement, the Wildcats will continue playing at the Coliseum for the next three years.

The 15-year memorandum of understanding gives the Wildcats the option of moving into a new stadium planned for downtown Moncton if the new facility is built.

The popular Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team had been without a lease agreement for the coliseum for over a year. At one point, Irving said he would consider selling the team if a deal couldn't be reached.

The Wildcats galvanized the city behind the hockey team this spring during the QMJHL playoffs when they emerged as league champions.