The Moncton Wildcats have renewed their contract with the city for another three years without asking for a bigger share in the game revenues.
Team owner Robert Irving threatened to sell the team if the city changed the terms of the contract. The new deal is much the same as the last one, which cost the city more than $60,000 this year.
Only one council member voted against renewing the contract with the Quebec Major Junior team. Councillor Steven Boyce argues the team should be treated like any other business and the deal with city amounts to a subsidy, something Robert Irving doesn't need.
Boyce says the deal allows the Wildcats to pocket most profits generated at the coliseum whether it's during a hockey games or a rock concert. "We are losing so much potential revenue from this tenant that it prevents us from generating other revenues. Economically, there are no arguments that show this is a good deal."
Despite Boyce's reservations, support was strong around the council chamber.
The new contract, like the old one, will cost the city thousands but councillor Pierre Boudreau argues the expense is worthwhile. "This not a good deal, this is a great deal. We've got the best hockey team in the league."
Mayor Lorne Mitton says talks between the team and the city aren't over, even though the contract has been agreed upon. During the next few weeks, he plans to talk to the team about how some of the profits can be reinvested in the coliseum.