IceCaps game goes ahead during energy conservation call

Mile One Centre went ahead with an IceCaps game late on Sunday afternoon, at the same time that Newfoundland Power was asking businesses to cut down on power usage.

St. Johns mayor describes game as 'respite,' others criticize decision

The IceCaps played the Portland Pirates in a sparsely attended game on Jan. 5. (CBC)

A St. John's IceCaps game went ahead at Mile One Centre in downtown St. John's on Sunday, even as Newfoundland Power was pleading with businesses to cut down on power usage.

Power crews had been working since Saturday to restore power after an island-wide outage, and utility officials had been cautioning customers to conserve power in order not to overload electrical circuits, which could trigger more outages. 

After the game, in which the IceCaps defeated the Portland Pirates 3-1, much of Newfoundland was again plunged into a blackout after an incident at the Holyrood generating station. 

St. John's Sports and Entertainment, the city-owned agency that runs Mile One, said power is needed to keep Mile One's ice intact anyway, and that "the additional power consumption required to hold the game [was] minimal."

To save energy, Mile One turned off illuminated advertising and did not raise the temperature in the arena. 

St. John's Sports and Entertainment added that it would have been "significant financial and contractual implications" if the game was cancelled or postponed. 
St. John's Mayor Dennis O'Keefe said he did not oppose the game going ahead  the IceCaps versus Portland Pirates game was a good idea. 
"To some degree over the last few days, people have been homebound and housebound, and in most cases, including myself, without electricity, and for two hours today, this will give some respite to the negativity and the unfortunate circumstances we've all gone through," O'Keefe said. 
However, social media was full of people who disagreed with O'Keefe. 

"Apparently the mall and Mile One are operating?" wrote Melissa Pelley on CBC Newfoundland and Labrador's Facebook page. "People's homes are much more important to have power than the mall and stadium!!!"

"This makes me sick," tweeted Kyle Brookings, just one of many people to vent frustrations through Twitter. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.