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Officials are looking for a new hockey team to anchor sports events at Mile One Centre.

The board that runs Mile One Centre in downtown St. John's is asking for a smaller subsidy for the coming year, but is also cautioning that taxpayers will be expected to keep the complex running.

St. John's Sports and Entertainment — which also runs a convention centre near Mile One — will need $1.25 million in the coming year, city council was told at its Monday evening meeting.

The subsidy is about $260,000 below the current subsidy, and substantially less than a recent peak of $2.2 million.

Gerry Smith, who chairs St. John's Sport and Entertainment, told CBC News that it's not likely that Mile One will never need a city subsidy.

"I think that's a long shot," Smith said Tuesday.

"We're probably getting close to where that subsidy should be."

Coun. Danny Breen told Monday's meeting that the subsidy is approaching what the city paid each year to keep Memorial Stadium running in its final years.

"We've seen a significant improvement in the financial operations of Mile One," Breen said.

St. John's Sports and Entertainment has been actively looking for a new hockey team to serve as the sports anchor for Mile One, either in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League or in the professional American Hockey League.

Mile One has not had a hockey team of its own since the St. John's Fog Devils was sold to a Quebec owner in 2008.