Nfld. & Labrador

Mile One management 'one of the carrots' to get deal between ECHL, Edge owners

The executives behind two sports teams playing at Mile One can use their connections to attract concerts and other big-ticket events, according to businessman Dean MacDonald.

Owner of hockey franchise says group working to choose a team name, logo

Dean MacDonald says his ECHL group and Edge ownership have a lot of collective event management experience and connections. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Mile One Centre operations could soon be headed up by the Edge ownership team and the group bringing an ECHL franchise to St. John's

Dean MacDonald, who's with Deacon Investments, the owner of the ECHL franchise, told the St. John's Morning Show on Wednesday that running Mile One was discussed as a way to bring his group together with Edge ownership — which had been working on its own hockey team proposal.

Collectively, we bring a lot of horsepower to bring really top-notch entertainment into the city in terms of concerts and other acts.- Dean MacDonald

"We're going to work with the Edge group in [that] regard," he said, adding that St. John's Mayor Danny Breen encouraged the idea.

Mile One and the city's convention centre are currently run by the city's St. John's Sports and Entertainment.

"The mayor, you know, worked hard to get the two sides together, and that was kind of one of the carrots he put out there that, look, if we could find a way to work together as two groups, the city would definitely consider having the two groups manage the facility," MacDonald said.

Mayor Danny Breen says the two sports groups have a memorandum of understanding to manage Mile One and the convention centre, and details are being worked out. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

The Edge ownership group, led by Irwin Simon, and the ECHL group each bring a lot to the table in event management experience and connections, according to MacDonald.

"We have extensive relationship with Live Nation and Ticketmaster and other groups, and the Simon group have a good relationship with Madison Square Garden," he said.

Lot of work to get ready

"We obviously have the relationship with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment so those groups, collectively, we bring a lot of horsepower to bring really top-notch entertainment into the city in terms of concerts and other acts."

The details of how that would work are still being ironed out, said MacDonald. In the meantime, there's a lot of work to be done to have the team ready for the 2018-19 season — not least of which is deciding on a name.

Hockey is returning to Mile One Centre in downtown St. John's in the fall. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

"We've got to go hard to get everything organized and ready, so name will be the very next thing on the list and hopefully by later this week or weekend, hopefully we'll be in a position to have that nailed down," he said.

MacDonald is working with former St. John's IceCaps chief operating officer Glenn Stanford, who helped get the Edge ready for its first season this year.

"We've got to get team colours, and the pattern for the uniforms and all the things that go with logo, all those matters that have to be put together now," he said.

"So there's a lot of work to be done in a short period of time, but, you know, Glenn was instrumental in getting the Edge up and running in a matter of weeks, so he probably feels like this is a much easier task, even though it's not."