Mile One, convention centre ask for heftier subsidy from St. John's

St. John's Sports and Entertainment grant is at $2.9 million.

St. John's Sports and Entertainment grant is at $2.9M for arena and convention centre

The City of St. John's subsidy to St. John's Sports and Entertainment, which covers Mile One Centre and the convention centre, will be around $2.9 million for 2019. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

The owner of Mile One Centre and the nearby St. John's Convention Centre is asking for taxpayer support to the tune of an extra $752,183. 

St. John's Sports and Entertainment (SJSE) says it will need just over $3.4 million to cover its bills, up from $2.65 million this year.

SJSE says it will need less of a subsidy for the expanded and renovated St. John's Convention Centre, where bookings have increased. The convention centre's anticipated subsidy is down $25,772 less next year.

A pre-budget release Tuesday from the City of St. John's says Mile One Centre will be short an additional $777,955. 

"The city's investment in St. John's Sports and Entertainment is an acknowledgement of the value of Mile One and the convention centre, which contribute to high quality sports, entertainment and convention activity in St. John's," Mayor Danny Breen said in a media release.

The city's subsidy accounts for around 25 per cent of Mile One's projected $7.83 million operating costs for 2019.

In the media release, the city said the increase is due in part to a larger and busier convention centre, requiring the recruitment of skilled staff and a competitive market for hosting events.

Coun. Sandy Hickman, chair of St. John's Sports and Entertainment, said in the release that the added investment in the two venues "represent an excellent investment in stimulating activity in the downtown."

"Hospitality is a growing industry in this province and these venues contribute significantly to this growth," Hickman said.

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With files from Carolyn Stokes