Windsor

Former Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment CEO plans on investing in Amherstburg

Richard Peddie says he plans on making some investments in the town.

'I'm really hoping that Amherstburg can be one of those spot-starters'

Former Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. President and CEO Richard Peddie is a graduate of the University of Windsor's Odette School of Business. (CP PHOTO/Aaron Harris) (Canadian Press)

The former president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment thinks some developments in Windsor have been questionable. 

Richard Peddie, a Windsor native who graduated from the University of Windsor, has been critical of the location of the incoming mega-hospital. On top of that, he thinks putting the WFCU Centre "out in the corn fields" was a "stupid" idea.

"By not putting it downtown, you're really doing a disservice to the city. It attracts so much investment around it," he said. 

These decisions ultimately come down to a lack of leadership, according to Peddie, who was speaking to students at the 2018 Georgie-Odette Leadership Symposium at University of Windsor.

"What I've noticed in a lot of university programs is they don't address leadership ... You can't be passive about it. You've got to invest to be any good at it at all."

Take a look back at Peddie discuss growing the ownership of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors into an empire worth $2 billion:

Richard Peddie on the rise of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment 6:57

Peddie, who coins himself as a "passionate city builder" said there are a lot of best practices which urban markets should adopt. He said "great cities cost money" and there is a resistance from municipal leaders to raise taxes and look at various sources of revenue.

"When cities [like] Toronto and Windsor decide to keep spending at or below inflation, that means when markets are growing — especially Toronto, but even in Windsor — when costs are going up, it means you're cutting back things," said Peddie.

"You're not spending on infrastructure. You're not spending on city services. And, livability is eroding ... I see it in Windsor today."

Peddie says between the Chrysler Greenway and the wineries, there are a lot of reasons to visit Amherstburg. (CBC News)

Where he does see success is in Windsor's neighbour, Amherstburg.

"It's got 22,000 people, got a very willing mayor, some of the councillors I know are very open to being progressive," said Peddie.

Peddie said he's "willing to champion some things" in the town and is planning on making some investments there as well.

Peddie didn't reveal details about the projects he's referring to. Instead, he simply said the opportunity to work with an incoming council, which is very "progressive" is something he can't pass up.

"I'm really hoping that Amherstburg can be one of those spot-starters."

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