Canadiens ECHL Affiliate Received Debt Notice From City
While the Montreal Canadiens are preparing for the 2023 Draft, their ECHL affiliate, the Trois-Rivières Lions, has been given a formal notice regarding their debt to the city.
According to Le Nouvelliste, Trois-Rivières has officially warned the team and its parent company, Deacon Sports And Entertainment (DSE), that their outstanding debt to the city must be paid in due order.
Trois-Rivières is claiming DSE is not in good financial standing with the city due to the operating costs at the Colisée Vidéotron, the 4390-seat multipurpose arena that opened in 2021 and has hosted the Lions ever since.
The Colisée Vidéotron cost $60.6 million to build. The city covered well over half the cost ($34 million). The original agreement between the city and DSE led to the city acting as the arena manager, while the team would be its primary tenant.
According to Le Nouvelliste, the debt owed to the city from DSE is $600,000.
DSE also owns the Newfoundland Growlers, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ ECHL affiliate.
In 2021, DSE and the municipality were embroiled in a legal battle regarding a lease renewal at the Mile One Centre in St. John’s.
Following reports of workplace harassment, the city voted to evict the team, which led to a lawsuit from DSE that alleged the city was not fulfilling its duties regarding arena maintenance and ticket sales.
Arbitration eventually took place, and a three-year agreement was signed.
In addition to owning the Growlers and the Lions, DSE also owns the Iowa Heartlanders.
What It Means For The Habs
There’s no need to panic.
The Canadiens’ affiliation with the team is simply that, an affiliation. They do not own a stake in the team, nor do they market any of the events related to the Lions.
The formal notice is the first step toward a legal proceeding, an important marker that notes the city gave DSE plenty of notice regarding their outstanding debt.
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Proper documentation is key in these situations, and the city is performing their due diligence.
However, the situation is far removed from a potential tenant eviction, and there’s certainly the possibility that DSE has a legitimate gripe concerning the amenities that were originally planned when the arena was built.
Trois-Rivières does not want to lose its most important tenant, nor do they want to lose the jobs associated with the club.
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