Manitoba writes off Blue Bomber Stadium debt

80 million - good for them

Wow! Bonus for the team. Well done. :slight_smile:

Bonus for the team, Burden for the taxpayers of Manitoba.
A horrible message to the citizens of Halifax and Nova Scotia! :frowning:

The Bombers have already paid off $17M towards their loan. I understand they’ll still be expected to make their annual payments (as they have done each year in full) but now no interest will accrue for the unpaid balance.

I don't understand. What annual payment? Rent?

As a Manitoban, I am HAPPY to pay it off!!!

Full Disclosure : I am not a Manitoban, nor do I live in Manitoba. :wink:

Here is a quote from the CBC story:

"The Bombers were given a break on loan interest until this year, and the interest payments at current rates would work out to an extra $4 million in annual costs for a facility that hosts 10 regular season games each year and a handful of other events such as concerts.

Pallister said the Bombers may continue to make some payments, but the payments are not expected to be large enough to pay back the principal of the loan.

In a statement, the Bombers said that"to date, the Winnipeg Football Club has met its financial obligations with respect to the stadium, in accordance with the Management Agreement with Triple B Stadium Inc."

"The Club has madecumulativeannual excess cash paymentstotalling$17Mto Triple B and will continue to meet its financial obligations," spokespersonDarren Cameron said in the statement.

They anticipate making minimum but not maximum payments going forward, and will be looking at other ways to collect fees to make annual payments to Triple B possible.

"The Winnipeg Football Club agrees with the Province that the current model is unsustainable and is not viable over the long term."

...that’s right, but you can start savings your tax dollars to pay for my olympics

Well said. Same old story not for Halifax but the other leading contenders with money.

Thanks! Sadly, I still don't understand. :frowning:

Happy to. :slight_smile:

How I interpreted it was the province wrote off the Bombers loan but they're still expected to pay off the remaining $65M over time, but with no interest being charged. So, the Bombers have the flexibility make payments when they can afford it...and maybe not the $4.5M plus interest under the previous loan.

The province was forced write-off the 2nd phase of the stadium loan, having projected a $100M windfall from the old Bomber stadium site...which fizzled out. The province decided to write-off the Bombers loan at the same time (due to the onerous terms)...so this is not just a handout to the Bombers, just a good opportunity to clean up a fiscal mess.

How about putting it this way,
$82M in taxpayers dollars to service a loan for a pro football team, that they knowingly signed on for,
instead of it being spent on Schools and Hospitals.

Exactly

Servicing freaking football fans is far more important than an elderly person who’s fallen in their home - or a child fighting blood cancer - or proper school supplies for a run down school without clean water . . .

Just take care of the football fans and everything else will fall into place!

RUBES!

They should be upset about the deal. We’re kidding ourselves though if we think that money would be spent elsewhere on something productive like education or healthcare. It probably just doesn’t get spent at all.

If governments actually made spending decisions based on sustainable fiscals that would be true - but they don’t. Spending decisions are made on political considerations and how much debt is a secondary consideration at best. The spending decisions would:

  • not be hospital vs stadium but;
  • health need A, B, C and D against each other
  • psuedo-public/private interest economic generated A, B, C and D against each other
  • educational cost A, B, C and D against each other

So, if that $82M wasn’t spent on a stadium it would likely have been spent on something else of similar economic interest.

Look around and see how many stadiums and arenas have been build without some sort of massive public “investment” of one form or another, whether by grant, direct public funding, tax breaks, special tax inputs, etc, etc.

This is a GOOD lesson for Halifax and Nova Scotia as it presents the reasonable probability of what lies ahead.

Something was bothering me about this “write-off” and I think I now know what it was . . .

Essentially, the bombers have made their payments like clockwork over the last 4 or 5 years. They haven’t missed a payment.

So why write off a loan if the primary party to the loan (debtor) still has their head above water?

My guess? Wad Miller (bomber CEO) saw the writing on the wall. He knew that ticket sales and other revenues were declining and TSN TV money was not increasing, just a fixed income number.

Projections probably showed (as I’ve often opined) that the team would hit the mendoza line in approx. 3 years - so Miller ran a pre-emptive strike to Pallister’s office and they both agreed the numbers were unsustainable - and the asset (the team) could be in severe financial trouble.

Pallister agreed to write off the loans without public consult (a right of every govt. flaunting a majority) and re-design the bomber loan package to a softer, more palatable number - prolly a combination of taxes on tickets, parking, TSN monies in conjunction with a much lower annual “rental” fee - say 1 million instead of 4.4 million.

Its a start - although I question where the money goes to. Theoretically all taxes and re-payments should go to government general revenue. My fear is it goes to BBB Ltd. which is really the fancy name of the partnership between the bombers and the University of Manitoba. Thus, it essentially stays in-house anyways!!!

This is exactly the red meat politicians and liberals point to when claiming Stadiums suck the blood out of the public purse.