The Grande Prairie Storm will get the help it has asked for. The city has agreed to give the Storm $0 rent for the current season and give the team a $200,000 loan over the next five years. Storm Business Manager Eric Hein says he’s happy about the outcome.
“As an organization, we’re excited to move forward with the city in partnership together. It’s a loan, they’re going to make money on investing in the team and in the organization and we’re headed in the right direction so I’m excited to get to work with the city and continue our strong season.”
This is not the first time the Storm have needed to ask for help. Back in January 2016, the team owed about $100,000 in unpaid bills and launched its “Save Our Storm” campaign aimed at bringing in donations and sponsorships. Then in June 2016, it asked the city to remove $89,000 owed in contract to Revolution Place for 10 months of the 2015-2016 year.
This time around the loan will be used to pay back local vendors and credit card debt under the watch of city administration who will help distribute the money. The loan itself will need to be paid back to the city with 4.25 per cent interest. Hein wants to stress that this is a loan and not a handout.
“Not only is the city gonna make money but we’re a huge part of this community… I recognize that there’s a lot of stakeholders involved and I appreciate that people are concerned, that’s how I would prefer it. Moving forward we’re just going to continue to be involved in the community, make sure our players are visible and helping out.”
Along with the loan and rent reduction, a number of other items were approved. They included having a $20,000 base rent next season, having the team’s business plan reviewed by the Revolution Place General Manager, filing monthly financial statements with the city, and having an annual end of season review with city council.