The Medicine Hat Tigers have been told to vacate the Canalta Centre unless a permanent lease agreement is in place by April 7.
“We are disappointed that a fair and reasonable permanent license agreement has not yet been completed for use of the Canalta Centre,” said Mayor Ted Clugston. “The Tigers are part of the history and the fabric of our community. We want to see them make the Canalta Centre their home for many years to come.”
A news release from the city states that if a deal is reached between the hockey club and SMG, the company contracted by the city to operate the Canalta Centre, the Tigers would be welcomed back to the Canalta Centre.
Clugston says the majority of city council is on board with the eviction notice.
“This has been going on for quite a while and the citizens — and council has to represent all 63,000 citizens — have a massive financial investment in the building. Ultimately we have to look after all the taxpayers,” he said. “If there’s one item or a hundred items outstanding the fact remains that we don’t have a lease. The city and SMG have been very patient waiting an entire hockey season and now it’s time to make a move.”
Asked about the possibility of the team leaving, Clugston said that’s a worst-case scenario that nobody wants to see happen and the best-case scenario is that a lease deal is made by the end of the day today.
A temporary access agreement was put in place in August 2015 prior to the start of the Western Hockey League season. The city says that agreement was renewed 11 times over the course of the season, with the most recent agreement expiring March 24.
(Medicine Hat News)