The City of St. John's announced Wednesday that it has reached a lease agreement that will see the Newfoundland Growlers take to the ice at Mile One Centre this season.
Coun. Jamie Korab, chair of St. John's Sports and Entertainment (SJSE), told reporters Wednesday afternoon the city and the Growlers reached a three-year agreement Tuesday.
"The board, the council and the city should be excited. The Growlers are an important group here in the city. It's a great economic generator for downtown," Korab said in front of Mile One Centre.
No details on city subsidies for the stadium were included in a city media release issued Wednesday morning. Korab said more details will be released in the next few days or weeks.
The release said the team is preparing for the upcoming hockey season with ticket sales to begin shortly, and Korab said the arena will be ready for fans.
"Over the past three years the Growlers have developed a passionate fanbase … We owe it to our fans and partners to continue to operate out of Mile One Centre for the next three seasons," said Glenn Stanford, president of Deacon Sports and Entertainment.
In 2019, the city announced it had reached a 10-year lease agreement in principle with the Growlers, as well as the St. John's Edge basketball team.
Korab said that agreement in principle was "basically thrown out" as it was never signed by the ownership groups, and the new lease for three years was the deal both sides agreed on.
"The main thing was the Growlers staying here. That was the main thing. I would say yes, the board is happy with the lease, and if we weren't happy we wouldn't have signed it," Korab said.
"The residents made it loud and clear. They like the Growlers, they want the Growlers, they want event nights here ... at Mile One. So we're definitely happy."
Deacon Sports and Entertainment, led by Dean MacDonald, also publicly expressed interest in buying Mile One Centre from the city on several occasions in recent years, including releasing renderings of a planned expansion for the stadium.
Deacon Sports and Entertainment said in a release that it will meet with the media "in the coming weeks to demonstrate our long-term commitment and further investment in professional sports teams and facilities in the region."
Meanwhile, Korab said he expects a lease agreement between SJSE and ownership group 2001 Investments to be signed by the end of the week which will have the city becoming home to an American Basketball Association franchise.