Vancouver Whitecaps FC returns on August 21 to play in front of a BC Place crowd for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
The date is also nine months after a judge ruled the Major League Soccer club can no longer keep their stadium lease a secret.
theBreaker.news originally requested a copy of the amendment in fall 2016 from BC Pavilion Corporation under the Freedom of Information Act. PavCo and the Whitecaps refused to cooperate.
Early 2019, an arbitrator from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner confirmed the public’s right to access contracts negotiated between private companies and public bodies. But the Whitecaps have sued the ICPO to block disclosure.
The club unsuccessfully claimed the deal with the taxpayer-owned stadium manager had not been negotiated and admitted that they did not want the public to know about the financial and sponsorship terms.
British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Karen Horsman disagreed with the Whitecaps and ruled: “TThe arbitrator’s decision was justified, intelligible and transparent, and therefore reasonable.
theBreaker.news finally got a copy of the Sponsorship Agreement effective January 1, 2017, which is an amendment to the 15-year Master Lease Agreement entered into on March 10, 2011.
The reason for the deal was to resolve a long-simmering dispute over naming rights.
The Whitecaps have asked for the amendment for advertising and sponsorship activations outside the indoor stadium bowl.
PavCo retained the right to sell the naming rights to the stadium itself, but pledged to engage with the Whitecaps on the issue “in a collaborative and integrated manner”.
Prior to the September 2011 reopening after a $ 563 million renovation, PavCo sold the naming rights to Telus for $ 40 million in cash, goods and services over 20 years. But the Telus Park sign has never been elevated.
The British Columbia Liberal cabinet led by Premier Christy Clark, a close friend of Whitecaps owner Greg Kerfoot, canceled the deal under pressure from Bell-sponsored Whitecaps. PavCo paid $ 15 million for the screens and wifi installed by Telus.
The Whitecaps have called the land under the Bell Pitch roof, but PavCo started looking for a new naming rights partner a year before the pandemic hit.
The contract, obtained exclusively by theBreaker.news, set annual Whitecaps payouts to PavCo at $ 225,000 (or $ 12,500 per game) from 2017 to 2021. Payouts increase by $ 25,000 per year from 2022, for a maximum of $ 325,000 in 2025.
The agreement also increased the installation fee to $ 3.25 per ticket and the parties agreed to a full review of the installation fee in the 2021 operating year.
In the mid-2000s, Kerfoot offered to build his own $ 75 million outdoor stadium north of Gastown. He did not contribute to the cost of the BC Place renovation, which included a retractable roof.
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READ: Whitecaps contract with BC Pavilion Corporation by Bob Mackin on Scribd