(September 30, 2004) -- Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSEL) announced Wednesday it has reached an agreement to lease Ricoh Coliseum located on the grounds of Exhibition Place to become the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs' American Hockey League (AHL) franchise starting in 2005-06. The lease agreement was approved by both the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place and Toronto City Council.
"We're pleased that this opportunity has unfolded in a manner that serves the interests of a wide cross section of our communities. Ricoh Coliseum has become an established venue that provides a great environment for AHL hockey," said Ian Clarke, executive vice president, chief financial officer, business development of MLSEL. "In addition to great hockey we will also be bringing in additional shows, concerts and events to our city that appeal to the tastes and preferences of a wider audience."
MLSEL will assume responsibility for Ricoh Coliseum July 1, 2005 and will begin marketing suites and sponsorships right away.
"We feel we have reached a deal that's fair, transparent and beneficial to the city and taxpayers," said Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone, Chair of Exhibition Place. "Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment is an organization that's highly respected in the world of sports and having two Leafs franchises in Toronto will be a win-win situation for our city and the world's greatest hockey fans."
The lease agreement contains both fixed and variable payments, with the variable portion increasing as Ricoh Coliseum revenues increase.
"We're excited about bringing in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and the Leafs as the new arrangement satisfies our pension fund objectives for long term stable returns," said Michael Rolland, senior vice president of Borealis Infrastructure. "MLSEL will ensure the financial and operating success of Ricoh Coliseum for many years to come, while sports and entertainment fans will have a chance to see some great hockey, concerts and other events."