The Brainerd School Board Finance Committee recommended board approval Tuesday of the district's five-year lease agreement for ice time for its hockey teams at the Brainerd Area Civic Center.
Steve Lund, director of business services, said negotiations between the district and Brainerd Amateur Hockey Association went well and he commended BAHA for its flexibility.
The district's arena lease will remain at $53,000, the same as last year's contract, during the first two years and increase by $1,000 the third year, something district officials wanted because of its uncertain financial outlook over the next few years. Then the fourth year the annual lease would increase to $56,000 and $58,000 for the final year of the contract, during the 2013-14 season. The average increase over the five-year arena lease is 1.88 percent.
The district will continue to manage the gate and retain net revenue and will continue to retain the 350 hours for the season. Lund said the district's hockey teams were only using about 300 hours but BAHA allowed the district flexibility to maximize its hours by allowing the district to use some of those ice time hours to host holiday tournaments, potentially providing more revenue. In the past, these types of tournaments would be cost prohibitive for visiting teams because those teams would have to pay more for use of the facility, said Lund.
Board member Molly Kurtzman asked what would happen if the district had to cut hockey. Lund said there is a provision in the contract that if the district had to cut the hockey program due to budget constraints then the district would need to let BAHA know by July 1. Lund said the community budget committee looked over the contract and made several recommendations.
"BAHA is excited to manage the facility and we're excited to work with them," said Lund. "I have to commend everyone in BAHA. They were a pleasure to work with."
JODIE TWEED may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
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