Last-minute deal keeps Goldeyes in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG — Winnipeg city council has approved a last-minute compromise that could keep the Goldeyes baseball club in Winnipeg until at least 2038, and it appears the team is on board with the new proposal.

After years of going back and forth, council agreed to a new lease at Shaw Park on Thursday.

“Is it a settlement, yes it is,” said Coun. Brian Mayes, during Thursday’s council meeting.

Last week, the mayor’s executive policy committee voted four to three against the agreement and the Goldeyes also had issues with the proposal on the table.

Mayes, seconded by Coun. Markus Chambers, tabled a motion at council altering the deal in favour of the Goldeyes.

Instead of rent being $75,000, $85,000, and $95,000, annually over the 15 year lease, the new proposal would see it lowered to $25,000, $50,000, and $75,000.

The current lease sees the team pay $1 a year.

Entertainment taxes and municipal taxes would be granted back to the team over the entire term, instead of 2029 pending a review.

“I don’t love everything about this but it does retain the team,” Mayes said.

Goldeyes owner Sam Katz said the team can live with the deal.

“It’s done, it’s over. We made it happen. It’s good for the city, it’s good for the Goldeyes,” Katz told CTV News. “Let’s play ball.”

Not everyone was in favour of the compromise or the original proposal, including Mayor Brian Bowman who voted no, saying he doesn’t have enough financial information from the team.

“I haven’t seen the information that would give me comfort that that level of subsidy for a for-profit sports team is needed,” said Bowman.

Coun. Matt Allard tried to refer the entire matter to a later date, but that motion failed.

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