TAKE OUR SURVEY: Oshawa Metropolis Says “No” to Untimely Ending of Oshawa Generals’ lease within the area
The City of Oshawa has made it clear that it is not interested in an early termination of the Oshawa Generals’ lease at the Tribute Communities Center.
In a letter sent to the city earlier this month, the team requested a meeting to discuss the early termination of an agreement that will last a decade. This offer received a resounding “no” when it went to the Finance Committee for a vote on Monday 20th September.
The committee rejected the offer 6-0.
The generals signed a 25-year lease when the Tribute Communities Center first opened its doors in 2006. This contract does not expire until 2031.
“I was amazed at the letter when I first received it,” Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter said of the generals’ request for early termination of the lease.
“I think we have a world class facility. I think it is very difficult to understand what the Oshawa Generals’ ownership thinks. They have a long-term legacy, it’s a well-known brand that is well supported by the community…. We have an agreement that we’re going to honor, and it’s 10 years, ”said Carter.
The general’s owner, Rocco Tullio, has argued with the city of Oshawa over his demands for more office and training space in the arena. He has requested that the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame, located in the main arena, be relocated so the team can take their place. That application was denied by the city and the Sports Hall of Fame.
Carter said there had been no further discussion of the space issue with the team over the past calendar year.
In an interview on Tuesday, Tullio admitted that the generals were interested in moving on the street at some point and wanted to speak to the city of Oshawa about an early termination of the lease.
“We’re just getting too nickel-plated here and have had enough of the antics here,” said Tullio in frustration, not satisfied with the city’s refusal to negotiate.
“We had discussions with another developer (for a new arena in Durham). It stalled during COVID. We have been to the city many times. We are not staying in an arena that we believe cannot accommodate what we as an organization need to survive, ”said Tullio.
He complained about the length of the original lease and its terms, which were set before becoming sole owner of the team.
While the city said the lease brings in $ 1.5 million in revenue per year from the generals, Tullio said he believes that when the additional economic benefits the team brings are added to the lease income, he estimates at about $ 3 million. He cites income from people buying food and spending money downtown and in buildings.
He said times have changed in the past 15 years since the lease was first signed.
“Over 10 years ago I didn’t have two marketing people, social media workers, or two people selling tickets, or an analyst. We just need more office space, more space for our children to move around as a recruiting tool.
“The Hall of Fame shouldn’t be there, it should be a place where people can access it seven days a week, not just when the generals are playing. If they think this is a game, it is not. We’re still in the Durham area, it just won’t be in Oshawa. “
Carter said the city will continue to speak to the Oshawa generals “to address any concerns they may have about ensuring they are successful. That is our commitment. “
Story behind the story: The City of Oshawa and the Generals of Oshawa are at a dead end due to the team’s demand for more space in the Tribute Communities Center and the remaining 10 years of the team’s lease with the city-owned arena. We decided to investigate the problem behind a letter from the team talking about the premature termination of the lease and threats to move the team and what that would mean for the city.