There has been some discussion on Canadian conservative talk shows about the fact that Jim Balsillie’s deal requires an investment on the part of the Hamilton government to update the Copps Coliseum.
The deal would involve an investment of $150 million dollars on the part of the Hamilton government to bring the Copps Coliseum up to NHL standars.
Although this may seem like a significant investment of tax payers dollars, it will have significant returns. The City of Hamilton knows this, which is why they have committed to helping Mr. Balsillie with the move. For those tax payers in Hamilton who aren’t convinced, the ROI potential is an easy sell.
The City of Hamilton will have 300 days or so to use the improved facilities as they see fit. An NHL team only plays around 41 home games, which means that minus a couple weeks for renovations, the facility can accommodate a wide range of revenue generating events for most of the year. Events such as big ticket concerts, indoor sports and trade shows are all much easier to accommodate, and will generate business for the government as well as local businesses. Jim is even investing millions of his own dollars to help with the facility upgrade.