With a little digging I found the 2011 budget for Royal Athletic. Expenditure $509,967 vs revenue $ 374,125. Looks like City needs tenant to bring in added revenue and pay property tax. Assume anyone looking to lease would expect a very long term exclusive before committing capital for improvements.
One option could have Council sell the property. Use proceeds to develop separate sport specific facilities elsewhere in the community. Allow developers higher density in exchange for amenity of smaller neighbourhood park on site.
Selling would be a terrible idea. The stadium is well located within the city and keeping the facility near crystal garden, the curling rink and save on foods arena creates a strong sports precinct within the downtown area. the problem is how difficult the city seems to be at dealing with the property.
the city should be striving for more regular tenants. the highlanders are there and now a baseball team again. letting the victoria rebels go was a bad idea. not sure on the numbers they attracted, but as an open air facility I'd imagine operating the park is not that expensive (confirmed by total operating costs of 500k a year)
further, the city should be looking to lock in some major events each year. beer fest and the music fest are great additions. there should be more of them.
rugby canada is headquartered in langford. with rugby's strong following in victoria the city should be locking in one national men's test game a year which would easily pull 7,000 in vic and possibly even higher if they were to secure a canada usa test match, market the game in vic, seattle and vancouver.
the victoria international 7's should be held at RAP. The city should try to secure a women's national soccer team game a year.
on top of all this, an effort to renovate and improve the facility should be undertaken, maybe this means a lottery to raise funds or private equity (which will only get involved if the city works to get more events at the stadium)
i find it interesting that langford has poached rugby and football from the city and now this (see the bottom comments from stew young)
i just wonder what the city of victoria is doing sometimes....
there are so many events they could bring to the park in the winter/spring as well - high school soccer finals, high school rugby finals, the smus/oak bay boot game has drawn over 1,000 people several times, major games between castaways, uvic, and James Bay rugby.
it's just about making a bit more of an effort. all of these could draw strong crowds, bring money into the stadium and draw people downtown to spend more money.
Last edited by baconnbits; Jun 24, 2012 at 01:26 AM.
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