Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 8:45 AM

KPMG Report: St. John’s Sports and Entertainment

Mile one building

Today, City Council and the Board of St. John’s Sports and Entertainment Ltd. (SJSEL) released a Jurisdictional Comparison prepared for the Board by consultants KPMG. The report provides comparative analysis on various operating models of venues in other Canadian municipalities and also provides a high-level overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the two venues operated by SJSEL (see fact sheet: comparing potential operating models).

“St. John’s Sports and Entertainment faces some inherent challenges, including high fixed costs and geographic isolation,” said Mayor Danny Breen. “However, as the consultants point out, by helping to clarify the Board’s mandate, moving forward, Council can assist the Board to better measure their performance and meet public expectations.”

The consultants concluded that there is confusion around whether Mile One Centre and the Convention Centre are considered to be:

  • An economic engine for the City and the surrounding area, where the focus is not on SJSEL’s bottom line but on the economic spin offs created (by attendees at SJSEL events) as well as a community builder in terms of sport, arts and cultural programming; or,
  • A business designed to operate the SJSEL Facilities on a for-profit (or at least break-even) basis. This position recognizes the economic development potential from SJSEL venues and programming, but also recognizes that the current level of City subsidization may outstrip the existing economic benefits.

The Board of SJSEL has already begun the process of reviewing and implementing the recommendations in the report.

“In the past two years, the Board has made significant, strategic efforts towards operational efficiency, said Councillor Jamie Korab, Chair of the Board for SJSEL. “From changing our operational model and seeking a new food and beverage partner at SJCC to reaching an agreement in principle with the Edge and Growlers for a long-term lease at Mile One Centre, we are eager to explore best practices and will carefully review and consider the management models used in other jurisdictions.”