The Malik Report
by George Malik on 09/17/12 at 12:45 PM ET
Although a few minor wrinkles need to be ironed out, for all practical purposes the Convention and Arena Authority has a new lease with West Michigan Hockey Inc., which owns the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.
The new agreement is a renewal of the original lease the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority negotiated with the hockey club in 1995, a year before Van Andel Arena opened. Under this contract, which is retroactive to Sept. 1, 2011, the Griffins will pay more to play in the only home the team has known.
“The team is very happy with the outcome. Chris (Machuta) and I are very happy with the outcome,” said Rich MacKeigan, SMG regional general manager and CAA executive director. Machuta is SMG’s finance director.
The agreement’s term is for 10 years and has three five-year renewal options. The lease gives the team access to other spaces in the building, including the banquet rooms and terraces. The team has agreed to share the cost of building improvements with the CAA. In the past, the board paid for all upgrades, such as the recent extension that created a food court at the concourse’s northwest end.
The Griffins also agreed to a higher rent for home games that is based on attendance. The team will pay the CAA $9,583 for each game attended by up to 5,000 fans and $10,266 for games that draw a bigger crowd — like the $1 beer and hot dog Friday games. Previously, the Griffins paid $7,000 and $7,500, respectively.
The Griffins will pay $2,725 a month for its office space in the arena and $654 per month for its retail store there. “That rent has also increased,” said Dick Wendt, CAA counsel.
Continued with more business details...
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