EVANSVILLE, IN — The City of Evansville countered the IceMen’s last proposal for a lease agreement on Wednesday morning. According to a source within the City’s office, it would reduce the IceMen from having the largest rent/staffing cost in the league to fifteenth.
Randy Alsman, the President of the City’s Redevelopment Commission and key figure to the lease negotiations spoke with me on the phone today. He shared that the proposal is a 5-year deal.
He reiterated that “The City thinks the IceMen are a great tenant for the Ford Center and would like to see them here for a long time.”
Here are some of the highlights of our conversation
- The City and IceMen had agreed on three goals in the new lease
- Simplify the agreement, as the original one was complex
- Be financially neutral to both parties
- Motivate the City and the team to fill the Ford Center with fans
- The IceMen paid $643,752 to the City last year, but due to rebates/refunds received more than $400,000 back from the City.
- The counter proposal is structured similarly to Ft. Wayne and their deal with the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
- The counter proposal charges the IceMen $26,500 annually in rent, of which that can be stepped down based on attendance.
- The City receives a $2 per ticket facility fee, which it received under the old deal.
- All Food and Beverage sales are paid to the City. The current deal is all food and beverage sales, less a 10% rebate to the IceMen of alcohol sales.
I asked Randy about the new proposal. If it’s a good deal for the IceMen, it then must be a poor deal for the City. What’s the benefit to the City of this proposal?
“We think the IceMen are a great attraction…The city benefits by those people spending their money on things other than just IceMen tickets downtown. We’re motivated to give the IceMen a good deal and think we did…that benefits the City by bringing more people downtown.”
Lastly, I asked Mr. Alsman about the IceMen making this negotiation public and his thoughts on that.
“That’s their choice. They’re free to handle negotiations any way they feel,” Alsman said. ” I don’t know if we would have chosen that path, but that’s ok. That’s what they feel is most effective for them, that’s fine.”
Alsman continued: “We feel confident that we have a fair proposal. We think it meets the overwhelming majority of their requests. It follows a contract model they’ve held up as a good one (Ft. Wayne) So we feel pretty good about reaching an agreement pretty soon and putting this behind us.”
The IceMen were contacted for comment, but are reviewing the proposal.