Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Wheat Kings an Election Issue?

The Brandon Wheat Kings upcoming lease negotiations with the Keystone Centre was a subject brought up at Tuesday's City of Brandon mayoral debate.

The Wheat Kings' lease expires in June of 2012, and candidates were asked how far they would go to ensure the team stays in Brandon.

"The Wheat Kings are extremely important as part of the fabric of our community," said current mayor Dave Burgess, "You just take a look at the flavour we have in our city, what we had with the Memorial Cup."

The Wheat Kings' current lease was signed in February of 1997, and Burgess admits it didn't fall in the Keystone Centre's favour at that time.

"With what we had coming forward with the Memorial Cup, the revenue that will be generated to the Wheat Kings actually sweetened the pot," said Burgess, "I don't see us going an sweeter than we already are. Definitely, we have to be responsible to the taxpayer but not at the chance of losing the Wheat Kings."

"I'm a much bigger fan of amateur sport than professional sport," declared Mayoral candidate Sheri Decter Hirst, "Again, I think there's a major hole in the goaltending of the Wheat Kings so I'd probably be much less inclined to support them."

Decter Hirst went on to say the Wheat Kings need to pull their full freight.

"We got way too many other issues in the community, like housing, that we need to spend time on and thinking about," said Decter Hirst, "Having not been around the table where the first contract was negotiated, I'm not sure how we'd do it differently this time."

The other two candidates for mayor, Henry Hansen and Nickolas Avlonitis both said that have good memories of the Wheat Kings and felt we needed to do whatever possible to keep them in Brandon.

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