The City of Newmarket and the Newmarket Soccer Club recently announced that the soccer club has repaid in full, the balance of a $2.8 million loan the city took over on behalf of the club.
The partnership between the city and the club helped keep the soccer club afloat financially while it restructured, and as Mayor Tony Van Bynan states in a press release, the partnership "revealed many opportunities to collaborate and share facilities and resources that have reaped efficiencies and further opportunities for recreation, including use of NSC's indoor facilities to host youth sports camps for over 400 kids. Not only was this an investment in our community, it was an investment for the future of recreation for all residents in Newmarket."
It brings to mind the deal that was reached in November 2013 between the city and Guelph Community Sports to finance the soccer dome behind Centennial and College Heights schools. Guelph Soccer is its main tenant.
In that deal the city agreed to extend terms of the loan from 10 years to 15 years, thereby lowering the monthly payments for Guelph Community Sports.
Guelph Community Sports and Guelph Soccer also agreed to publicly release audited financial statements annually, and to work with the city to expand opportunities for partnerships and additional recreational programming at the dome and throughout the city.
Finally, Guelph Soccer agreed to convert $379,100 in loans it provided to Guelph Community Sports during the construction of the dome into an operating grant that will never be paid back.
Hearing of a successful end to the financial gamble the City of Newmarket took on its local soccer club must make the City of Guelph and the local sports organizations have more confidence in their deal.
It speaks to a lucritive sports tourism avenue Guelph could tap into.
It also speaks to possible partnerships in the future. We've heard that the South-End Rec Centre will need some public-private partnerships to get it built. As long as they continue to meet the obligations of this deal, both Guelph Community Sports and Guelph Soccer are gaining credibility as possible future partners.