March 5, 2010 | last updated December 1, 2011 4:54 am

Pirates make demands, threaten departure

The owner of the Portland Pirates says he wants a 15-year lease and revenue sharing with the Cumberland County Civic Center on future naming rights and concessions before the team will agree to stay in Portland.

While he's making these demands, Brian Petrovek, managing owner and CEO of the Portland Pirates, has admitted for the first time that he's been in talks with officials in Albany about moving the minor league hockey team to that city. However, Petrovek told the Portland Press Herald he is still focused on working out a deal with the civic center that would allow the team to stay in Portland.

Petrovek said he would give up the $40,000 per year paid by the civic center to cover the team's projected deficit and also rebates paid by the civic center when the Pirates meet attendance goals. Under the current lease, the civic center received all of the more than $346,000 in concessions revenue generated by Pirates games during the 2008-2009 season.

The civic center's board of trustees was scheduled to meet Friday morning and discuss Petrovek's proposal, according to the Press Herald. Neal Pratt, chairman of the trustees, told the newspaper that a deal is unlikely given what Petrovek is seeking in the new lease agreement. The Pirates' current five-year lease expires on April 30.

Mainebiz reported earlier this week that the Pirates pay $2,500 in rent for each of their regular-season home games and any playoff games at home. Petrovek told the Press Herald his actual cost per game is closer to $8,000 after the team hires ushers, security and other personnel for each game. But Steven Crane, general manager of the civic center, told Mainebiz the civic center provides those personnel and the Pirates repay $5,500 for those in-kind services each game, which gives the civic center $2,500 in net rent per game.

Petrovek also told the Press Herald the Pirates pay $20,000 a year for the right to sell most of the advertising in the arena and he says that brings in about $900,000 in cash, as well as in-kind promotional and operational help that he valued at about $200,000. The Press Herald also reported the team has received nearly $160,000 over five years for meeting attendance goals, about $60,000 last year from the city of Portland for a share of parking garage receipts, and free parking for players and team personnel that the city valued at more than $50,000.

The newspaper also reported the Civic Center provides ice time for practices that is valued at more than $20,000 a year.

Read the Portland Press Herald story >>


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