Save Our Leafs sign now

At the end of the 2004-05 hockey season, the St. John's Maple Leafs' contract with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) is set to run out. Richard Peddie and those involved with MLSE have been rumouring that they will not be renewing the contract and have asked Toronto Maple Leaf General Manager John Ferguson Jr to 'take a long hard look at the situation'. He has also gone on to say that they will be looking at other venues and cities to host Toronto's farm team. The Leafs have been in St. John's for 13 seasons, and are the third oldest team in the American Hockey League. The city has even recently invested millions of dollars into building a new state-of-the-art building, Mile One Stadium, to house the Leafs, which account for more than half of Mile One Stadium's revenue in the run of a year. Since the Leafs came here, 13 years ago, hundreds of jobs have been created and helped bring Newfoundland out of some hard times. If the city loses their team, these jobs will be lost. The Leafs have also contributed over $1 000 000 to the Leafs Foundation which supports local organizations and have recently committed to investing money to build a new play centre for our Children's Hospital. And let's not forget the fans. Every year there is a waiting list, that start's before the season is even over for season tickets for the following year. The people of St.John's have invested their own time and money into a team that hasn't always done well, but have been hard working each and every year. Children are getting the opportunity to meet future NHL superstars, not to mention the Leafs help out many of the minor league hockey teams in our province.

The reasoning Richard Peddie is using is that it is costing them too much for travel expenses to host our team here. St. John's is one of the priciest teams in the AHL, the city pays MLSE $1.2 million dollars a year to lease the team and that's not counting the additional $250 000 for management. In the past few years the AHL has closed it's doors on a number of small market franchises like St. John's, including Charlottetown, Fredericton, Quebec and most recently Saint John, all of which are in close distance to St. John's and were all great rivals. These teams have been moved to bigger market areas in the United States as well as in Toronto, places that don't need the revenue that these teams produce. This past summer, the Leafs were moved from the Atlantic Division which saw them play a number of close teams in the eastern part of the United States and Canada to the Western Division which has upped the travel costs drastically. Why not put the Leafs back in their old division and keep the team here in St. John's?

If St. John's loses it's Maple Leafs, it will not only be the fans who lose out, people WILL lose their jobs. We plan to present this petition to Richard Peddie of MLSE during a negotiations meeting later this year in hopes of making him realize what losing the team would mean to this city. I hope we can count on your support to help us 'Save Our Leafs'.

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Eloise LloydBy:
Nature and EnvironmentIn:
Petition target:
Richard Peddie c/o MLSE

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