It’s a battle off the ice that has been happening over the past three years.
And if the two parties can’t come to an agreement, the owner of the Oshawa Generals, Rocco Tullio says he’s ready to make a move. Although it might seem strange to think of the Generals anywhere else, Tullio has been at a stalemate with the city since 2020 and is getting fed up.
“We have numerous opportunities that we’ve been offered, and we’re going to go down that path.”
Although it hasn’t been confirmed, Tullio says one of those opportunities is an ongoing discussion with the owner of Durham Live and Pickering Developments. Steve Apostopolous is the brains behind the fast-growing development, Durham Live, an entertainment destination already home to a casino, executive hotel and 2,500-seat arena.
Tullio says if he can’t strike a deal with the city of Oshawa, the opportunity in Pickering might be too good to pass up.
“He can provide me a 6800-seat arena. He can provide me more offices. And the reality is that I can get everything I want and be in a brand new building,” says Tullio.
That’s one of the sticking points for Tullio at Oshawa’s Tribute Centre is space. Something he’s been asking for since negotiations started.
Oshawa’s Mayor Dan Carter says he’s disappointed, as he says they are trying to work with them.
“I’m very saddened by the position that Mr. Tullio has taken,” says Carter.
“We built this facility specifically to make sure we can host the OHL team and the Oshawa Generals,” he said.”
This month — Oshawa council met for a closed session meeting with officials on the executive team for the Generals. In this meet-up they discussed the terms of a confidential report looking at a 25-year lease extension for the team. Tullio says out of 10 requests for upgrades, 8 of them were rejected.
“We need at least four or five more offices up there, and we need offices down below.
So that’s it in a nutshell. I have several new positions that we have now, and no space to house anyone. We have additional staff, including digital media, social team and others.”
In total, the Generals Organization asked council for 24 changes before they sign a new lease. Carter says some of them have been sent back to staff for further review.
Girl missing for 6 years found after being recognized on ‘Unsolved Mysteries’
Edmonton road rage, carjacking spree victim says vehicle rammed 20 times on Henday
“Our team has spent over the last six months investigating all of those requests and look at what was feasible what was possible, and what that cost allocations are,” he said.
Other requests include an upgrade to their fitness facility and retail shop.
The owner says this comes after they almost had a deal for a concessions percentage agreement and financial package. But Tullio says the discussion was verbally made and claims Oshawa backed out on the original deal.
“The number was incorrect and that’s how it started,” said Tullio.
At the time, Oshawa’s mayor said everything was on the table.
“Their package was presented to council, they approved it and then the generals rejected it.”
Both sides appear to be taking a stand and willing to continue negotiations. But for the Generals owner it comes to signing somewhere else, and they need to act fast.
“You have zoning, then you have planning, it’s about a five-year ordeal, if everything goes smoothly,” says Tullio.
“If we don’t have the space, I have no choice. If they can’t give me more seats, there’s nothing to talk about. They’re an important partner. They’ve been here for 90 years. I want them here for another 90 years.”
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.