18 Jun Hamilton wants Global Spectrum, Carmen’s to keep operating entertainment facilities, even as city looks to sell them (Hamilton News)
Global Spectrum and the Carmen’s Group will be operating the city’s entertainment facilities for at least the next five years.
But at the same time, Hamilton is moving forward with a $200,000 independent study to determine if the city even wants to keep FirstOntario Centre, FirstOntario Concert Hall and the Hamilton Convention Centre as assets.
Staff recommended to councillors a five-year and six-month extension for both Global Spectrum and the Carmen’s Group to operate the aging entertainment facilities. Councillors are scheduled to vote on the agreements at their June 12 council meeting.
The current contract is set to expire at the end of this year.
In return, the city will see a potential $13-million savings over the life of the extension by reducing the subsidy and including a $1.5-million capital investment into the facilities. Staff estimate that Hamilton has already saved $10 million over the first five years of the agreement.
“They have done an excellent job and will do an excellent job in the next five years,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “I’m delighted with their commitment.”
The city, though, has also hired a consultant, Ernst and Young, to conduct an independent review on council’s request to possible sell the facilities — a report will be before councillors in August.
Hamilton continues to provide an operating subsidy of $1.4 million to Global Spectrum, a financial burden that some councillors want to eliminate.