April 15, 2014, ABBOTSFORD, B.C. (ISN) – The Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League is leaving the City of Abbotsford.
Mayor Bruce Banman announced Tuesday that the termination of the tenancy agreement with the team is in the best financial interests of the city.
The team, which has spent five seasons in the city, has been a money loser, and Abbotsford has agreed to pay more than $5 million to end its deal with the franchise five years early.
The team is in the Calder Cup playoffs and will leave the city after that run is complete.
The Heat is the farm team for the Calgary Flames.
Flames president Ken King said it’s a sad day for Abbotsford.
“The economics did not turn out the way any of us intended, despite the tremendous efforts of many men and women who made it their mission to convert the allegiances of local hockey fans, at least at the American Hockey League level, to the Heat,” King said, referring to fans of the Vancouver Canucks, the NHL team that plays just 70 kilometres away.
“Notwithstanding economics, our experiences in the Fraser Valley have been good,” King said in a news release.
The Flames said there is a plan in place for the Heat in the 2014-15 season and it will announce the team’s new location later. (CKNW, The Canadian Press)