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CHL Cries Poor, Cannot Afford Min. Wage But Still Asks Communities To Pay For & Build $100Million Arenas for Teams


Patricia Jackson, lawyer for the CHL argued today in court that if the CHL teams are forced to pay minimum wage to their players that it MAY go bankrupt or cease to exist.

It’s clear that Patricia Jackson has not communicated with Ron Robison, Commissioner of the WHL.

Contrary to Jacksons statements in court, the WHL seems to feel that building a new arena in Nanaimo would attract additional new franchisees entering into the WHL.

Here’s Ron Robison’s statement aimed at the citizens of Nanaimo during a referendum where citizens voted on borrowing money to build the poverty crying WHL a new $80Million arena. The vote was a landslide victory for the citizens of Nanaimo who seen through the lies and misleading information that was coming from the WHL and from their own City Councillors. The Citizens voted overwhelmingly NO to borrowing the money with over 80% of the voters saying NO THANK YOU.

whl statement nanaimo


Statement made by Ron Robison just a couple of weeks ago, clearly contradicts Patricia Jacksons argument in court that teams would fold.

It appears that Nanaimo wasn’t the only Canadian City that Ron Robison has been asking to build hockey arenas for him. The City of Lloydminster Alberta was also involved in talks withe the WHL Commissioner at the exact same time that Robison was in talks with Nanaimo. Lloydminster was asked to include a WHL size arena in their $100 Million casino project.

So how can a hockey league claiming to be losing money year after year be in a position to ask 2 different communities to build them $80 Million dollar arenas?

Here is Robison’s comments surrounding the Lloydminster proposal.

lloydminster robison


Patricia Jackson went on to say that the league and teams continuously lose millions of dollars annually.

How can the leagues and teams continuously lose millions annually and at the same time as teams are going bankrupt across the league, Ron Robison is promising communities 20 year lease agreements for a league that Robison says in his sworn will see most of their teams fold if class action lawsuit filed against them for minimum wage violations is certified.

How many lies can this man tell in any given month to try and convince the public to dish out $100’s of millions of dollars of tax payers money into his failing hockey system?

But let’s take a close look at this.

According to CHL records, the standard players’ agreements remain locked in at the same value. This has been consistent for decades.

Players’ education packages remain the same. The costs for these education packages are maxed and have a max contribution for the league and teams.

Arena costs for ice rentals are long term agreements which do not change from year-to-year.

So let’s take this analysis now.

The league’s stance is that the CHL’s main source of revenue comes from ticket revenue and attendance. We know from the CHL’s own records that they have experienced a steady growth of record attendance that continued to rise year after year but yet, the correlation between attendance and profitability has steadily declined.

This gives way to the fact that if the players’ benefits, education packages and standard player contracts have remained the same, which according to court records they have, and the arena leases have remained the same, then it would be safe to assume that the additional revenue that has been received on behalf of the CHL and it’s member teams from record attendance, including; record breaking attendance for the WJC, which was seen this year in Montreal and Toronto, where ticket prices went as high as $500 to see a single game, one can assume that the additional revenues are going into the owners pockets or additional unnecessary expenses that would be better suited going to pay, at the very least, players minimum wage.

Patrica Jackson argued that the date for the hockey players in the class action be closed immediately upon certification of the hearing. This would mean that players’ starting next years season would not be eligible to receive financial compensation for wages earned under the class action.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this story coming this evening.