Under a proposal that will be voted on by the Portland City Council on Wednesday, the Maine Mariners (ECHL) would obtain parking revenue from a city-owned garage.
Planning for the launch of the Mariners is unfolding, as the team will start ECHL play at the beginning of the 2018-19 season. The club has already secured a lease with Cumberland County to use Cross Insurance Arena, the former home of the Portland Pirates (AHL).
Through a separate agreement with the City of Portland, the Mariners would obtain all parking revenue that is generated at a city-owned garage near the arena during home games. The Pirates previously worked under a similar arrangement with the city, and officials are hoping that this proposed agreement with the Mariners will help to make the team a more viable tenant at Cross Insurance Arena. More from The Portland Press Herald:
City Councilor Justin Costa, who leads the Economic Development Committee, which unanimously recommends approval of the parking agreement and a lease for office space at 94 Free St., said the parking revenue would help put the Mariners, an ECHL team, on a more stable financial footing as the franchise tries to build a fan base in Maine’s largest city.
“Ultimately, we hope that they succeed and can provide a long-term anchor tenant for the insurance arena because that does have a significant impact on the downtown businesses,” Costa said.
Costa said he could not predict how much revenue would be generated for the team.
But according to figures provided by the city, the Pirates received a little more than $47,000 from the parking agreement in each of their last two seasons.
The Mariners, owned by Comcast Spectacor, will be the first professional hockey tenant to use Cross Insurance Arena since the departure of the Pirates. The Pirates relocated to Springfield, MA following the 2015-16 season.