As the death rattles for the Cornwall River Kings shake, owner Steve Moreau answered a few questions for CFN regarding the shutting down of the team.
Ironically a last ditch effort by Rodney Rivette is another example of the dysfunction and corruption of the culture in Cornwall. Where was ol Rodney during the Summer when the team clearly was giving signals that it needed support to survive, especially as they were putting together a top flight roster aimed at winning?
Having an event to pump up a relatives business in the park? Really?
The loss of the Kings signifies not just the loss of a hockey club, but highlights the corruption and difficulty for outsiders to do business in Cornwall. Mr. Moreau’s travails include a sitting city councilor, David Murphy, selling advertising for the Cornwall Colts, a team that has 70% of rink advertising revenue even though they are a much smaller tenant revenue wise for the city owned facility. The Colts are believed to be partially owned by Mr. Murphy’s employer, The Benson Group, no stranger to asking for and receiving public hand outs.
There are already allegations that the Benson Group wanted the River Kings gone so that they could possibly land an OHL or QMHL hockey team and would need the ice space.
Do you feel that you failed as an owner or that the city failed its hockey fans by having such punitive limitations to the team’s revenue?
I believe the city failed its hockey fans. With the restrictions they had on the teams ability to generate revenue right down to having to use all their contracted “partners” which, in the end usually cost more because they were contracted, gave us little chance to succeed.
Compared to other LNAH cities that gained financial support from their home towns, how did it feel to not get any support from Cornwall even though the River Kings are the largest client for the Civic Complex?
There was no City support. Simple as that. Other cities offered discounts on ice, practice time, revenue sources. Cornwall had none of this. It’s a get what you are given mentality.
What was your finest moment as the River Kings owner?
Finishing a full season and knowing everyone was paid for the work they had done.
What was the most common response from investors when they learned about the City’s punitive conditions for the Complex?
The most common response was disbelief. Several even said I was insane for approaching them with such a “deal” as one put it.
How did if feel having a sitting councilor (David Murphy) selling for the Colts?
Doesn’t sit well. A major player in the community working for the “other” team and somehow his team gets all the perks? Makes you wonder
7) Do you think Cornwall Ontario is a good place to make a business investment?
Not any more. Over the years I have had several businesses which were in the city or serviced the city, and it wasn’t worth the hassle. When dealing with Cornwall, it was never a win. This is the last time I work in the area.
The people of Cornwall vote for their council. These are the people responsible for making sure new business and existing businesses survive. They are responsible for the things you do and the things available to the people. Unless the people decide they want change and they want things in their community such as a semi-pro hockey team, or an art gallery, or anything else for that matter, they need to vote for those who will make it happen for them – Not squash progress.
Cornwall – Thanks for the memories
FINAL STATEMENT FROM STEVE MOREAU
Unfortunately, attempts to secure last-minute investors who came out of the woodwork to help save the Cornwall River Kings have been unsuccessful.
Each one backed out when they were told there was no revenue from concession or beer sales, no discount on ice time and only 30% of marketing in the arena. It also became pretty obvious rather quickly that the City was ready to move on, having removed our logo from the ice at the Ed Lumley Arena less than 12 hours after announcing the team would not participate in the 2016-17 Season.
We pushed and pushed hard to find one last company or private partner to invest in the team. Unfortunately, they all backed out when they realized the only revenue would be ticket sales and sponsorship.
I wish we had better news today for our passionate fans, but unfortunately I do not. First and foremost, my family and I were River Kings fans, and this is a sad day for all of us.
Hopefully the LNAH will have better success.
Earlier Mr. Moreau had the following to say:
It’s a sad day for my family and the local hockey community to see the River Kings die.
It became obvious to potential investors that they would receive no compensation from the City of Cornwall.
There would be no beer or concession revenue for a new ownership group, let alone price reduction on ice.
There wouldn’t even be potential for practice ice.
It came as no surprise that the River Kings logo was quickly removed from the ice at the Ed Lumley Arena.
The City of Cornwall never wanted this team to succeed. We’d have better luck opening an art gallery.