No Hugo, Cornwall Is a Hockey Town – City Hall to Blame for Team’s Demise. by Jamie Gilcig 022218

Cornwall Ontario – With the demise of yet another hockey management team there are rumblings and even a piece written by that mincing lifeguard, Hugo Rodrigues.

Cornwall Ontario is a hockey town.  It just has a city government that for whatever reason refuses to allow business to be business.

The subsidies given to the Cornwall Colts have never made sense for the city.   Jr Hockey is important, but it’s subsidized by the players paying to play, which ultimately weakens the product.    The Colts should be playing at the Benson Centre. Allowing them the control they have at the Civic Complex is a defacto subsidy as they rarely equal attendance, even of the Nationals.

Cornwall is such a hockey town that we’ve had several well meaning and hockey loving owners try to make it a go even when the numbers never really could add up, and the city didn’t support them.  And that’s the fundamental problem.  One went to the drastic effort of using the Turtle Dome in Akwesasne because of the punitive lack of ability to earn income without rink board ads, and other streams of revenue at the complex.

The current paradigm of playing at the Civic Complex will not allow good ownership to consider setting up shop here so we end up with groups or people losing hundreds of thousands of dollars while eroding fan and sponsor trust.

It’s not about being rich. It’s about having a chance to at least break even which Economic Development and City Hall refused to allow.

The last chance was after the last election when City Hall still gave the Colts the lion’s share of rink board revenues.

A team can work at the Civic Complex, but they need it to be their home.  They need all the rink board revenues.  They need to be able to earn from beer and other sponsorships.

Recently a major group based in Montreal was kicking tires for a new Minor league team.   A member of the group talked to this writer about the local rink as I have former NHL and player history including having worked with one of its leadership group.     They decided on another locale, partially because of a really really bad meeting with Economic Development, but primarily because they didn’t feel wanted.

Cornwall is a hockey town, but our leadership is handicapping us and hindering actual  business growth.

Luckily there’s an election coming up and it may be time, like Brampton last term,  to elect candidates who will clean house of city managers who hold our city back, and try and move our city forward.   How many years do you let people fail while employing cronyism, corruption, and bullying before you change things?

In the meanwhile hockey fans here will have to tune into their TV’s or travel to enjoy their sport, but either way the Colts should be moved to the Benson Centre so that the Civic Complex can be turn key ready so as to possibly attract a professional hockey team.

City Hall shouldn’t be in the business of hockey, or sports, but it should create the environment to make it inviting and attractive for investment in our community.  Until that happens we’re doomed to repeated failure and a worsening of our community brand.



  1. Mr. Gilcig this is your opinion and as far as I am concerned not a very good one but you are entitled to it. Poor business decisions are not the City of Cornwall fault.

  2. Wow. Cornwall was once a hockey town. It is no longer, for whatever reasons. Nowadays you need deep pockets to run anything. Too many mistakes are made by owners who think owing a hockey team is like any other business in that they can do it themselves. Perfect example is Melnyk and his destruction of the Ottawa Senators.

  3. You want hockey back in Cornwall. Easy solution, but costly. We need the Cornwall Royals back! I know it’s few million to bring a team in but the community would support this. The Royals are the only team to have won the Memorial Cup as a member of the Q and a member of the OHL. People would support this and local business would jump all over it! Move the Colts! The Civic complex has the capacity.

  4. Author

    Bob no major team will come to the complex unless they have proper revenue streams and proper support. You want a team. Form a committee. Sign up 1000 season ticket holders with deposits. Get major local sponsorship like the sponsorship that this newspaper gave to the last several incarnations of the team and maybe, just maybe, a proper ownership group will consider Cornwall. We have the population base that loves hockey. We lack community leadership and credibility. We need for people to stop thinking that Cornwall is a corrupt joke.

  5. Cornwall can’t support a hockey team for at least 2 reasons:
    1. As a product, Cornwall “professional” hockey is just too amateur to pay for.
    2. The demographic that that product satisfies, doesn’t have the money to pay for it.

  6. Cornwall is not a hockey town as we’ve had great hockey in the past, but Cornwall Finest would complain about having to pay 16$ a ticket, junior A hockey is expensive to run, we’ll need to have many Ebiker sell their rides as they want to pay Dollorama prices for good hockey.

  7. Author

    Jeff this city can afford ticket prices between $5-15 easy. They get $25 for cover bands to play. What hockey owners need is to be able to have more than one stream of revenue besides ticket sales like other cities do. It’s not rocket science. You bashing people is not a solution. It’s as bad as a drunken Rick Shaver bashing people sitting outside the fence at Lift Off because they couldn’t afford the admission, but still wanted to be a part of it.

    Bash those that deserve to be bashed, the ones that create these negative cycles while padding their pockets at City Hall while usually not living in Cornwall and spending their money outside of it.

  8. Rid Cornwall of our Economic Development Office and Bob Peters. Bob Peters name alone brings poison to any dealings in Cornwall. How Mayor and Council can not see or hear this from the public is sickening. The clique, you all know who you are need to stop believing people of Cornwall view you as above all. You’re not. You make Cornwall the laughing stock. Get over yourselves.

  9. Well said “Mr Bolt”, some great comments here, Jamie’s comment, get 1000 people but down a deposit for season tickets ! (commitment) Quit the one sided deal for the Colts. Is it possible to have ANY form of transparency in this City ? Absolutely concur, GUT Economic Development ! NO RESULTS ! Other than their BS annual meeting with the TEAM CORNWALL clique ? IMO

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    Ryan any organization that disrespects the CFN audience and thinks that I’m not a part of this city whether they like it or not should not be in charge of anything to promote this city, or be on the public teet, or in charge of a charity. Whether they like it or not CFN’s audience is the largest locally and the most influential as we saw in the last election and will see in the upcoming ones.

    When a local charity refuses a year long ad package donated by our viewers whoever is running that charity or made that decision should step down.

    When Dr. Paul pulls in over $300K per year running the EOHU and refuses to give out information for the public to this newspaper he should be terminated as well.

    It’s time to put the community first and those that are just parasites out.

  11. the title should read Yes Hugo, Cornwall is a hockey town. But I also disagree on your assessment. During Cornwall prosperous days, it was able and willing to support the Cornwall Royals. But as the high paying low skilled jobs left the city, so did the Royals. Today Cornwall CANNOT support another hockey team. I hope it will change, but right now it cannot support any pro team team.

  12. 3 businesses that cannot survive Cornwall’s economic environment : bars, restaurants and hockey teams. Yet every 6 months or so someone thinks they will have the next big thing,

  13. If the Peterborough hockey team is called The Petes, what is the team from Cochrane called?

  14. I truely believe a Major Junior team in the Q could draw 2500 per game here. This average attendance would put them in the top end of the league average. We also have 2 french high schools for the Quebec players and a proud history in this league. Let’s face it the OHL is big time and a 2500 crowd is considered a bust. The Royals died when they left the QMJHL.

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