Hopefully, the folks who manage York's minor-league baseball team know a little about hockey.
York City officials are poised to ink a four-year agreement with the York Professional Baseball Club — which owns and operates the York Revolution — as the new manager of the York City Ice Arena.
If approved, the company would begin managing the city-owned ice arena in September.
In exchange for management services, the city would pay the baseball club about $4,100 per month.
That's less than the monthly rate the city pays the company that has managed the arena for about 10 years, said Jim Gross, the city's director of public works.
The finances: The ice arena has been a drain on the city's budget since the city guaranteed a $7.31 million bond on the new rink in 2001.
Soon afterward, the nonprofit behind the project said it could no longer make payments, and the city took over the debt in 2003.
That obligation continues. Each year, the city pays about $620,000 toward the debt service on the ice arena.
The arena generates revenue — but not nearly enough to cover its operating costs and the annual debt payment. Each year, that leaves about $450,000 for the cash-strapped city to find elsewhere.
Eric Menzer, Revolution president and general manager, said the company will use its community connections to generate more revenue from the arena through increased advertising, naming rights and sponsorships — ultimately shrinking the city's annual debt-service burden.
Incentives: The proposed contract includes incentives for the Revolution to achieve that goal. For example, the city would pay the club 25 percent of the revenue generated by a naming-rights sponsorship up to $25,000 and 40 percent of any amount above $25,000.
Also included in the contract is a provision that would allow the Revolution to invest up to $50,000 in improvements to the facility — which the city would repay through new revenue generated by sponsorships or naming-rights sales.
The appearance of the facility is important in wooing advertisers, Menzer said.
"It's an investment that's related to generating revenue," he said. "The stage set matters."
The York City Council will consider the proposal at its meeting Tuesday.
— Reach Erin James at firstname.lastname@example.org.