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City Stands By Reported Amount Brought in By Newfoundland Growlers

St. John’s councillor Ron Ellsworth says he’s going strictly by the books when it comes to revenue reaped by the city from Growlers hockey games.

The Growlers ceased operations two weeks ago when owner Dean MacDonald couldn’t meet a league-imposed deadline to sell the team.

Since then, barbs have been traded between MacDonald and the city over the team’s failure.

(Dean MacDonald, Deacon Sports and Entertainment. File photo.)

MacDonald said his inability to manage Mary Brown’s Centre beyond game nights limited his revenue opportunities.

Ellsworth responded by suggesting that model failed for MacDonald with his other team in Trois Rivieres, Quebec.

Then came Ellsworth’s assertion that the Growlers, over 36 nights of hockey, only generated $75,000 to the city’s bottom line.

MacDonald called that “untruthful,” saying the real annual benefit to the city—including business spinoffs and sponsorships—was between 600 and 700 hundred thousand dollars.

After yesterday’s council meeting, Ellsworth was asked whether he was, in fact, stretching the truth.

“I can’t speak to where he got his numbers and where they came from,” said Ellsworth. “As for being truthful, in the financial statements of St. John’s Sports and Entertainment, there’s $75,000 positive to the bottom line for hockey last year.”

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