Lethbridge Hurricanes not happy with parking fee decision at ENMAX Centre

Last week, city council voted five to four in favour to introduce paid parking to the ENMAX Centre, but the Hurricanes say, they weren't involved in that process.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes board of governors are worried about fan attendance following the recent announcement of paid parking being implemented at the start of next season. Governor and board chair Doug Paisley said the organization feels the announcement will hurt their bottom line.                     

“So, if they pay $5 before they get in the door, we're fearful they're not going to spend it inside. So, the net revenue gained on the parking is probably going to be a net revenue loss,” said Paisley.

Last week, city council voted five to four in favour to introduce paid parking to the ENMAX Centre, and the Hurricanes said they weren't involved in that process.

“We were nervous about it, we were concerned about it, but we were told there would be some negotiations and there would be some conversations, we were caught completely off guard when the vote happened on Tuesday (April 26),” said Paisley.

The Hurricanes are the primary anchor tenant of the ENMAX Centre. According to city council, the new fee will not be implemented for season ticket holders.

Statement from #WHLCanes Governor, President Doug Paisley RE: Paid Parking at the ENMAX Centre.

More �� https://t.co/lWSF3luJ5n pic.twitter.com/CXK8LZfDCT

— x - Lethbridge Hurricanes (@WHLHurricanes) May 3, 2022

Residents and nearby businesses are spilt on the decision

Paisley said he's also concerned as other WHL organizations such as Medicine Hat Tigers and Red Deer Rebels have both abandoned the process.

“With the data we have and with the research that we've done and with the knowledge we have with the league, paid parking doesn't really work in WHL league cities,” he said.

CITY OF LETHBRIDGE REPLIES

In response to the Hurricanes' stance, the City of Lethbridge said the following in a statement to CTV News.

“We have provided the information and context we felt the community needed and the Hurricanes have done the same. We will be going back to them to discuss this further through in-person meetings rather than using our media to have that discussion. The Hurricanes are a valuable partner and we will continue to work with them as we implement this initiative.”

Paisley said he hopes those discussions take place before the puck drops in September.

“I hope they rethink it," he said.

"We want to communicate, we want to sit down, we want to talk and that opportunity just hasn't been presented at this point,” Paisley added.

The new parking fee is set to be implemented on Sept. 1, 2022.