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Maple Leafs: owners owe over $1 million in unpaid taxes

I’ll admit something right off the bat: I really like the way professional sports are organized in Toronto. For those not in the know, the city’s big professional teams (the Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC and Argonauts, among others, but not the Blue Jays) are all managed by the same entity, MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment).

Basically, it’s as if Geoff Molson, Joey Saputo and Pierre Karl Péladeau had joined forces to run the CH, CF Montréal and the Alouettes as part of the same group.

Since yesterday, however, MLSE has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, as the City of Toronto has placed the group among those that owe the most in taxes. Basically, MLSE owes around $1.18 million for a situation that has been going on since 2019.

How is it that the group has racked up such a huge debt? Well, it has to do with a situation surrounding BMO Field, where Toronto FC and the Argonauts play their home games.

In fact, the field belongs to the city, but MLSE manages it, and that’s where the disagreement lies: while the city thinks MLSE should pay rent, the group thinks it should simply pay a “user fee”.

Before 2018, this wasn’t a problem, but since the major renovations at BMO Field, the land is subject to taxation, which is a big part of the problem.

Anyway, discussions between the city and MLSE are currently taking place, and both parties hope to reach an agreement by autumn. Let’s hope it doesn’t get too out of hand, and that it’s a fair deal for both parties: both the city and MLSE don’t need the situation to get out of hand, especially with a big chunk of MLSE set to be sold off in the next few years.

In gusto

– Matt Duchene confirms he was interested in the CH in 2019.

– Alex Killorn: the Lightning offered him an eight-year contract at $2.5M per year, a $20M deal. In the end, he got more money ($25M) in Anaheim for four years. [HF]

– Can’t wait to read this.

– What do you think?

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