Town's controversial loan to Newmarket Soccer Club paid off
Jan. 20, 2015
By Chris Simon
How much money does the Newmarket Soccer Club still owe the Town of Newmarket?
The balance owing on the club’s controversial $2.8-million loan, which was approved by council in September 2013, is fully repaid.
The financial transaction between the town, TD Bank and the club, which saw TD take over as the loaner, closed Monday.
"This is a significant date in the town," Regional Councillor John Taylor said. "The intention was to provide a bridge loan for a soccer club that was facing financial difficulties. That's exactly what has occurred. The loan is paid off.
The club is in a much better financial position; it's stable. This is a great example of community partnerships."
The club has shown signs of a significant turnaround over the last year by paying off private creditors and selling its 42-acre Woodbine Avenue property.
Nearly 3,200 youths play soccer through the club.
"We knew it was going to be a challenging 2014, but we emerged in a much stronger financial position,” club president Dave Hanson said during a recent interview. “The support of the town allowed us to deliver a pretty good year overall to our membership."
The loan was wise and led to further collaboration between the town and club, Mayor Tony Van Bynen said, adding those close ties will have long-term benefits for residents.
"Not only was this an investment in our community, it was an investment for the future of recreation for all residents in Newmarket," he said. "This was an incredible challenge. Having a volunteer board, (they decided) to see it through. They could have just walked away."
The town also collected $140,000 in interest payments from the club, Taylor said.