The dispute revolves around the Redeemer soccer complex, which includes a full-sized domed field as well as an outdoor turf field. The soccer facilities have experienced financial challenges since construction was completed in 2011. Some of those challenges relate to issues arising under a long-term agreement between the University and ASC. Redeemer attempted to resolve the issues by negotiating with ASC throughout much of 2019, but a resolution was not reached and the university was left with no choice but to terminate the agreement or close the facility. Rather than close the facility, it terminated the agreement in January of 2020.
ASC initiated legal action against Redeemer University in July of 2020. ASC objects to Redeemer’s termination of the agreement and asks the Court to reinstate the agreement and to require Redeemer to pay damages to ASC. The Club also asks the Court to require Redeemer to submit to arbitration with respect to issues arising out of the Dome partnership. Although much of the dispute relates to the financial viability of the facility, ASC insists that the facility should pay all costs of such arbitration, including ASC’s own legal costs.
Redeemer maintains that it did not act improperly in terminating the agreement, after it had made many good-faith efforts to resolve issues with ASC. One of those issues related to a $475,000 pledge made by the ASC Board shortly after the facility was built; almost a decade later, only about $85,000 of that pledge has been fulfilled. Now that the dispute is headed to the courts, Redeemer will also seek payment of the outstanding $390,000 from the Club for the unfulfilled pledges.
Redeemer has retained JP Consulting, led by Canadian Soccer Hall of Famer John McGrane, to manage the soccer facilities. JP Consulting is working to ensure that the facilities become financially viable and accessible for both Redeemer student and community sports organizations.
Tom Walsh, President of Hamilton Soccer, says that “for many years, the soccer community in Hamilton and the surrounding area has enjoyed playing soccer in the world-class dome at Redeemer University. Hamilton Soccer would like to congratulate Redeemer University for their commitment to continuing to support the development of the game we love in an incredible facility.”