By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
EVERETT — It was little more than a formality, but the Everett Silvertips are staying put for a while.
The Silvertips reaffirmed their commitment to the local market as they signed a five-year extension to their lease at Comcast Arena, the team announced Monday.
The lease extension runs through the 2017-18 Western Hockey League season. The deal was agreed to by the Silvertips, the Everett Public Facilities District, and Global Spectrum, the company that runs the building.
“We’re really happy to get this done,” team president Gary Gelinas said. “We love the marketplace and we love the fans. They’re the best fans in the Western Hockey League, so we’re delighted to be there. Now we can focus on re-establishing our program as one of the best in the Western Hockey League.”
The Silvertips just completed their 10th season in Everett. When the team began play in 2003, it signed a 10-year-lease with the building, with an option on a five-year extension. Monday’s announcement represents the exercising of that option.
Gelinas said there was no danger of the lease not being extended.
“No, none whatsoever,” Gelinas responded. “The initial lease gave an option for five years. With the change in management at the building things were delayed a bit. But it was just a formality getting everything signed.”
Gelinas said there were no significant changes to the terms of the lease.
“It’s pretty much standard with what we had before,” Gelinas said. “There are some things we want to do try to work with the building to make better, things like customer service at games and our work with our corporate partners.”
Everett has played more than 400 regular season and playoff games at Comcast Arena since the inaugural game on Oct. 4, 2003. The team has drawn nearly 2.4 million fans, an average of 5,840 per game.
The Silvertips have struggled in recent seasons, finishing eighth in the 10-team Western Conference each of the past three campaigns. However, Everett won its first two playoff games since 2010 this season, and the Tips issued a guarantee to season ticket holders that the team would finish no lower than sixth next season.
Next on the agenda for the Silvertips are the May 2 bantam draft and filling the vacant head coaching position.