READ IT: First Arena tenants to pay $1 a year rent, Nichols barred from management

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Mammoth Sports and Entertainment LLC. will pay $1 rent per year at First Arena, according to their lease agreement with Chemung County Industrial Development Agency.

The lease, obtained by 18 News on Wednesday, also states the base rent will be $1 for each subsequent year.

Tenant Mammoth Sports and Entertainment LLC. was formed on Nov. 29, six days after the lease between the IDA and tenant Steve Donner was signed. The arena was originally set to be owned by another corporation owned by Donner called Tadross Donner Sports and Entertainment LLC.

Michael Tadross Jr., a Hollywood producer who worked as Assistant Director on the 2007 “I Am Legend”, was a partner in the original LLC.

Uses for the arena laid out in the least include concerts, conventions, family shows, soccer, lacrosse, bull riding, hockey, wrestling, ultimate fighting/and/or mixed martial arts. Other events can be held with written consent from the IDA.

Donner also says he is in talks to bring either lacrosse or soccer to Elmira, both of which he has ties with as a co-founder of the National Lacrosse League and with both Major League Soccer and the United Soccer League.

The lease also excludes any former tenants, which includes former Elmira Enforcers owner Robbie Nichols, from being involved with the building or any future team.

The lease states that the specific purpose of the arena is to be used as a home rink for a professional hockey team, as well as for college and youth hockey. The arena must also support at least 15 hours per week of public skating sessions.

Donner has said they hope to bring public skating to the arena year-round.

The tenants must also “use commercially reasonable efforts to work with Elmira College to utilize the Arena as the College’s home ice for its hockey teams.”

Elmira College President Lindsey said the college’s hockey programs will look to form a “strategic partnership” with First Arena but there are still details to work out to bring college hockey downtown.

Donner says discussions have also been had regarding a college hockey tournament in First Arena.

The tenant will also pay the landlord all utilities including phone, internet, water, heat, air conditioning, sewer, gas, electricity, all expenses needed for operating the common areas of the arena, and maintaining insurance.

The lease also establishes an Arena Capital Improvement Fund, which will be funded with proceeds earned through the arena’s operation. Tickets for all paid sporting events costing more than $6 will have $1 dedicated towards the capital improvement fund and $2 of event tickets costing more than $6 will go into the fund as well.

Fifty cents of all sports season tickets will go into the capital improvement fund.

Donner says his group has already booked multiple concerts and comedy acts, including Frank Stallone and former Saturday Night Live cast member Jon Lovitz.

“This is just the beginning,” said Donner, who also announced that a national tattoo convention would be coming for three days to the building.

The tenants will contribute $100,000 to the capital improvement fund in their second year, $125,000 for the next three years, and $150,000 for the fifth year of the lease.

The tenants will also be responsible for keeping and maintaining First Arena, including routine maintenance and interior repairs. The tenants will be responsible for ice plant costs such as repairs or cleaning.

Tenants will not be responsible for capital replacements including ice plant plumbing fixtures, heating, electrical, air conditioning, or the roof. The IDA will be responsible for keeping the walls and roof in “good repair” and handle roof patch repair, HVAC repair, power washing, and interior reports to the fire alarm systems, rooftop duct work, boiler pump, and cleaning and testing of the elevators and sprinklers.

The IDA and tenants also agreed to meet monthly to provide general and informal updates on the arena and its bookings. The tenants are also given the right to a first offer of the arena if the IDA decides to sell the building to a third party.

The lease comes after several months of uncertainly regarding the arena’s future after the IDA suggested the building needed millions of dollars in renovations. An engineering report found the building to be in “satisfactory condition with minimal items that could be considered critical in nature.”

Donner has said he hopes to bring a professional hockey team back to First Arena as early as next year.

Read the full lease agreement below:

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