City of Kamloops, BC Lions in talks as training camp contract comes to an end

City hopes Lions will stay

There is a chance this spring will mark the end of the BC Lions’ 15-year run holding training camp in the Tournament Capital, but the team and the city are both hopeful the partnership will continue.

The City of Kamloops is in talks with the CFL club to extend the deal, but the current contract expires at the end of next month.

“We’re optimistic they will be back, but nothing has been signed yet,” Sean Smith, the city’s Tournament Capital and special events supervisor, told Castanet Kamloops. “But we’re definitely talking.”

Matt Baker, the Lions’ senior manager of communications, said the team is also optimistic.

“We’re not contractually committed beyond this year, but my sense is the goal from our end would be to continue it,” he said.

The Leos have held spring camp in Kamloops since 2010, making use of Hillside Stadium, the Tournament Capital Centre and other facilities on the campus of Thompson Rivers University. The team brings about 100 people to Kamloops for camp each May and stays for the better part of a month.

The City of Kamloops pays the club $55,000 per year to host the camp, receiving in-game promotions at BC Place in return. The city has previously estimated the economic spinoff at about $300,000 per year for the local economy.

Training camp is less than a month away. Rookie camp gets underway on May 8, with veterans returning on May 12. Camp is slated to wrap up on May 29, with the Lions kicking off their 70th CFL season on June 9 against the Argonauts in Toronto.

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