The Portland Pirates are gone, leaving a lot of questions behind them.

Like how much money did the Cross Insurance Arena make when the hockey team had a home date?

Was a $100,000 exit fee a reasonable guarantee for the anchor tenant of a publicly owned facility?

Could the city of Portland’s economic development staff or the local business community have convinced the team to stay if they had been given the chance?

But the biggest question might be: Should the government even be involved in risky entertainment ventures?

Minor league hockey is a tough business. Teams have to pay large franchise fees to their parent organizations and rely on local attendance for most of their revenue. These are private businesses, and when they fail, their investors take the hit.

But the arena has no investors. When it has to make up for a $600,000 operating deficit, like the one the facility ran up in the last fiscal year, or make a $1 million bond payment, it’s the taxpayers who have to make good. And they have a right to know what they are getting for their money.

But the way the arena is governed leaves far too much mystery around its operations. The arena is governed by a board of trustees, which is appointed by the Cumberland County commissioners. The county levies taxes on municipalities, which raise their shares from property owners.

The city of Portland paid to cover the biggest share of operating losses at the arena last year, but it was not included in any discussions about the future of the Pirates and the building.

Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling is calling for more taxpayer oversight of the arena and a better accounting of its revenue and expenses. That makes sense, and it should start right away.

In 2011, the Pirates and county officials campaigned together for a $34 million bond issue that would modernize the building and keep the team in town.

What looked like a close relationship soon fell apart in an ugly dispute over lease terms two years later, when the renovation was complete. But their differences appeared to have been resolved.

The public deserves a full account of what went wrong and should be included in a discussion about the facility’s future. After financing the renovation, voters deserve more answers than questions.