The Quesnel Kangaroos have requested financial support from the City of Quesnel and the Cariboo Regional District as they prepare to host next year’s Coy Cup.
Team president Waylon L’Heureux made the appeal Tuesday, Sept. 20, at a North Cariboo Joint Advisory Committee meeting.
The local men’s AA hockey team was slated to host the Coy Cup in March 2020 but was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in financial losses. The 2020/2021 Central Interior Hockey League season was also cancelled.
L’Heureux guesses the Kangaroos lost around $20,000 on purchases made before the cancellation of the Coy Cup. In addition, to that loss was advertising for the year and half a year of funds paid for ice time.
This year inflation is surging, driving up prices of everything, including food, hotel rooms and transportation.
In August, a week-long kid’s hockey camp served as an extra fundraiser for the Kangaroos, pulling in around $5,500. L’Heureux said the team is also hosting two exhibition games at the West Fraser Centre against the Powell River Regals at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 1.
L’Heureux suggested advertising fees be waived or ice-time be discounted.
“Anything will help,” he said.
Before the Coy Cup in Quesnel was cancelled, L’Heureux added the Kangaroos received permission to put some advertising signs on the glass behind the home and away benches which would not impede the view of fans and could draw an extra $5,000 in revenue. According to L’Heureux, the team would also like to see their league championships banners hung up during the tournament.
Beyond the Coy Cup, the consideration of a trophy case would be beneficial. L’Heureux said when the old arena was torn down up to 15 trophies, some dating to the 1950s, were left without a home. The Kangaroos eventually made a bench for them above inside their dressing room, where moisture is proving problematic, causing them to rust.
While it is difficult to predict precisely how much financial assistance the Kangaroos would require to host the Coy Cup, L’Heureux noted that somewhere between $7,000 to $10,000 would put them in a comfortable enough position to return the following year.
He said it is usually a $20,000 deficit for host teams that do not make it to the Coy Cup finals and that it costs around $20,000 to bring in the three out-of-town teams.
Quesnel City Coun. Ron Paull asked about ticket prices and said he believes an increase would not hurt. L’Heureux said while the team discussed that option, they stepped away from it and believe an increase to their board signs will help them stay afloat.
The 2023 Coy Cup takes place at the West Fraser Centre in the last week of March.
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