With the negative impacts the 20 teams of the KIJHL are facing from the COVID-19 pandemic, the League is looking for some financial assistance.
They’re hoping to get some of that help from the federal government’s 500 million dollar program that has been put aside for arts, culture, and sports organizations.
With so many groups and organizations that will also be looking to apply for that program. Tom Bachynski, Chairman of the KIJHL said: “I think that it will get spread thinly and I think the league is looking at putting their hand out for the members of the league, it’s not for the league itself because the league is member-funded so it’s really just to be a single voice for 20 members going forward”.
Back in March, there were eight teams in the play-offs that lost considerable revenue from ticket sales when the remainder of the season was canceled.
Bachynski said when you look at the 100 Mile House Wranglers situation, they put out a lot of money to go to Revelstoke for the first 2 games and relied very heavily on the home games, when you get into rounds 2, 3 and 4, so the revenue lost, win or lose that series, it’s probably in the 15 to 20 thousand dollar range so that takes a big bite out of your budget for next year to buy new equipment and new jerseys and just to make these teams survive through the summer. It’s a huge devastation I would say for the 8 teams that were remaining because they built teams to be able to go deep into the playoffs and have some revenue stream.
Bachynski added there are a lot of things that they have to look at going forward, especially when it comes to social distancing.
“The KIJHL survives on a fan base, they can’t play games in an empty arena and I think that’s probably concern number one, what’s that going to look like as we get closer to the season”.
The KIJHL consist of 13 community-owned teams, that includes the 100 Mile House Wranglers, and seven privately owned clubs.