A tough season on the ice has put the Battlefords North Stars into some financial trouble off of it.
The Battlefords North Stars held their annual general meeting Tuesday at the North Battleford Civic Center where Board Member Darren Huxley said the following:
"We did lose some money. Right around the 80-thousand dollar mark. The community itself I would really like to get more involved in the club. Ken and everyone is working really hard. The board members work hard. I'm a little disappointed that there were only 17 people at the AGM."
The fact is that the costs of running a Junior A hockey-team continues to rise, and unless community and fan support increases, the situation will continue to get worse.
Huxley and the organization already have some plans to help make next season a better experience for the fan.
" (Kids) 10-and-under get in free this year. There are some different things we're going to do. Our budget is a tight budget, and a lot of issues depend on gate, the amount of people coming into the gate," said Huxley after the meeting.
Star's Coach and GM Ken Pearson knows full-well that more wins will ultimately lead to a stronger fan-base and larger crowds. Pearson hopes that his staff can use these financial statistics as a motivator for the upcoming season.
Pearson said, "We can do our part as a coaching staff to try and get people into the rink and we want to try and get our players out into the community a little more and get more involved."
Several North Star players appeared at Innovation Credit Union's Family Day two weekend's ago, and similar efforts will be made throughout the summer to raise awareness of the team and the 2011-2012 season.
The other cause for concern was the fact that approximately 17 people attended the meeting.
"You hear people voice their opinions throughout the season then you don't really get to face them and try to give them answers as to why things are done a certain way. Tonight would have been a great opportunity for people to do that," added Pearson.
After a disappointing season, Ken Pearson has already added several key building-blocks for the team's future. Grit, and size are two areas that were promptly addressed at the start of the SJHL Off-season. And while expectations are somewhat tapered and quiet heading into 2011-2012, the passionate fan has to feel good about the incoming roster and the potential that lies within.
The Board of Directors did a fine job of recognizing the loyal fans, and sponsors who put their hard-earned time and money towards the North Stars. Here's hoping that more people will take advantage of the fact that kids 10-and-under get in for free in 2011-2012.
The coaching staff, and Board of Directors are determined to work hard to fill the Civic Center again. Now the fans and community need to meet them halfway. More victories will things much easier I'm sure.
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