The Moose Jaw Warriors held their annual general meeting on Tuesday, with the major takeaway that the team saw an overall loss of $106,719 from June 1, 2021, to May 31, 2022.
But Warrior fans shouldn’t be worried, as that loss is the result of a number of factors – one of which is the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, that restricted the team with fan attendance among other things.
"We’re still coming out of the COVID days, there were a lot of challenges in last year’s market and there are a lot of challenges this year,” says Warrior’s president, Chad Taylor. “We’re not going to escape inflation, travel costs, and arena costs are going up. Everything that we purchase to run the hockey team is going up.”
Taylor adds that though he wants a balanced budget, the team still has to provide the appropriate resources for a successful hockey club.
Speaking of expenses, the team spent $2,511,712 in 2022, compared to $1,419,517 in 2021. The biggest expense increases were hockey and medical equipment, advertising and promotions, employee benefits and salaries, and rental costs.
Some positive news from the AGM is the team’s bank balance is in good condition. They recorded a balance of $806,292 with $530,675 of that going towards outstanding loans, which gives the team a net cash total of $275,617.
The team was also able to add $150,000 to its education fund, which pays for tuition for players for every year they played in the WHL.
These funds came from a horseshoe tournament and their annual MNP Warriors Alumni Golf Tournament- an event they haven’t been able to run for the last two years due to COVID-19.
“It’s a $1 million dollar liability we have against the club, so it’s important for the organization to make sure we support the past players. At the end of the day, it’s the right thing to do and the future guys going to school are looked after.”
Twenty Warrior alumni activated the team’s education fund in 2021-2022 such as players like Adam Evanoff, Cameron Sterling, Matthew Benson, and many more.
With that good news, Taylor is confident in the years to come that the team will get back on track.
“The thing about Moose Jaw and the community is it always finds a way to come together and we find a way to make it work. I do have some concerns about the cost of going to a hockey game and we’ve done everything in our power to make that we’re aware of that. We’ve seen some of the other markets and the costs are escalating – we don’t want to go there. We feel a community-owned team should be a good value.”
Another concern for Taylor is that the team is looking to address and improve on is their season ticket and overall attendance. Taylor said in his remarks that the organization has an aging season ticket base and they have to find new ways of attracting new blood.
“That’s the answer that everyone is looking for. We’ve been fortunate over the years to have a good season-ticket base. We have to do some grassroots stuff and find a way to get kids engaged. It’s all about a great experience when you’re here. At the end of the day, it’s selling 34 games a year and you’re trying to be a little different each night. It’s finding a way to make sure everyone’s passionate about their club.”
The AGM included reports from the Booster Club, Education Fund, Treasure, and President Chad Taylor.
The team welcomed three new faces to the board Kelvin Bradford, Scott Wray, and Troy Williams.
Moose Jaw will kick off the WHL regular season this weekend with a home-and-home series with the Regina Pats. They will be in Regina on Friday and then host their home opener on Saturday. There will be pre-game festivities starting at 5:30 p.m. with deals on drinks, food, and much more.