The community-owned Moose Jaw Warriors took a hard shot to the gut last year as announced in their annual general meeting, but they were able to absorb most of the hit.
This was our fourth top sports story of 2020.
On the night of their annual general meeting, which in the past has had several dozen interested fans and shareholders, the Warriors announced that the team lost over $390,000 in the 2019-2020 season, thanks in no small part to the pandemic and the league settling a minimum wage lawsuit.
In total, the Warriors lost $391,299 on the season, having over $282,286 in lost revenues due to COVID and their share of a lawsuit assessment - $180,846 - against the Canadian Hockey League back in May.
"We've had a big shock go through the system, and on our financial statement and it's going to continue until we can play hockey," said Warriors president Chad Taylor. "It's not easy to report the fact that there are some losses that are going to be incurred. But we've had great support from the community over the last ten years. We do have a good balance sheet, and I feel that we can get through this moving forward. We just have to get through this little bit of an earthquake."
The Warriors have trimmed staff and have been able to get some pay decreases to try to minimize the impact. They're also taken a deferral of the commitment they made annually to the multiplex - a $200,000 commitment for this season. They pledged $2.5 million in 2011-12 for the building, and have been able to come through on $2.1 million of that over the last ten years.
"We will honour our commitment to the city," said Taylor. "That's simply just a cash deferral right now. We want to defer any big payments. We want to keep our cash. We've got to get through this crisis first of all and then once we get through that we want to get back on track."
A rebuilding team on the ice was hit early by lowered attendance, as well as three games that were cancelled due to COVID, as well as the assessment of over $180,000 on the minimum wage lawsuit that had been going through the courts for years.
Taylor said they've been able to absorb the hit through careful decision making when it comes to spending and some good playoff runs through the years.
"I think we're a very responsible club when we spend money," Taylor said. "We keep our expenses in line and our salaries are also in line. We run it like a business, we're responsible. and we're always watching the bottom line. It's the community's money, and when you're dealing with the community's money, you've got to keep that in mind."
Expenses for the team were $2,407,324 on the season. Gross revenue minus the revenue sharing agreement with Mosaic Place was $2,079,529.
Regular season receipts were down from $1,661,649 last year to $1,356,766.
As of May 31, 2020, the Warriors bank balance sits at $610,653.06, while the education fund is at $154,167.92.