There is a very real possibility that this could be the last season for the Red Wings here in Weyburn. While there have been rumours as to how stark the financial situation is for the team for a number of years, many didn't realize the dire straits that the team is currently in.
Team President Larry Tribiger confirmed many of the rumours in an interview with Discover Weyburn Thursday morning. He relayed that the team is approximately $180,000 in debt, with a month and a half still to go before the end of the season, not including the playoffs. With that large of a deficit, the Red Wings organization may not be able to have the finances in place to put a team on the ice next season.
They have the regular fundraisers, such as the Sportsman Dinner scheduled for this weekend, as well as the 50/50 draw that they hold each home game. The team has also gone a long way in reducing expenses, with Tribiger pointing out that General Manager and Head Coach Bryce Thoma has found roughly $40,000 in savings for the team this season. Unfortunately, that hasn't been enough to bring the team into the black.
The board of directors for the Red Wings has discussed opening up the sale of shares in the franchise again to help with the deficit, and holding a town hall meeting to find ways to continue to make the franchise viable in the community. As a founding member of the SJHL, the team has been a part of Weyburn for 53 years, and Tribiger doesn't want to see the organization disappear.
There are a number of ways the community can help, according to Tribiger. One is to come out, and cheer the team on. The more bodies in the stands, the more the gate can help. As well, it has the added bonus of provided a boost for the team on the ice, and can help them be more successful as they look to lock down a berth in the postseason.
Another is to come to the Sportsman Dinner this weekend. There are still tickets available, and can be purchased from the Red Wings office. As for the town hall meeting, more information is expected in the coming weeks.