THANKS TO A SUCCESSFUL 2015 – 2016 SEASON
story by Play-By-Play Voice of the Red Wings, Steven Wilson, of DiscoverWeyburn.com
Just a little under two years ago, then president of the Weyburn Red Wings Larry Tribiger went public with the dire financial straits the junior hockey club was in. “Right now, at this point, we’re probably $180 to $200,000 in the red,” he told Discover Weyburn in an exclusive interview.
Fast forward to now, and it is a much different picture for the Red Wings. The team released their most recent audited financial statements this week. Brent Stephanson, who is now the president, was very proud to announce the positive results.
“We ended up with a profit of $16,700. The main thing, our long term debt, we’ve been able to pay it down,” Stephanson explained. “We’re in the black right now.”
The success of the team in the ledger was directly related to last year’s success on the ice. The Red Wings had one of their most successful seasons in team history, and while the playoff run wasn’t quite what they were hoping for, they managed to make $90,000 from three home playoff games, which put them into the positive.
Stephanson explained the credit for the success goes directly to the fans and supporters. The season tickets and the sponsors help get the team rolling at the beginning of the season, and the annual Sportsman Dinner, usually held in January,helps get through the rest of the year. He added the work to keep the team in the black is constantly ongoing, as the team look for ways to increase revenue, and minimize costs.
“We’ve changed up how we go up north,” Stephanson related, talking about the northern road swing the team makes twice a season. “We’re keeping those costs down maybe five to six thousand dollars a trip.” The partnership with the Weyburn Beavers with the progressive 50/50 draw has also been instrumental in helping the franchise.
As the team looks to close out the 2016-17 season, the board is hoping for another strong playoff run, which adds revenue for the team, and helps to put them into a strong position to start off next season. Stephanson is also hoping fans come out for the Sportsman Dinner, which is scheduled for January 28th at the Cugnet Centre. The fundraiser for the team will have keynote speakers Darcy Tucker, who spent nine seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Kelly Gruber, who played for the Toronto Blue Jays in the early 90’s.