Kindersley Could Be Klipped From The SJHL

The Kindersley Klippers have joined the Weyburn Red Wings announcing that they may not be able to ice a team for the 2015-2016 SJHL season.

The club decided to make their financial plight public in an attempt to involve the community and gauge the interest of the area in maintaining their junior hockey franchise.

President Garnet Gramlich spoke with the community paper and announced that the team is $150,000 in debt and cannot continue to operate in a deficit situation. The team’s budget for 2014-2015 was between $500,000 and $600,000 and according to Gramlich in order for the team to achieve financial stability they need to sell 400-500 season tickets annually, however, that number currently stands at 200.

In the off-season, the club reached out to the community and was able to secure $70,000 in new corporate sponsorships. However, the prior debt incurred by the club did not allow that money to be applied to this season’s operating costs.

When asked when the team started to see their numbers go into the red Gramlich pointed to the 2010 fire that burnt down Exhibition Stadium in Kindersley. While the club’s home, the West Central Event Centre, was spared from the flames extensive damage forced the club to close out the remainder of the season in Eston. In addition to playing their “home” schedule on the road, the 59km journey to Eston had to be made daily by the team in order to practice. In total, the fire cost the club $200,000 in added expenses and lost revenue, none of which was covered by insurance. Gramlich also believes that the team was hit more than just in their bank account as the team lost its face in the community.

The Klippers haven’t thrown the towel in on the future but are looking for ideas from the community to keep the Klippers in Kindersley.