The Prince Albert Raiders Hockey Club announced a profit of $25,891 at their Annual General Meeting for the 2020-21 season on Thursday night.
President Gord Broda said the money made was beneficial, especially considering the Raiders were not able to make any arena sales, such as tickets, due to the pandemic prohibiting them from hosting any games at the Art Hauser Centre. The profit is a big turnaround from the 2019-20 season, when the Raiders reported a loss of $331,895. This year was helped a lot with the aid of government funding.
The 2020-21 season was unique, as the WHL clubs in the East division all went to the bubble in Regina, to play a 24 game hub season. Broad said it was necessary to have a season, albeit a shortened one, as it wouldn’t be fair if the players were robbed of the chance to play.
“The bubble functioned well, and we were able to have a condensed season,” Broda said. “As a league, this allowed us to fulfill our commitment to the players to play, and to be able to showcase themselves for drafts and recruiting purposes, and to benefit their personal hard work and training that they all stay committed to.”
Looking back on the ticket sales during the 2019-20 season, Prince Albert accumulated $1,074,857 in ticket sales. In 2020-21, the total of ticket sales was $0. Also with absence of box rentals and beverage sales, the total revenue from 2020-21 was just $515,917, a difference of $1,776,412 from the year before.
On the positive side, the expense total was nearly $1 million less in 2021-21. Advertising was the largest factor of expenses. Spending just $39,690, that’s a difference of $204,770 from 2019-20. The difference in expenses was $917,347. While revenue generated wasn’t nearly as high, being able to cut down on expenses was a huge game changer.
“Everybody’s attitude stayed positive,” Broda said. “There was a strong determination that we were going to get through this, and that we would survive. A lot of decisions had to be made regarding budget cuts, staffing issues, etc. I’m extremely proud of the efforts and good decisions made by our management group to get us through this difficult time.
“Our fan base contributed over $100,000 of their season ticket money to financially help our community owned team. I am so proud of our fans and the support that our hockey club received from this community. I’d be amiss if I didn’t thank our provincial government too. Their support during this desperate time made an enormous difference to assist us financially. We are proud to say, as a community hockey club, that we did survive this difficult and challenging season, and we even put ourselves in a good spot to kick off the 2021-22 season.”
Broda also looked ahead to the remainder of the 2021-22 season, remaining optimistic of what is yet to come.
“There has been, and will continue to be some challenges surrounding this season,” he said. “We are managing our way through it as best as we can. Our community and fan support this season has been very strong. We’re looking forward to a strong finish for this season, and we know with a little bit of luck, anything can happen in the playoffs.”