Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna.—Image credit: contributed

West Kelowna Warriors get concessions back at Royal LePage Place

New owners say move could help secure new corporate sponsors.

The West Kelowna Warriors have the food concessions at Royal LePage Place back.

Nine months after giving up the concessions at the West Kelonwa arena under a new lease arrangement with the city, West Kelowna council voted to return control of the concessions to the team after a request from the new Warriors ownership to do so.

New team president, Kim Dobranski, a member of the consortium of local business people who bought the Warriors late last year to save it from being moved to Delta, told council control of the concessions will not make the BC Hockey League team much money. But it will allow it to expand its food offerings for those who go to home games, feature local food items on the menu and that, in turn, could help attract more local corporate sponsors, he said.

The team gave up the concession when negotiating the current lease that went into effect last November because at the time the owners said the amount of work involved running the concessions was not worth the financial return.

At that time, the city agreed to buy back the concession equipment in the arena from the team and will now sell it back to the team at a depreciated rate. A percentage of concession sales will go the city and when the $9,800 cost of the equipment is recuperated, the percentage will drop from 2.5 per cent to 1.5 percent said a staff report.

Dobranski, who described BCHL teams as “money losers” for their owners, said giving the team back control of the concessions at Royal LePage Place could be considered a form of community support for the team.

Following the decision, he said he was pleased and added the new ownership group plans to “think outside the box” going forward and introduce new ways of growing its fan base, especially the number of people who turn out for games at Royal LePage Place.