Ken Reid/Greystoke Photography. The lights didn’t go out on the Warriors in 2017 as investors stepped up to keep the team in West Kelowna.

The Year in Sports: BCHL’s Warriors stay put in West Kelowna

A last-ditch effort by investors keeps junior A hockey from leaving West Kelowna

Just 18 months after the West Kelowna Warriors reached the pinnacle of Canadian junior A hockey, the BCHL franchise faced the prospects of leaving the Central Okanagan for good.

In January 2017, Mark Cheyne said significant financial losses every season since he assumed ownership of the club in 2009, forced him to consider his options, including moving the Warriors to another city.

With an RBC Cup championship run in 2016, Cheyne hoped the club’s financial fortunes would have finally taken a turn for the better.

But with community support for the team and attendance remaining stagnant, Cheyne said the writing was on the wall.

“We were never even close to breaking even once and after awhile it’s just no fun anymore,” Cheyne said. “The last few years, you look for that light at the end of the tunnel…but the light at the end never came.

“It was difficult,” said Cheyne, “a long, hard decision. It hurts me and I know some people will be hurt this. But there’s not much else we can put into it.”

With the threat of the Warriors leaving town, a group of loyal fans stepped up to rally behind the team.

In the end, a consortium of new investors came forward to help keep the club in West Kelowna for the 2017-18 season and, if all goes as planned, well beyond.

“I appreciate these guys stepping up,” said Cheyne. “This was the easiest and best of the options I had and I think it’s good for the community that it stays here,” he said. “It’s nice for me to still be a part of it and see how we can make things work down the road.”

“I’m happy we’re going to continue to have hockey in West Kelowna.”

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

The Westbank First Nation to be a fixture of Westside Daze

This Canada Day long weekend mark your calendars

Updated: Kelowna cops investigate armed robbery at city centre business

Robbery sparks late afternoon manhunt by armed police officers with guns drawn

Kelowna mayor pays emotional tribute to late senior city manager

Colin Basran chokes up remembering city corporate and protective services director Rob Mayne Monday

Country Music hopes to raise funds for Grand Forks families

The event will take place at OK Corral in Kelowna

NDP executive steps down in North Okanagan Shuswap

in-house ‘spending scandal’ blamed for Saturday’s resignation decision

Updated: Kelowna cops investigate armed robbery at city centre business

Robbery sparks late afternoon manhunt by armed police officers with guns drawn

UPDATED: Oliver wildfire extinguished, B.C. Wildfire mopping up

6-ha. brush fire contained before it could spread farther

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Vernon cold case murder suspect bail hearing Tuesday

Paramjit Singh Bogarh will appear in Vernon Law Courts at 10 a.m. June 19

Elvis lives again in Penticton

Elvis Festival back this weekend for 17th year

Tigers looking to lock up title

Face Flames tonight in Penticton

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Remains of two people found on Vancouver Island

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to two missing men, last seen in Ucluelet in mid-May

Most Read