Warriors owner Mark Cheyne will know this week where the BCHL team will play next season. - Image credit: Ken Reid/Greystoke Photography

Warriors fate to be announced Friday

West Kelowna franchise owner to release details of BCHL team’s future

Hockey fans in West Kelowna will soon know the ultimate fate of their B.C. Hockey League team.

Warriors’ owner Mark Cheyne said an official announcement regarding the club’s future will be made during Friday night’s playoff game at Royal LePage Place.

With a potential deal to move to the Warriors to North Delta recently taken off the table, Cheyne is holding discussions this week with potential ownership groups in two other B.C. communities.

However, if a local group in West Kelowna can come up with the necessary funds, Cheyne is all for seeing the Warriors remain right where they are.

“I’d preferably like to see local investors take over the team,” said Cheyne, who took over sole ownership of the club in 2009. “I want to give the locals every chance, a lot of blood, sweat and tears has gone into this team over the years. Nobody wants to see it go, so will give these guys every opportunity to keep it here.”

In January, Cheyne had negotiated a deal which would have seen the Warriors move to the Sungod Arena in North Delta for the 2017-18 season.

But Cheyne said it quickly became apparent the Delta group wasn’t prepared to take the franchise over.

“It wasn’t going to pass by the BCHL,” Cheyne said of the potential move to North Delta. “Hockey operations would have been fine, but the business side wouldn’t have worked…they just didn’t have the ownership in place they needed.”

Warriors director of business operations Alex Draper said word that the team is not moving to North Delta is positive, but the community still has plenty of work to do to save the franchise.

“It is positive news but we are so far from being out of the woods,” said Draper. “The whole thing is Mark is losing money and whether the sale fell through or not, does not mean we are still in operation next year. We have to find local investors. We dodged a bullet but there are more coming.”

Draper said since news broke of the Warriors potential sale, crowds have grown and the community has rallied, but added the big thing is finding local investors to help keep the team in West Kelowna.

“Our last four games have been our biggest gates of the year and I would assume most people are coming out to help keep the team here,” he said. “Even a full arena, as critical as that is, is not going to save the team.

“Plan A is getting local investors and it sounds like we have until Friday.”

Based on the developments of the last several weeks, Cheyne believes there’s still a “50-50 chance” the Warriors will remain in West Kelowna.

Regardless of where the Warriors are located next season, Cheyne said he will continue to be involved with the club in order to help the new group through the transition.

The last and least desirable option for Cheyne would be to simply fold the team.

Just Posted

Current forest fires bring back memories of 2003 wildfire in Kelowna

Former Kelowna fire chief says plan should be to throw everything at a forest fire early

Cooler temps today, but no rain in forecast until August

Environment Canada does not have good news when it comes to fighting fires in the Central Okanagan.

Updated: Evacuation order downgraded to alert for properties near Peachland

Crews continue to battle the 1,000 hectare Mount Eneas blaze south of Peachland

Updated: Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

Fire command centre relocating from Penticton to West Kelowna

Firefighting resources to be concentrated out of temporary camp

BC Games’ Athletes Corner: What’s your favourite pump up song?

Check out what’s playing in the earbuds of BC Summer Games athletes before they compete

Matjicka pulls trick for Silver Stars

Capri Insurance Men’s 55+ Soccer League roundup

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

More space in BC parks and campsites to get away from it all

Province announces an additional 431 campsites throughout B.C. for the 2018 season

Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Garnet Valley Road in Summerland blocked as crews fight wildfire

Homes in Summerland from Wildhorse Road north have been evacuated as Mount Eneas fire continues

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

BC toddler with ‘allergy’ to sun waiting for bone marrow transplant

Charlie Lock, 2, needs treatment for damage caused by rare disorder EPP

Most Read