City council has agreed to the River Kings request for financial support to offset the cost of ice rental for the provincial senior men’s AA Coy Cup championships which the hockey team is hosting at the end of March.
Club representative Ross Smith told council the last time the city hosted the Coy Cup was 2009 when Terrace was Hockeyville.
The River Kings finished in second place last spring in Fort Nelson and are hoping to win this year, he said.
As the host team, the River Kings have an automatic entry into the bid for this year’s championship which will feature four teams in all.
The benefit to the city would be rented hotel rooms, about 60 for five nights and that is only counting the teams, plus the exposure for the city, said Smith.
Mayor Carol Leclerc asked Smith if the fee was waived in 2009 to which Smith replied no.
Admission fees for the tournament which is to be held March 22-26 would be charged at $10 for adults and $5 for kids for each game.
The River Kings are looking for rental of the main arena and the Sportsplex meeting room, said Smith.
Leclerc asked if the team did fundraising to pay for its trip to Fort Nelson for the tournament last year and Smith said it did a little bit but mostly had community sponsors who paid the team’s way.
The team is lining up sponsors for the tournament, he said.
With four teams of 25 players each plus coaches, six to eight referees, and a couple of BC Hockey officials plus families, there will be many people coming here, Smith added.
When it came time to vote, councillor Brian Downie said he would put forward a motion to support the River Kings in their request to waive ice fees for the Coy Cup tournament and James Cordeiro seconded it.
Downie said he was in favour because he took the position it was good to support the teams.
“I don’t think taxpayers should [have the] burden of costs when the team is charging for admission,” councillor Stacey Tyers commented during debate on the request.
Cordeiro said it would be different if the team was charging $40 a seat but $5 and $10 was a nominal rate.
Councillor Michael Prevost said he would be in favour of the waiver if a block of tickets were put aside for people who can’t afford the tickets but want to go to the games. Tyers said she would support that.
Council voted unanimously in favour of a motion to waive the ice fees as long as the River Kings provided 25 free tickets to those who wanted to attend the games but couldn’t afford it.