By David F. Rooney
The Grizzlies are paying about $2,400 to practice at the Sunwave Centre in Salmon Arm because the Forum has not had any ice in it since the team travelled to Parksville to compete in the provincial championships.
Some people have asked The Current why this should be so and I asked Kerry Dawson, the City’s director of Parks, Recreation and Culture.
The bottom line? Money.
Dawson said it costs the City, on average $1,250 a day to operate the Forum every year and while it would have cost substantially less than that to keep the ice in the building until the Grizzlies go to the Western Canadian Championships on April 15, it still would have been too high a cost, especially when you consider that the team pays very little for its ice time at home. (She couldn’t say how much it would have cost to keep the ice in the Forum until the team was ready to leave town for what its fans hope will be another major triumph. Dawson did say, however, that no one will be using the Forum until at least April 19.)
“All I would have been getting is $54 plus GST,” Dawson said. “The math just doesn’t work very well.”
She also noted that the ice was about two weeks overdue for removal.
“I know the community is baffled and some people may be upset,” Dawson said.
Mike Roberts, the team’s managing partner, was also somewhat upset, she noted.
However, Dawson said she has suggested that Roberts apply for a grant-in-aid from the City to help defray the cost of purchasing ice time in Salmon Arm.