For the third season in a row, the Swift Current Broncos have posted an operating profit. This past season the organization added $158,285 to the team's operating fund.
A record number of ticket sales totalling $757,697 is being touted as the biggest factor plus continued community support from groups like the Hockey Hounds and other fundraising initiatives.
Over the last three seasons the Broncos have added $409, 438 to their operating fund. This after incurring back-to-back years of losses in 2005 and 2006 totalling $405,227.
This closes the books on the Dean Chynoweth era from the financial side and the organization should be thrilled with the turnaround financially over the last three seasons. Of course, the term "cautiously optimistic" is always used year-over-year. You can never get too far ahead of yourselves. The organization continues to walk a fine line and even the slightest unforeseen circumstances could put the team back in the red ink.
The season ahead is looking good financially, but the Broncos may be hard-pressed to be in the black this year. If the team does make the playoffs, a lack of available home dates due to the Women's World Curling Championships may hinder their opportunity for playoff revenue. However the city is working with the Broncos to come up with a solution of compensation.
In some Board of Director house-cleaning duties, board members Steve Cassidy and Don Szakacs have stepped down from their positions. The two should be commended for their time served and dedication to the organization.
A new Board of Director has been elected on. Local Director of Education for the Chinook School Division Liam Choo-Foo will join the BOD. Knowing Liam for the last two years and having a chance to spend some time with him has told me this is a great choice. Liam's knowledge of how boards work and overall intelligence will be a strong asset to the Broncos.
Just don't ask him advice with your NFL pick'em pool!
I want to commend the local Hockey Hounds group for another strong fundraising effort of over $130,000. This total is up over $16,000 from last season.
They are the unsung heroes of this organization. President Rick Kettler and their 13 other members have done a fabulous job. They are always looking for some new blood. More volunteers would be appreciated.
It was one interesting year for the Board of Directors to say the least.
With the resignation of Dean Chynoweth to pursue an opportunity with the New York Islanders, the group was faced with hiring a new front man for the organization.
Under a lot of pressure to make a strong choice, and after careful consideration, the Board moved forward with the decision to hire Mark Lamb as the new Head Coach/General Manager.
The greatest story never told could be the final year of Chynoweth's contract after an extension wasn't offered in the summer and the ensuing uncertainty of the Head Coach /GM position moving forward.
To close, the BOD too often doesn't get the recognition they deserve. It can be a thankless job at the best of times. I want to thank this group for their dedication and expertise.
This is certainly something I would like to take a shot at if the situation ever presented itself once my broadcast days are over.
Being a student of the business the past 10 years and seeing how all 22 WHL organizations operate has given me an idea of what makes the Western Hockey League go round. Meeting and learning from some great hockey people and minds has also been a great experience.
The organization is moving forward in a good direction and the future continues to look bright with Mark Lamb and all the good folks in the organization.