Red Wings counting on the fans to fill the seats

Greg Nikkel

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The Weyburn Red Wings has a long and storied history in this city since they were established here in 1961, and they are looking for signs from the public that they will continue to support the Junior A hockey team.

The Red Wings had a fairly successful season for the 2017-18 year, except for an early exit from the playoffs, but in spite of a strong performance on the ice, the hockey club posted a loss on the year, and it was in large part due to reduced attendance.

Weyburn is not alone among the teams in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, as team supporters were told at the team’s annual meeting that only two out of the 12 teams were able to say their finances were in the black.

Be that as it may, Weyburn can only concern itself with their own hockey team, so the question that arises is this: are the Red Wings worthy of support? Does it make a difference to have this hockey team operate in this city season after season?

The answer to both of these questions is a resounding “Yes!”, and therefore puts the challenge to the residents of Weyburn and area to step up and give their support where it counts, by buying season tickets and attending hockey games, as well as supporting the various fundraising ventures the team has.

The Red Wings have won two national championships, five regional championships and were SJHL champions eight times, and the rafters in Crescent Point Place bear witness to their many accomplishments with the many banners proclaiming their success over the years.

Through this legacy of success and by their involvement with the community, the Red Wings bring much interest and business to the community, and the players regularly make connections to schools, businesses and area residents.

As supporters heard at the annual meeting, coach Wes Rudy and president Brent Stephanson were able to think of at least 15 or more businesses that have former players who have elected to stay in Weyburn and raise families, and run businesses, making a contribution to Weyburn and area on an ongoing basis.

The concern is how in spite of how well the team did last year, attendance had dropped off. Coach Rudy commented how disheartening it was to host a playoff hockey game with only 500 or so fans in the stands.

The Red Wings deserve better than that from their host community, thus the team is looking to revive the Booster Club, which was in place when the team started up in 1961. The club will have their first meeting after the Red-and-White game on Labour Day Monday, Sept. 3, and hopefully there will be many willing to step forward and show their support.

© Copyright Weyburn This Week 2018


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