The Kitimat Ice Demons gained from a $10,000 grant from Kitimat Council.
The local men’s team, so far leading the way in CIHL West Division (and second only to the Smithers Steelheads in the Central Division), will host the Coy Cup championships for the second time in a row this coming March.
The major tournament means the Ice Demons are looking for some support, although they have worked out a means to hold the event without seeking corporate sponsorships, which they were hesitant to do as Kitimat so recently held the Coy Cup.
Kitimat was able to host the event as no other team in the league could financially commit to the responsibility, Ice Demons president Cliff Madsen told council.
But the Demons have set up a means that other teams may be able to host the cup in future years. That’s because even though as host the Demons would be required to put up some expenses for the other teams, the league agreed that teams would forgo their mileage expenses, which lessens the burden for the host.
With that plan in place, the league can be strengthened with more teams able to host, added Madsen.
In presenting their proposal, the Ice Demons showed a conservative budget which had the team still $459 at a loss, but Madsen explained that was based only on the games that the Demons are confirmed to play. After the three for-sure games in the Coy Cup, the Demons stand to have more income the more games they play. And with Madsen being confident of the Demons’ abilities to move ahead in the playoffs, he’s sure that difference can be made up.
“We think we’ll do okay, even without the sponsorship dollars,” said Madsen.
That proposed budget did call for a $10,000 contribution from the District of Kitimat, which was the council’s contribution when the tournament was held in 2012.
On a technical basis, this year’s Coy Cup would only be eligible for $3,500, as it’s the second year in a row the event was held. The town’s ‘Major Event’ sponsorship program allows a maximum of $5,000 every five years, and down to $750 a night any years within that five years.
Councillors at the December 17 meeting felt $10,000 was appropriate as the Ice Demons do pay almost $10,000 for the ice time and building rentals, money which goes to District staff to work the arena during the games.
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Before 2012, Kitimat had hosted the Coy Cup in 2006, which is looked back on as a major success for the community for economic spin off.
A major challenge still looming for the tournament is accommodation for visiting teams. Madsen said many hotels in town have long-term agreements with industrial and construction companies meaning most rooms are booked up.
While officials and some others will likely get accommodation in town, he said Terrace might end up housing teams for the five day tournament.