Lethbridge Hurricanes in good financial standing despite revenue drop from previous year

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WATCH ABOVE: The Lethbridge Hurricanes held their annual shareholders meeting Monday night. The team is coming off a second straight appearance in the league's eastern conference final, but is that success on the ice still translating off-ice profits? Malika Karim breaks down the numbers and the teams' plans for the year – Sep 18, 2018

At the Lethbridge Hurricanes’ 33rd annual general meeting on Monday night, the team announced a $422,443 net profit for the 2017-2018 season.

That’s down from the previous year when the Hurricanes recorded a net profit of more than $731,000.

“The way those playoff rounds went and the seven games, the more revenue you make, the longer the series goes,” Hurricanes board of directors president, Doug Paisley, said about the 2016-2017 season.

“You know to play where we did and you know the demographic of how far we had to travel and how less expensive that was, it puts more dollars in your savings. And you know, this year, a little more travel expense and little less games and you know, you just can’t generate as much revenue in less home games.”

But despite the drop in revenue, the Hurricanes say they’re still in a strong financial position, noting their ability to pay back the city for their share in recent renovations to the ENMAX Centre.

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“Our payback to the city at $167,000 a year for the next 15 years,” Paisley noted about an extra expense taken from revenues this year. “So just having that in place and having the money to get paid back [is great]. You know, three years ago, there was question of if we could afford to do it, you know now we’re in good shape.”

As for the season ahead, management has high expectations.

“We have good players and they expect to be the best,” Hurricanes general manager, Peter Anholt, said. “They want to be the best in the league and we’ve gone to two Eastern Conference Finals. It’s hard to get there but we also feel that we’ve got the road scars and the experience to maybe push ourselves to another level yet.”

Shareholders at the meeting were eager to know about home games should the Hurricanes qualify for the playoffs, with the 2019 World Men’s Curling Championships occupying the ENMAX Centre from March 30 to April 7, 2019.

“We are going to host it — we’re not moving out of our city,” Anholt said. “We’ve got the Nicholas Sheran [Arena]. It’s not perfect, there’s going to be some unhappy fans, there’s going to be some unhappy advertisers. We’ll deal with it.”
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As for the team’s bid to host the 2020 Memorial Cup, the club has made it to the fifth stage in the process, along with Kelowna and Kamloops.

They will be making an in-person presentation to organizers in Calgary next month.

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