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B.C. hockey team flying to Calgary for tournament as it’s cheaper than driving to Kelowna

Click to play video: 'High gas prices lead to sports teams changing tournament plans' High gas prices lead to sports teams changing tournament plans
Some minor sports teams are changing the spring tournament schedules to limit the amount of driving people have to do as gas prices remain near record highs. Emad Agahi reports – May 20, 2022

The price of gas in B.C. is affecting many lives very differently and now some sports teams are making the decision not to travel to certain tournaments to cut down on the gas bills.

One Lower Mainland hockey team made the decision that it is cheaper for them to fly to Calgary to attend a tournament there, rather than drive to the Interior.

The Fraser Valley Kings, based in Abbotsford and Mission, run a spring hockey program and the May long weekend is a popular time to attend tournaments.

“With hockey comes driving and most of our program is based out of Abbotsford,” director Wes McLeod told Global News. “We do have some practices out of Mission and Chilliwack, which in some cases works well for families as we have players that come from those communities as well.”

Read more: Gas prices in Canada see slight dip before long weekend

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McLeod said they try to keep the commute for parents short so there is not a lot of driving, especially with the high gas prices in the Lower Mainland recently.

He said the team tries to keep the driving to a minimum.

“We did talk about some tournaments in the Interior — Kelowna and Kamloops — and something that we discussed with the parents, we put it out to them, was to fly to Calgary instead as an alternative. The idea was really well taken by the parents,” he said.

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McLeod said there are now eight teams going to Calgary in June to take part in the tournament.

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“Cost is always something that we factor into our program,” he added. “We do a lot to fundraise and sponsorship to help families keep the costs to a minimum. But gas prices is not something we can control.”

McLeod said the experience of going to Calgary and staying in hotels and being together will be an enriching one for the teams.

The Lower Mainland has recorded the highest gas prices in North America recently and while the price at the pump has dropped to about $2.14 a litre in most areas, prices are expected to rise again on Saturday, according to analysts.

On May 17, gas prices in the region reached the high of $2.33 a litre.

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