BCHL approves back-up plan for 2020-21 season

Without gate revenue, league will rely on player fees, government and business support

The B.C. Hockey League Board of Governors has approved a plan that will make sure the 2020-21 season goes forward, even if gate revenue is insufficient.

The BCHL has issued a request to the Provincial Health Office that would allow for 25 per cent capacity in arenas, but the alternative plan will let the league move forward even if that request is not approved before the start date of Dec. 1.

The alternative plan would see a reduced number of games and will rely on player fees, sponsorship and government support to fund the season.

“Our main objective remains to play a season, no matter what, but our original goal of starting in December with 25 per cent capacity in our buildings is in jeopardy,” board chairman Graham Fraser said.

RELATED: BCHL hockey championships cancelled

RELATED: BCHL teams can start training in September for first league games in December

“This new scenario allows us to have a fall-back plan if that does not occur. Even if we end up going with the alternative, we may have the opportunity to introduce fans into the stands later in the season and into the playoffs, which would, in turn, reduce costs for the players and their families.”

League commissioner Chris Hebb emphasized that sponsorship and government support will be vital in making sure a season happens.

“The fact that we are prepared to play a season without fans does not mean we no longer require financial support from the government,” he said. “Player fees will give our teams the ability to survive, but our owners are preparing to take a financial hit to ensure we get to play regular-season games in 2020-21. If anything, this only increases our need for corporate and government support. For the first time in our 60-year league history, we’re asking for players to pay an amount beyond their billet fees. This is solely caused by COVID-19 and we plan on going back to business as usual next season.”

Based on ViaSport BC regulations, the schedule will divide the league into regional cohorts of no more than four teams, with a 14-day quarantine period required before teams can rotate into new cohorts.

“Our number one goal over the past six months has been to get our players back on the ice.” BCHL executive director Steven Cocker said. “The board believes we presented a plan to safely have fans in the building and that remains our goal. In case the government does not allow for it, the league office and all 18 teams will work diligently to find ways to reduce player fees by way of funding and sponsorship. At the end of the day, we want to do right by our players, teams, our league and our fans and that means having a 2020-21 season.”

The league plans to release an exhbition schedule in the coming weeks.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

BCHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Kelowna RCMP investigating unexplained death of cattle

Cattle found dead near gravel road, east of the Kelowna Airport

From right to left: Silverado Socrates (Independent), Norm Letnick (Liberal), John Janmaat (Green) and Kyle Geronazzo (Libertarian). (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Kelowna-Lake Country candidates square off at forum

All candidates in the riding were in attendance except for BC NDP candidate Justin Kulik

Vernon Fire Rescue Services work to put out a structure fire in an abandoned house on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
UPDATE: Vernon house fire under control

Single-lane traffic remains in effect on Highway 97 in both directions

Vernon once again boasts the lowest gas prices in B.C. Oct. 20, 2020. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon boasts lowest gas prices in B.C.

Gas going up, and down, throughout the North Okanagan

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen is launching an initiative to provide horse-assisted therapy to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic (Black Press file photo)
Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen to provide horse-assisted therapy

Therapy sessions will be offered to frontline workers during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Brody Peterson said he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Brody Peterson told The Gazette he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks RCMP recommend criminal charges after weekend party

Homeowner Brody Peterson said he’ll dispute tickets for refusing police instructions, alleged COVID violations

Paul Singla walks towards his Penticton home on Heather Road in 2018 after CBSA officers raided it. (File photo)
Singla and Toor make first court appearances on immigration fraud

The Okanagan men had their cases adjourned until 2021

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
At least 26% of eligible voters have already cast a ballot, Elections BC says

Voters can cast a ballot until 8 p.m PST on Election Day

A 2018 decision to fly a rainbow flag ended up costing the City of Langley $62,000 in legal fees (Langley Advance Times file)
Human rights win in rainbow flag fight cost B.C. city $62,000

“Lengthy and involved” process provoked by complaint

Most Read