Wednesday November 26, 2014

RBC title but Terriers still lose money

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Yorkton Terrier Director Gerry Smysnuik presents the team’s 2013-14 Financial Report.

Winning a national championship did not mean a financial profit for the Yorkton Terriers.

In fact the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League franchise went from a $112,424 profit at year-end 2013, to a $34,309 deficit for the year ending May 31, 2014. It is a swing in fortunes of $146,673 for the Royal Bank Cup-winning Terriers.

In giving the franchise’s financial report at the team’s Annual General Meeting last Wednesday, Director Gerry Smysnuik said the numbers were not to his liking.

“I know it bugs me,” he said of the loss.

But Smysnuik said when he crunched into the numbers, the expenses he sees are, for the most part, going to continue.

“The costs incurred this year will probably continue in the future,” he said.

The actual loss of $34,000 though, is one which can be attributed almost entirely to the cost associated with making it to the RBC.

The Terriers did receive just shy of $19,000 in revenues from the RBC, but showed direct costs of $28,000.

In addition, there are a number of costs, while not directly tied to attending the RBC, were incurred because the Terrier season was extended by three weeks because of the national event, said Smysnuik. Such costs included wages for part-time staff, additional room and board for players, sticks, championship rings and similar costs. He said the overall costs are in the $35-$40,000 range.

The remainder of the year-to-year loss of some $112,000 came from a combination of revenue drops and cost increases.

On the revenue side the farm crop fundraiser saw a drop of some $24,000.

“We didn’t grow the gold crop (canola). We grew wheat,” said Smysnuik, who added they are again going with canola this summer.

The Terrier Lotto net return to the team was only $16,844, down from $47,946 a year earlier.

The return from the Lotto “continues to be less and less every year,” offered Smysnuik, adding it remains obvious the team needs a successful lottery to operate.

Game day gate receipts also saw a decline, from $205,181 in 2013 to $164,862 this year,

Smysnuik said there were a couple of reasons for the $40,000 decline, including having revenue from one less home playoff game this season, and a $17,000 increase in season ticket sales which impact walk-up ticket sales.

In terms of expenses several areas saw increases, increases Smysnuik said, will carry forward.

The Terriers spend $14,585 on player education.

“This year a lot of kids went to school,” said Smysnuik, adding the team covers a portion of post-secondary course costs taken by players through the hockey season, with the rates based on years of service with the team. “We believe that is a good thing.”

Player room and board also rose, but by design, as the Board approved a rate increase from $350 per month to $400 being aid to billets. The result was a $22,000 increase, reported Smysnuik.

Wages for staff, coaches, marketing and office were up $14,000, but again Smysnuik noted that was expected as the Board approved a three per cent increase to cover the cost of living hike.

To help pull the numbers back toward the black moving forward the Board has made the decision to raise ticket prices.

Season tickets for adults and seniors will climb $25, or about a buck a game, pointed out Smysnuik. The hike leaves an adult season early bird season ticket at $290, ($320 regularly) and a senior early bird ticket at $275 (regularly $305).

Teen and pre-teen season tickets remain unchanged. Teens are $99 for early bird ($129 regular) while 12 and under are $49 early bird ($79 regular).

Game day tickets will climb from $13 to $14.

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