The Yorkton Terriers lost a substantial amount of money suffering a $54,792 deficit over the past season.
That builds on an existing debt of roughly $34,000, leaving the team with an overall debt nearing $90,000.
The numbers were unveiled Monday at the Terrier’s annual general meeting by club treasurer Corvyn Neufeld.
In presenting the numbers Neufeld did note the team’s auditors have pointed out to the club that the Terriers “don’t have enough assets to cover our liabilities.”
“That number (the debt), got a little bit bigger,” he noted.
Asked who was owed money with the team in debt, Neufeld told Yorkton This Week the team has a line of credit with the Royal Bank.
“We’re close to that limit now,” he said, adding the debt “fluctuates over the source of the year,” but the overall debt is now at the credit limit.
The deficit on operations in the past year to May 31, came about for a variety of reasons, said Neufeld.
For example, on the revenue side dollars generated by advertising and sponsorships declined from $217,250 in 2018, to $178,800.
But gate receipts, aided by a playoff run this spring jumped from $35,544 to $153, 419, however season ticket revenue declined by approximately $14,000.
The Terriers also lost $15,463 hosting the Montreal Canadiens old-timer team.
On the expenses side, again in part because of a playoff run, increased in most key areas.
General and administrative costs grew from $98,241 to $132,602.
Operating costs grew from $60,961 to $93,937.
Personnel costs were up from $151,596 to $180,824, with player costs up from $220,162 to $264,897.
So how does the team anticipate addressing the debt?
Neufeld said the first step is “to increase revenues,” adding the executive feels there is “an opportunity to increase sponsorships.
In his report to the meeting Neufeld noted that the Terriers pay almost three times as much for game time ice rentals to the City of Yorkton in the playoffs than for regular season games. He later told Yorkton This Week the rental fees are detailed in a contract that is to be renewed this summer.
“We’ll have some discussions with the City,” in terms of rental fees, said Neufeld, adding that rates across the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League “vary quite a lot.”
One thing the Terriers do have in common with most SJHL teams is debt. Neufeld said most junior hockey franchises in the province struggle with keeping the teams close to break even.